Red Sox’ Masataka Yoshida, Yu Chang named to All-World Baseball Classic team

Two members of the Red Sox were named to the 2023 All-World Baseball Classic team after the tournament came to a thrilling end in Miami on Tuesday night.

Shortly after Japan defeated the United States, 3-1, in dramatic fashion to cap off an undefeated run and take home its third WBC title, Red Sox outfielder Masataka Yoshida and infielder Yu Chang were both recognized for what they did for their respective countries.

Yoshida, representing Samurai Japan, was among the tournament’s top offensive performers. The left-handed hitter batted a stout .409/.531/.727 with one double, two home runs, a WBC-record 13 RBIs, five runs scored, four walks, and just one strikeout in seven games spanning 32 trips to the plate.

Were it not for Shohei Ohtani’s heroic efforts in Tuesday’s championship game, Yoshida very well could have been named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Most notably, the 29-year-old came through with a clutch, game-tying three-run homer in the seventh inning of Monday’s 6-5 semifinal win over Mexico. He also threw out a runner at home plate the following half-inning.

Though he went hitless on Tuesday, it was still an encouraging two weeks for Yoshida, who the Red Sox signed to a five-year, $90 million deal back in December. The Fukui native is expected to bat cleanup for Boston this season and is an early favorite to be in consideration for American League Rookie of the Year.

Chang, meanwhile, made headlines earlier in the tournament thanks to his performance in pool play. Representing Chinese Taipei, the Taiwan native went 7-for-16 (.438) at the plate with two doubles, two home runs, eight RBIs, five runs scored, two walks, and two strikeouts in four games. One of those homers was a game-tying two-run shot against Italy and the other was a grand slam against the Netherlands.

Despite the fact that Chinese Taipei failed to advance to the quarterfinals, Chang was still named MVP of his pool (Pool A) for his efforts. The versatile 27-year-old is back with the Red Sox after signing a one-year, $850,000 contract with the club last month. He is expected to be part of Boston’s infield mix as a bench option while Trevor Story (right elbow surgery) and Adalberto Mondesi (left ACL rehab) are sidelined to start the season.

Yoshida rejoined the Red Sox in Fort Myers on Wednesday and will make his return to the lineup on Friday, per’s Ian Browne. Chang, on the other hand, has been delayed by visa issues and is slated to report to camp on Thursday.

(Picture of Masataka Yoshida: Eric Espada/Getty Images)


Red Sox’ Yu Chang named MVP of Pool A in World Baseball Classic

Red Sox infielder Yu Chang has been named MVP of Pool A in the World Baseball Classic.

Chang, a native of Taiwan, batted .438 (7-for-16) with two doubles, two home runs, eight RBIs, five runs scored, two walks, and two strikeouts in four games for Chinese Taipei during the opening round of the tournament.

Playing in his own country, Chang came through in the clutch on multiple occasions this past week. On Friday, the right-handed hitter clubbed a then-game-tying, two-run home run in the sixth inning of an 11-7 win over Italy. The following day, he crushed a 410-foot grand slam in the second inning of a 9-5 victory over the Netherlands.

Despite winning both of those games, Chinese Taipei still fell short of advancing to the quarterfinals due to a complicated five-way tie in Pool A that will see Cuba and Italy move on to Tokyo instead.

Since has team has been eliminated from the WBC, Chang will now travel stateside to report to Red Sox camp in Fort Myers. The 27-year-old signed a one-year, $850,000 contract with Boston last month and will have the chance to earn more in additional performance bonuses as well.

The Red Sox originally claimed Chang off waivers from the Rays in September. He appeared in 11 games for the club down the stretch and slashed .150/.346/.250 with two doubles, one RBI, three runs scored, five walks, and seven strikeouts across 26 trips to the plate before being non-tendered in November.

