Red Sox’ Kevin Pillar Pulling for Former Teammate Mike Yastrzemski To Win National League MVP With Giants

For much of the 2019 season, Kevin Pillar and Mike Yastrzemski shared the same outfield for the Giants.

Together, the pair shared the team lead for home runs with 21 apiece while Yastrzemski led San Francisco in slugging percentage (.518) and Pillar finished second right behind him in that category (.448).

In short, the two outfielders put together really solid seasons at the plate last year and they were able to forge a friendship out of it.

Just recently, Pillar reached out to Yastrzemski, who turned 30 on Sunday, to not only wish him a happy birthday via text, but to support the Andover native’s MVP case as well.

In case you have not been paying too much attention to the National League West this year, Yastrzemski entered Wednesday with a robust .293/.410/.612 slash line to go along with seven home runs and 23 RBI through the first 31 games of what is his first full big-league season.

With those numbers in mind combined with the fact that the 2020 campaign has already reached its halfway point, Yastrzemski looks like a legitimate NL MVP candidate, and as previously mentioned, Pillar let his former teammate know that the other day.

“I’ve talked to him as recently as two days ago. It was his birthday, I wished him a happy birthday,” Pillar said Wednesday in regards to his conversation with Yastrzemski. “We talked a little bit back and forth and I told him to go win the MVP and he answered very simply with ‘I’m going for it.’ And that’s the mindset he has and he believes in himself. He knows he’s a really good baseball player and he’s going out there showing the world everyday that he has the confidence and swagger to back it up. He truly believes he can be an MVP this season and I wish him nothing the best.”

In their brief time as teammates, Pillar may have seen a little bit of himself in Yastrzemski considering both were late-round draft picks out of college and both were traded away by their original organizations right around the same time last spring.

“He’s a perfect example of a guy that persevered through so much in the minor-leagues and maybe a lack of respect from some organizations or from numbers,” Pillar continued. “Whatever the reason was he wasn’t getting an opportunity in the big-leagues, he finally got it. It’s a perfect example of someone given an opportunity and running with it.”

Because he only made his major-league debut with San Francisco last year, Yastrzemski will not reach free agency until after the 2015 season, at which point the Vanderbilt product would already be 35 years old. That being said, Pillar is hopeful Yastrzemski can get paid soon.

“Hopefully, the Giants see what everyone else is seeing and hopefully, I know he’s a little bit older and younger in service time, hopefully he gets the opportunity to go out there and make some money for his family because he definitely deserves it. He’s shown he’s one of the best players in baseball right now and I couldn’t be happier for him.”

The grandson of Red Sox legend and Baseball Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, Mike Yaz homered at Fenway Park in his first trip to Boston as a major-leaguer last September.

Red Sox Infielder Christian Arroyo Clears Waivers, Gets Outrighted To Pawtucket

Three days after getting designated for assignment, Red Sox infielder Christian Arroyo has cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Pawtucket.

With this move made, Arroyo remains in the Sox’ 60-man player pool and will likely report to McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket within the coming days.

The 25-year-old was originally claimed off waivers by Boston from the Indians on August 13 and was subsequently placed on the 10-day COVID-19 related injured list three days later. The reason behind that was not because of a positive test, but rather due to the actual intake process.

Despite being activated from the IL on August 19, though, Arroyo was designated for assignment on August 20 in order for the Sox to make room on their 40-man roster for left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez, who had been on the COVID-19 related injured list himself.

Upon designating Arroyo, a former first-round pick of the Giants in 2013, it appeared that chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co.’s intentions were to sneak the Florida native through waivers, which they were of course able to accomplish on Sunday.

Prior to joining the Red Sox, Arroyo had appeared in 71 games with the Giants, Raysn and Indians since making his big-league debut with San Francisco in April 2017.

In those 71 games, the former top prospect slashed .215/.280/.342 with six home runs and 27 RBI over 251 plate appearances.

While in Pawtucket, Arroyo will presumably see time all around the infield seeing how he has major-league experience at second base, third base, and shortstop.

As for when we could see Arroyo in Boston, he would have to be added back to the Red Sox’ 40-man roster in order for that to happen.

Red Sox Were Reportedly ‘Intrigued’ by Giants Closer Will Smith, but Believed Asking Price Was Too High

The Red Sox were reportedly interested in acquiring the services of San Francisco Giants reliever Will Smith, but found the asking price for the left-hander to be too high, per The Boston Sports Journal’s Sean McAdam.

Smith, 30, would be a rental for the Red Sox, as he is set to become a free agent this winter.

Through 46 appearances with San Francisco in 2019, Smith has posted a 2.72 ERA and 2.41 xFIP over 46 1/3 innings of work. He has converted 26 of a possible 28 save opportunities as well.

Given how the Giants currently sit just 2 1/2 games back of the second wild card spot in the National League, it’s tough to determine whether they will be buyers or sellers come the 4 PM EDT deadline on Wednesday.

The Red Sox could certainly use Smith out of the back end of their bullpen, that much is evident by how they have blown the second-most saves in the American League this year at 19. However, if the asking price for the 2019 All-Star is too high, perhaps president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski would be wiser to purse cheaper, maybe even more controllable bullpen arms.

Names such as Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Andrew Chafin and Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Daniel Hudson have been linked to the Red Sox.

The trade deadline is at 4 PM EDT on Wednesday. Stay tuned if any Red Sox-related move goes down.

Former #RedSox LHP Drew Pomeranz Inks One-Year Deal with San Francisco Giants.

The San Francisco Giants have signed LHP Drew Pomeranz to a one-year deal for the 2019 season. The club announced the signing on Twitter Wednesday afternoon.

