Cincinnati Reds Designate Robby Scott for Assignment.

Just 11 days after claiming him off of waivers from the Boston Red Sox, the Cincinnati Reds announced on Friday that they had designated LHP Robby Scott for assignment.

This move by Cincinnati comes in correspondence to the blockbuster trade made with the Los Angeles Dodgers, as the club acquired outfielders Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, catcher Kyle Farmer, left-handed pitcher Alex Wood, and cash from LA in exchange for right-handed pitcher Homer Bailey and prospects Jeter Downs and Josiah Gray.

Needing to make room on their 40-man roster, the Reds went ahead and essentially parted ways with one of their more recent pick ups.

If left unclaimed seven days from now, Scott, 29, will more than likely either be outrighted to Cincinnati’s Triple A team or straight up released.

In his three-year tenure with the Red Sox, the left-hander posted a 3.91 ERA and 1.20 WHIP over 48.1 total frames of relief work from 2016 to 2018.

This past year though, Scott found himself in Triple A for the majority of the season, as he surrendered just 10 earned runs in 45 appearances out of the bullpen with the Pawtucket Red Sox.

Seen mostly as a lefty specialist at this point in his career, it will be interesting to see if the Florida native can catch on with another club and serve in a LOOGY (Left-handed One Out Guy) role.

Left-handed relievers always seem to be in necessity across baseball, so it would be nice to see this one time indy leaguer make his way back to a big league ‘pen.

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#RedSox and Heath Hembree Avoid Arbitration with One-Year Deal for 2019 Season.

On Friday afternoon, the Boston Red Sox announced that they had agreed to terms on a one-year contract with RHP Heath Hembree.

According to Fancred’s Jon Heyman, the two sides will avoid salary arbitration with a deal worth approximately $1.312 million for the 2019 season.

Hembree, 29, posted a 4.20 ERA and 1.33 WHIP over 67 relief apperances and 60 innings pitched in his fourth full season with Boston in 2018.

The right-hander also held left-handed hitters to a .186 batting average against to go along with a career-high 11.4 K/9 for a whole campaign.

A former fifth round pick of the San Francisco Giants in 2010, Hembree took Steven Wright’s spot on the Red Sox’ ALDS roster prior to Game Two against the New York Yankees and did not surrender a single run in any of the four postseason appearances he made on the way to a World Series championship.

With the departure of Joe Kelly and the somewhat probable departure of Craig Kimbrel, it’s quite likely that the South Carolina native will see an increase in usage in 2019 depending on what the Red Sox’ plans are for the remainder of the offseason.

Hembree found success early in the 2018 season by stranding inherited runners on base on a consistent basis, but the ability to do that seemed to fade as the year progressed, and the reliever’s numbers inflated as a result of that.

Per the Red Sox themselves, this signing now leaves 10 players, Matt Barnes, Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Brock Holt, Sandy Leon, Eduardo Rodriguez, Blake Swihart, Brandon Workman, and Steven Wright, who remained unsigned and eligible for arbitration.

#RedSox Were in Attendance for Troy Tulowitzki’s Workout on Tuesday.

On Tuesday night, Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reported that up to 11 major league clubs were in attendance for free agent infielder Troy Tulowitzki’s workout in Southern California earlier that morning.

Among those teams observing the five-time All-Star’s workout near California State University Long Beach was the Boston Red Sox.

There’s no indication that the defending World Series champions are heavy favorites to land Tulowitzki, but given the fact it will only cost the major league minimum to sign him because of the Toronto Blue Jays buying out the remainder of his $38 million contract earlier in the month, doing one’s due diligence in this case does make sense.

Sure, the ex-Colorado Rockie, now 34, is probably far from the Gold Glove shortstop he used to be, but if he’s willing to take on a utility role and is able to stay healthy over the course of a full season, then surely he can provide a club with solid defense and a steady bat when needed.

Last playing with the Blue Jays in 2017, Tulowitzki slashed .249/.300/.378 with 17 home runs and 40 RBI in 66 games before being placed on the disabled list on July 29th with a sprained right ankle. He would not play for the remainder of the season.

In 2018, the Santa Clara native was once again placed on the 60-day disabled list prior to the start of the season due to bilateral bone spurs in both heels.

Once saying that he’ll, “pack my bags and go home,” if he’s not playing shortstop in 2019, Tulowitzki seems more willing now to move around the infield, but would still like to see regular at bats at one position, according to MLBTradeRumors.com.

As of right now, I would say that a union between the Red Sox and Tulowitzki is unlikely.

With the way the team’s infield is currently set with Dustin Pedroia manning second, Xander Bogaerts manning short, and Rafael Devers manning third, the need for the former first round pick really isn’t there at the moment.

Other utility players such as Brock Holt, Eduardo Nunez, and Tzu-Wei Lin would also cause a bit of a log jam if Tulowitzki were to join the mix.

So, unless something drastically changes in the coming weeks, I don’t see anything happening between the two sides.

 

 

#RedSox Reportedly Sign Former Chicago White Sox Reliever Zach Putnam to Minor League Contract.

On the same day they signed RHP Erasmo Ramirez to a minor league deal, the Red Sox made another minor move on Tuesday, as they signed former White Sox reliever Zach Putnam to a minor league contract as well, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo. It is not clear if this deal includes a Major League invitation to spring training at the time this is being written.

Putnam, 31, missed the entire 2018 season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery while with Chicago in early 2017.

A former fifth round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians back in 2008, Putnam provided the White Sox with stability out of the bullpen over the course of his four-year tenure with the club.