With Trevor Story (right elbow surgery) and Adalberto Mondesi (ACL rehab) slated to miss the start of the season, the Red Sox elected to bring Chang back in an effort to bolster their infield depth. Chang, who is listed at 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds, has seen playing time at all four infield positions since first breaking in with Cleveland in 2019.

“His defense was good. He put good at-bats but defensively, he’s solid,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of Chang earlier this spring. “You can move him around. Good athlete. He put together competitive at-bats but I think his defense is what separates him from the others.

Chang, who turns 28 in August, is out of minor-league options, so he will need to stick on the major-league roster this season if the Red Sox do not intend on exposing him to waivers at any point. He could have a somewhat significant role within the infield mix while Story and Mondesi are sidelined.

(Picture of Yu Chang: Yung Chuan Yang/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Rafael Devers will not play first base for Dominican Republic in World Baseball Classic

The Red Sox do not want third baseman Rafael Devers playing out of position at the World Baseball Classic.

As was first reported by Enrique Rojas of ESPN, the Dominican Republic recently reached out to the Red Sox about using Devers at first base in the upcoming tournament.

With Vladimir Guerrero Jr. dropping out of the WBC due to a right knee injury and Juan Soto dealing with left calf tightness, the Dominican Republic had a plan to slide Devers over to first and slot Soto in at designated hitter in an effort to keep him off his feet.

Before that plan was put into place, though, the Red Sox dumped cold water on it. According to Rojas, manager Alex Cora reached out to his Dominican counterpart, Rodney Linares, on Wednesday to explain why Boston rejected the national team’s proposal. Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom was also involved in the conversation.

“We made a big investment with Raffy and for us in the organization, it doesn’t make sense for him to play first base,” Cora said (in Spanish). “Raffy called me to talk about it and he understands our position.”

The Red Sox, of course, signed Devers to a 10-year, $313.5 million contract extension back in January that runs through the 2033 season. In terms of number of years and total value, it is the largest contract the club has ever given out in its storied history.

Since first signing with Boston as an international free agent coming out the Dominican in August 2013, Devers has never played first base at any level professionally. The Red Sox do not want the 26-year-old learning a new position on the fly while he is away from the team.

“It’s something that doesn’t make sense to us,” Cora told reporters (including The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham) on Thursday. “I know [some Dominican players] got hurt, but there’s a reason the people who got hurt aren’t playing, right? We have to protect our guy and they understand that.”

Because Manny Machado is penciled in as the Dominican Republic’s starting third baseman, Devers could find himself starting games on the bench if Soto is the primary designated hitter.

“When you have good players, you have to make tough decisions. Raffy’s on board,” said Cora. “He’s just happy to be part of the team and ready to contribute whenever they put his name in the lineup. But it’s not going to be at first base.”

Devers, who is playing in his first WBC, came off the bench as a defensive replacement in Thursday’s exhibition game against the Twins in Fort Myers. The left-handed hitter went 0-for-1 with a groundout in the eighth inning of a 2-1 loss.

The Dominican Republic will open pool play against Venezuela at loanDepot Park in Miami on Saturday night. They will also take on Nicaragua, Israel, and Puerto Rico and will need to finish first or second in their group in order to advance to the quarterfinal.

(Picture of Rafael Devers: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Joely Rodríguez strikes out side in spring debut as Red Sox best Team Puerto Rico, 9-3

The Red Sox changed things up at JetBlue Park on Wednesday night by hosting Team Puerto Rico in an exhibition game ahead of the World Baseball Classic. Playing under the lights and in front of a boisterous crowd of 8,715, Boston defeated Team Puerto Rico by a final score of 9-3.

Matched up against veteran starter Hector Santiago to begin things on Wednesday, the Sox drew first blood in their half of the first inning. After leading off with a single, moving up to second base on a passed ball, and advancing to third on a groundout, Greg Allen easily scored from third on a two-out RBI single off the bat of Raimel Tapia.