Pomeranz, 30, will earn a base salary of $1.5 million in 2019 plus up to $3.5 million worth of incentives, reports the Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

The left-hander had spent the past two-plus seasons with the Red Sox following a trade with the San Diego Padres for pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza in July of 2016.

In his injury-riddled tenure with Boston, Pomeranz posted a 4.24 ERA and 1.45 WHIP over 316.1 total innings pitched as both a starter and a reliever.

Despite his negative perception among fans, Pomeranz was actually solid in his only full healthy season with the Red Sox in 2017, where he dazzled with a 17-6 record and 3.32 ERA over a span of 32 consecutive starts. With David Price dealing with injury issues himself that year, Pomeranz was essentially the best starting pitcher on the Red Sox’ roster not named Chris Sale.

2018 was a different story for the Tennessee native though, as he dealt with a left forearm flexor strain and left biceps tendinitis and could never really find his rhythm as a starter or out of the bullpen.

Still, Pomeranz made his way to the Red Sox’ World Series roster, and although he never appeared in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, he was available in case he was needed.

Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said in a conference call Wednesday that Pomeranz will be in the team’s starting rotation, meaning he’ll join the likes of fellow southpaws Madison Bumgarner and Derek Holland out in the Bay Area.

As MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo notes, Pomeranz joins Joe Kelly (Dodgers) and Ian Kinsler (Padres) as the only members of the 2018 World Series champion Red Sox to sign elsewhere at the moment. All three have signed deals with National League West clubs.

The Red Sox are scheduled to play the Giants at Fenway Park September 17-19th.

 

JD Martinez is Reportedly ‘Fed Up’ with the #RedSox.

Per Ken Rosenthal, free agent outfielder JD Martinez ‘has become “fed up” with the lack of flexibility on Boston’s part and may prefer playing elsewhere.’ This all came out last night, and it is not a good look on Martinez’s part. Whatever sense of entitlement he’s earned in his playing career, the 30 year-old is using all of it this offseason. Since free agency started, there were rumors that Martinez was looking for a seven-year offer worth around $200 million dollars in total. Last time I checked, the only offer Martinez has available to him right now is a five-year, $125 million dollar offer from the Red Sox.

Right before the World Series ended in November, Martinez left his old agency, RMG Baseball, for super-agent Scott Boras. If you were to look at the top free agents in baseball who have yet to sign with a club, you will notice that a majority of them are indeed Boras clients. The man is known for getting the largest and longest contracts for his clients and he is really putting that to the test this winter.

From the perspective of Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox, I do not take this as bad news. If there are no favorable offers on the table for Martinez now, why would that change as Spring Training begins? I’m not an insider, but I can’t imagine a team who plans on contending in 2018 would sign Martinez to a huge deal in March if they could have done so in January or February. Realistically, the Red Sox have been the most persistent team pursuing Martinez. There have been rumors about the Giants or Blue Jays trying to lure him, but those rumors carry less weight than the Red Sox ones do.

Evaluating the market for Martinez is not even that much of a challenge. There are not many teams out there willing to sign a 30 year-old outfielder with one of the worst gloves in baseball to a deal worth more than $200 million dollars. The fact that there’s still an offer on the table worth more than $120 million dollars is crazy. Why does it matter if there’s an extra two years on it or not? Just take it and show you are worth that deal.

Martinez may be fed up with the Red Sox, but Red Sox fans are beginning to get fed up with him.

Where in The World is Eduardo Nunez?

MLB Free Agency started more than two months ago. The Red Sox entered this period with 12 free agents total. So far, only one has been retained, Mitch Moreland, while two have left for other clubs, Doug Fister and Addison Reed. Out of the nine free agents left, I would say Eduardo Nunez is the best player available. With that in mind, there have been zero rumors about a return. In fact, there have been no concrete rumors at all, just speculation about what team could use Nunez the most. When he was acquired from the San Francisco Giants back in July, it looked like there was interest in a reunion in the winter. But with the acquisition of Evan Longoria, the Giants are no longer in need of a third baseman, or any starting infielder for that matter, considering their infield now consists of Brandon Belt, Joe Panik, Brandon Crawford, and Evan Longoria. I don’t want to rule out Nunez resigning with the Giants, but I find it highly unlikely given the fact the left side of their infield is borderline great.

Back to the Red Sox perspective on all this, I would be interested in finding out how much Dave Dombrowski has engaged in talks with Nunez’s agent. Nothing has been leaked, which is a surprise considering how good Nunez was with the Red Sox. Health may be a concern, but he’s still a quality infielder to have on your 25-man roster, especially if Dustin Pedroia is going to miss time in April/May. I also have faith in Marco Hernandez and Tzu-Wei Lin if their services are required, but a veteran presence like Nunez is not a bad option either.

Farewell, Evan Longoria. The #RedSox Will Not Miss You, but I Will.

In case you missed it, Evan Longoria got traded to the San Francisco Giants earlier today.

The 32 year-old third baseman had spent his entire career up to this point with the Tampa Bay Rays. For the Red Sox, this trade is good news. Longoria has been a thorn in the Red Sox’s side since he got called up in 2008. In 171 career games, Longoria has a OPS of .854 and a BABIP of .319 to go along with 31 long balls. This may seem odd coming from a Red Sox fan, but I am going to miss watching Longoria play more often. Outside of the Red Sox, I would say Longoria is my second favorite player to watch, only behind Josh Donaldson. I respect his game and the way he has handled things in different stages of his career. It just so happens to be that I am a bit of a Giants fan too (I started paying more attention last season), so I look forward to seeing what he can do for the Giants. This move also puts ex-Red Sox, current Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval in quite the predicament, so there’s that.

Anyway, thanks for making some bad Rays teams worth watching Evan, see you back against the Red Sox in 2019.