In 139.1 innings of relief from 2014 to 2017, the right-hander posted a 2.71 ERA and 1.18 WHIP to go along with a solid 9.6 K/9 ratio.

A native of Michigan, Putnam also, “posted a gaudy 16.1 percent swinging-strike rate,” and limited hard contact to the tune of an 27.2 opponents’ hard-hit rate in his time on the South Side, according to MLBTradeRumors.com

Given the circumstances, I would say this move has the makings to be a low risk-high reward signing for Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox.

According to FanGraphs, Putnam was the 48th best reliever in the American League  in terms of fWAR (1.6) from 2014 to 2017.

I understand that he is older now than he was in that span and is coming off major shoulder surgery, but it would not be a surprise to me at all that come June or July, Putnam is up and contributing to the Red Sox’ cause out of the bullpen.

#RedSox Reportedly Agree to Terms on a Minor League Deal with RHP Erasmo Ramirez.

On Tuesday afternoon, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reported that the Boston Red Sox and free agent RHP Erasmo Ramirez were ”nearing’ an agreement on a minor league contract for the 2019 season.

A few hours later, SoxProspects.com updated their transactions log with the news that the two sides had agreed to a contract. Although nothing has been confirmed by the Red Sox themselves, I’m going to go ahead and run with this deal being official.

Ramirez, 28, had spent the last season and a half with the Seattle Mariners, the team that originally signed him as an international free agent out of El Salvador back in 2007.

A native of Nicaragua, Ramirez posted a 6.50 ERA and 1.40 WHIP over 10 games started and 45.2 innings pitched with Seattle in 2018.

Those numbers may not look promising, but one positive from the right-hander’s 2018 campaign was a three-start stretch in August where he surrendered just three total earned runs in 16 innings of work. The Mariners went unbeaten in those three games.

Electing free agency after being outrighted from Seattle’s 40-man roster in November, Ramirez is capable of providing the Red Sox with both rotation and bullpen depth in the minors. He also received an invitation to Major League spring training.

I can’t imagine the chances of seeing Ramirez up with Boston in 2019 are all that high, but I do believe that this is a solid depth signing nonetheless.

It also looks like the veteran hurler got married on Tuesday, so congratulations to him on that.

Rough translation: Congratulations were married || to Erasmus Ramirez, who just the day he reached an agreement with the Boston Red Sox, also marries. An interesting coincidence. Greetings and blessings.

Envisioning a Scenario Where Craig Kimbrel Returns to the #RedSox.

According to several media outlets, Craig Kimbrel is reportedly seeking a six-year contract worth up to $100 million in free agency this winter.

That would be a record deal for a closer, one fit for, “the best closer of all time,” according to Kimbrel’s agent David Meter.

Seven weeks after winning the World Series, the Red Sox find themselves in need of some help out of the bullpen in 2019, even more so now with Joe Kelly reportedly inking a three-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The market for Kimbrel remains to be seen thus far into the offseason. The Philadelphia Phillies seem like the ideal suitor based on their need for a closer and their willingness to spend big, but nothing has formulated on that front to this point outside of some speculation.

If the Phillies were not to splurge on the flame-throwing right-hander and pursue an alternative, then that could ultimately give the Red Sox a chance to retain the services of their three-time All-Star.

Use JD Martinez as a prime example in this case. Prior to signing with Boston this past February, the Miami native was reportedly seeking a mega-deal in free agency for months.

Granted, Martinez still got paid, but the terms agreed upon were more team friendly than initially thought.

So, with that in mind, let’s say Kimbrel remains a free agent through the winter months, holding out in hopes of receiving a hefty contract offer.

Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski has already stated that the club will wait the reliever market out.

“At this time of year, if you’re going to sign somebody, you’re going to be aggressive and try to make it happen with big dollars,” Dombrowski said at the Baseball Winter Meetings last week. “We’re not at that point in the reliever market.”

Given the fact that Dombrowski has already doled out $68 million to RHP Nathan Eovaldi earlier in the month, a reunion with Kimbrel for a steep price seems unlikely now, but things could change once Spring Training begins to loom.

Take into consideration that the 30-year-old presumably knows the Red Sox organization inside and out. The city, the culture, the media. That’s all covered if Kimbrel remains in Boston

Having been with the club since 2016, Kimbrel, albeit shaky at times, has posted quality numbers in Boston and has maintained his status as one of the more elite relievers in all of baseball.

If the demand for the Alabama native is not as hyped as initially thought, then perhaps Craig Kimbrel will be taking the mound in a Red Sox uniform once again in 2019.

 

Ian Kinsler Reportedly Agrees to Two-Year Deal with San Diego Padres.

On Friday, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported that the San Diego Padres had agreed to a two-year, $8 million deal with free agent second baseman and 2018 World Series Champion Ian Kinsler.

Acquired via trade by the Red Sox from the Los Angeles Angels in late July, the 36-year-old infielder slashed .242/.294/.311 to go along with one home run and 16 RBI over a span of 37 games with Boston.

Regularly manning second base with Dustin Pedroia on the 60-day disabled list, Kinsler provided the Red Sox with stable defense on the right side of the infield en route to picking up his second career Gold Glove Award.

October was certainly not a month to remember in terms of numbers for the Arizona native, but he still contributed with his glove and got himself a shiny World Series ring.

From the perspective of the Red Sox, it was not expected that Kinsler’s services were going to be retained.

Essentially, Dustin Pedroia is Plan A at second base for 2019, and if he’s not able to stay healthy over the course of a full regular season, then you have players such as Brock Holt, Tzu-Wei Lin, and the expected return of Marco Hernandez in the mix to man second base when necessary.