On the other side of things, Brandon Walter made his first start and third overall appearance of the spring for Boston. Going up against an opposing lineup that featured big-leaguers such as Francisco Lindor, Enrique Hernandez, Eddie Rosario, Javier Baez, and Christian Vazquez, the left-hander wound up allowing one earned run on one hit and three walks to go along with two strikeouts over 2 1/3 innings of work.

Walter got through the first and second innings without any trouble by retiring the first six batters he faced. Things began to unravel in the third, when he issued a one-out walk to Nelson Velazquez. Martin Maldonado followed by driving in Velazquez all the way from first on a hard-hit double off the faux Green Monster in left field.

The 26-year-old southpaw gave up two more walks to Lindor and Hernandez before getting the hook from Red Sox manager Alex Cora in favor of Robert Kwiatkowski. Kwiatkowski, in turn, escaped the bases-loaded jam by getting Rosario to ground into an inning-ending 6-3 double play.

Christian Koss, who started that twin killing, led off the bottom of the third with a groundball single off new reliever Dominic Hamel. The 25-year-old shortstop promptly moved up to second on an inadvertent pickoff attempt before taking third on a wild pitch. He then gave Boston a 2-1 lead by scoring from third on a Triston Casas groundout.

After Chris Martin and Kaleb Ort combined for two scoreless frames out of the Red Sox bullpen, Casas collected his second RBI of the night in the bottom of the fifth. Jorge Alfaro had led the inning off by drawing a walk off Duane Underwood Jr. He then moved up to second on a Koss single and to third on an Allen force out before Casas drove him in on a sacrifice fly to make it a 3-1 game.

Joely Rodriguez was responsible for the sixth inning. In what was his spring debut, the 31-year-old lefty struck out Baez, Vazquez, and M.J. Melendez in short order. Fellow offseason Wyatt Mills followed suit in the seventh by working his way around a leadoff double and punching out the side as well.

In the latter half of the seventh, the Red Sox lineup erupted for six runs. Enmanuel Valdez drew a leadoff walk off Emilio Pagan and then scored all the way from first on an RBI triple off the bat of the speedy David Hamilton. Marcus Wilson drew a walk himself and stole second base, which put runners at second and third for Daniel Palka, who plated both runners on a two-run double down the left field line.

Palka then came in to score from second on a Ceddanne Rafaela single that was misplayed by third baseman Emmanuel Rivera. Because of Rivera’s throwing error, Rafaela was able to move into scoring position. At that point, Team Puerto Rico had already run through all the pitchers they wanted to use. To accommodate the opposition, Cora had loaned opposing manager Yadier Molina some of his own pitchers in case they were needed.

So, in came minor-leaguer Jake Thompson to replace Pagan. Thompson, a former fourth-round draft pick out of Oregon State in 2017, immediately surrendered a double to Narciso Crook. The pinch-hitting Matthew Lugo followed by drawing a walk, which filled the bases with only one out in the inning.

Nick Sogard drove in Rafaela with a groundout before Valdez drove in Crook with a single moments later. That sequence of events gave the Red Sox a commanding 9-1 lead heading into the eighth. Team Puerto Rico was able to get one of those runs back, though, as Ryan Sherriff yielded a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to Melendez in the top half of the frame.

Another interesting thing took place in the bottom of the eighth. Lugo, who had already registered a plate appearance with the Red Sox, came on as a defensive replacement at third base for Team Puerto Rico. Lugo, who was born in Manati and is the nephew of former All-Star outfielder Carlos Beltran, did not see any balls hit his way while Jorge Lopez struck out the side.

Casey Cobb, meanwhile, took over for Sherriff in the ninth. He served up a leadoff homer to Velazquez before going up against Lugo, who he fanned on four pitches. He then retired Henry Ramos and Johneshwy Fargas to put the finishing touches on a 9-3 victory for Boston.

Jansen scratched:

Kenley Jansen was scheduled to pitch on Wednesday but was scratched from the Red Sox’ plans as a result of feeling under the weather. He will instead throw an inning on the back fields of the Fenway South Complex in Fort Myers on Thursday.

Other worthwhile observations:

To recap, Lugo played for both the Red Sox and Team Puerto Rico on Wednesday night. Between them, the 21-year-old went 0-for-1 with a walk and strikeout.

Koss, on the other hand, went 2-for-2 with a run scored. He also made a nice play in the hole at shortstop to throw out Rivera at first base for the final out of the fourth inning.

With no pitch clock or shift restrictions in place, Wednesday’s contest took two hours and 56 minutes to complete.

Next up: Pivetta vs. Schmidt

Though Wednesday’s win does not count towards their record, the Red Sox are still unbeaten this spring. They will resume Grapefruit League play by taking on the Yankees in Tampa on Thursday afternoon. Nick Pivetta is slated to take the mound for Boston opposite fellow right-hander Clarke Schmidt for New York.

First pitch from George M. Steinbrenner Field is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN360 and YES Network.

(Picture of Joely Rodriguez: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Alex Verdugo, Jarren Duran team up, bring in mariachi band to perform as part of presentation on Mexico

Red Sox outfielders Alex Verdugo and Jarren Duran will soon be heading out to Arizona to play for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. To mark the occasion, manager Alex Cora instructed the pair to give a presentation on the country to the rest of their teammates on Monday.

As part of that presentation, a five-piece mariachi band performed inside the clubhouse and later on while players stretched and played catch on the field. They even played Verdugo’s walk-up song, “Volver, Volver” by Vicente Fernandez.

Verdugo, whose father Joe is from Mexico, took charge of the assignment. The 26-year-old put together an informational poster board that included facts about the country’s history, the origins of its flag, and some of its most accomplished baseball stars like Fernando Valenzuela and Vinny Castilla.

“It was on, I think Friday, when we got hit with it,” Verdugo told reporters (including’s Ian Browne) on Monday. “AC had a meeting and at the end of it, asked me and Duran to do a presentation on Mexico. I just got the ball rolling and obviously I knew I had to make a poster with some facts on it. But I think the big thing that kind of got everybody excited was having the mariachi band here.”

Verdugo was then asked how one goes about finding a mariachi band in southwest Florida?

“Google. You just Google them and we found them,” Verdugo said of the group, Mariachi Villa de Guadalupe. “They were out of Cape Coral. They were able to drive out here and help me out. It was great. They were great, honestly. I was a little nervous, obviously being in Fort Myers and I was like, ‘I hope they’re good,’ you know what I mean? But they were great and it came out really good.”

Verdugo said he began working on the poster following Sunday’s 7-6 Grapefruit League win over the Rays at JetBlue Park. While most veteran players will head home as soon as they are subbed out during spring games, Verdugo — who played the first five innings on Sunday — remained at the Fenway South complex well into the evening.

“I didn’t leave here until 6 p.m.,” said Verdugo. “I was taking advantage of the printers and everything that they have here. It was hard work, but it felt good and it was rewarding to kind of see the guys, the clubhouse, everybody, just really enjoy it. It was fun.”

Though he certainly does not lack confidence on the field, Verdugo did acknowledge that he felt some angst building up before and during the oral part of the presentation.

“Yeah, I felt so nervous. I don’t usually mind talking in front of the group if it’s all just jokes and fun. But as soon as I had to be a little bit serious, my heart was racing,” he said. “I was more nervous there than I was in the postseason or any type of baseball atmosphere.”

Verdugo, who was acquired from the Dodgers in the infamous Mookie Betts trade three years ago, is preparing for his fourth season with the Red Sox. Despite the fact that he is still two-plus months shy of turning 27, he is already the fourth-longest tenured player on the team behind only Chris Sale, Rafael Devers, and Ryan Brasier.

“Dugie, he’s been here since ’20,” Cora said. “He’s an important part of what we’re trying to accomplish and you see what he’s done physically and where he’s at.”

Duran, meanwhile, undertook a supporting role in the presentation before going 2-for-2 with a double and home run in Monday’s 4-1 win victory over the Twins to kick off the 2023 Chairman’s Cup. Like Verdugo, the 26-year-old Duran’s father, Octavio, hails from Mexico.

“We did our part. [Verdugo] did a lot of the research,” said Duran. “I just had a little acting skit going. I was doing some acting on the side.”

Regarding Duran and the presentation as a whole, Cora remarked: “Obviously Jarren is a kid that we appreciate and we expect a lot from him. And just for them to step up and be [out of their comfort zone] doing this [was good]. They did their research. And it was actually a great day for us in the clubhouse.”

Based on photos posted on the Red Sox’ social media accounts, it appears as though some of the more established veterans on the team, such as Kiké Hernández, Justin Turner, and Corey Kluber, enjoyed the show.

“That’s what it’s all about, right?” Cora said, via The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham. “I know [people] are questioning the clubhouse and leadership and what we’re doing there. We’re going to do stuff to get to where we’re supposed to.”

With Monday’s team-building exercise in the books as a rousing success, Cora indicated that one of the club’s other WBC participants could give a similar kind of presentation some time next week.

“We’ve got a few guys who are going to the tournament,” said Cora. “I’ll probably tell Kiké to do something to talk about Puerto Rico, so we’ll see.”

(Picture of Alex Verdugo and Jarren Duran: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Nick Pivetta won’t pitch for Canada in World Baseball Classic

Red Sox starter Nick Pivetta will not pitch for Canada in the World Baseball Classic, manager Alex Cora told reporters (including’s Chris Cotillo) in Fort Myers, Fla. on Wednesday.

Pivetta was named to Team Canada’s final roster for the upcoming tournament but elected to pull out after consulting with Red Sox officials in recent days. The right-hander had COVID-19 earlier this month, which interrupted his throwing program, and is still dealing with aftereffects from the virus.

“His recovery has been slow,” Cora said. “He has been able to do stuff but not at the pace he was before.”

Pivetta is still expected to be ready for the start of the 2023 season in late March. Because he was slated to pitch in the WBC, the 30-year-old had already started to ramp up earlier than usual over the winter and was ahead of other Red Sox pitchers coming into the spring before getting sick.

“He was supposed to pitch two or three innings over the weekend,” said Cora. “Now, he’ll be here the whole time. We’ll see how it goes in the upcoming days but he should be fine.”

A native of Victoria, Pivetta first pitched in the WBC back in 2017, right before he made his major-league debut for the Phillies. The righty is understandably disappointed that he will not get the opportunity to suit up for his country this time around.

“It’s a really difficult decision,” Pivetta said. “I got the opportunity to play for Team Canada from a very young age. And then I got to play for them in the WBC.  That was really important for me. Unfortunately, I haven’t been recovering the way I like to. 

“The team and I came to an (agreement) and an understanding that I have to focus here and what I need to do here for this team right now,” he added. “It’s unfortunate. I take great pride in playing for that team and playing for that country. Best of luck to those guys.”

After throwing a bullpen session on Monday and not recovering as quickly as he would have liked to, Pivetta and the Red Sox came to an agreement that it would be for the best if he did not pitch in the WBC. He then called Team Canada manager Ernie Whitt to inform him of his decision.

Pivetta has now had COVID three times, and he described this most-recent bout as being “way worse” than the previous two.

“I had the flu pretty bad. I had a lot of body aches,” said Pivetta. “And just the science behind having COVID, what’s gone on, inflammation rates, guys getting injured after getting COVID, I think all of those things are factors that I have to take into (account) for me and for the team, too.”

Pivetta is one of seven starters competing for five rotation spots in camp alongside Chris Sale, Corey Kluber, Brayan Bello, Garrett Whitlock, James Paxton, and Tanner Houck. He is coming off a 2022 campaign in which he led the club in both games started (33) and innings pitched (179 2/3) while posting a 4.56 ERA and 4.42 FIP with 175 strikeouts to 73 walks.

“It’s all good,” Pivetta said. “I’m focused on what I need to do for 2023 with the team, that’s where I can kind of push it and that’s where I kind of put my focus and just forget about everything else.”

Since Pivetta is off Canada’s roster, the Red Sox now have 12 players who are expected to participate in the WBC, including Rafael Devers (Dominican Republic), Masataka Yoshida (Japan), Enrique Hernandez (Puerto Rico), Richard Bleier (Israel), and Jarren Duran and Alex Verdugo (Mexico).

Closer Kenley Jansen is in Team Netherlands’ designated player pool, meaning he could join them if they advance to the semifinal in Miami next month. Infielder Yu Chang, who signed a one-year deal with Boston last week, is also on Team Chinese Taipei’s roster.

(Picture of Nick Pivetta: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Rafael Devers, Masataka Yoshida among 12 Red Sox players who will take part in 2023 World Baseball Classic

The Red Sox will have 12 major- and minor-leaguers representing their respective countries/territories in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, which gets underway next month.

Rafael Devers (Dominican Republic), Masataka Yoshida (Japan), Enrique Hernandez (Puerto Rico), Alex Verdugo and Jarren Duran (Mexico), Nick Pivetta (Canada), Richard Bleier (Israel) and Kenley Jansen (Netherlands) make up 20 percent of Boston’s current 40-man roster.

Jansen, who signed a two-year, $32 million deal with the Red Sox in December, is on Netherlands’ roster but only as a member of their designated pitcher pool, meaning the veteran reliever will not be eligible to join the team during pool play.

Ceddanne Rafaela, one of the top prospects in Boston’s farm system, was expected to play for the Netherlands, but the 22-year-old out of Curacao was instead omitted from the team’s final roster.

Trevor Story originally committed to play for the United States last July but took himself out of consideration for a roster spot by undergoing an internal bracing procedure on his right elbow last month. As a result, the Red Sox have no representation on Team USA. It should be noted that while both Verdugo and Duran were born in the United States, they are of Mexican-American descent.

Turning to the minor-league side of things, Jorge Alfaro and Rio Gomez will both play for Colombia. Alfaro signed a minors pact with the Red Sox last month and received an invite to big-league spring training. Gomez, on the other hand has been in the organization since being taken in the 36th round of the 2017 amateur draft out of the University of Arizona.

Edwin Diaz will join Hernandez in representing Puerto Rico after signing a minor-league deal with Boston in January. The 27-year-old infielder had been playing for Puerto Rico in the Caribbean Series before they were eliminated by Mexico on Wednesday.

Norwith Gudino is the Sox’ lone representative from Venezuela. The 27-year-old right-hander inked a minor-league contract with the Red Sox in December and — in similar fashion to Jansen — is part of his country’s player pool.

The 2023 World Baseball Classic begins on March 8. Pool play runs through March 15 and the quarterfinals take place from March 15-18. The semifinals run from March 19-20 and the championship game will be held at loanDepot Park in Miami on March 21.

Before that all happens, the Red Sox will take on Puerto Rico in an exhibition game at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers on March 8. Team Puerto Rico will also train at the Fenway South complex prior to the start of the tournament.

(Picture of Rafael Devers: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Trevor Story to play for Team USA in 2023 World Baseball Classic

Trevor Story will represent the Red Sox and the United States in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, USA Baseball announced on Monday.

Joining a team that is captained by Angels superstar Mike Trout, Story is slated to play in the World Baseball Classic for the first time in his career. The Texas native did not suit up for Team USA in 2017 and the 2021 WBC was postponed until 2023 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Story, 29, is in the first year of the six-year, $140 million deal he signed with the Red Sox back in March. The right-handed hitting infielder is currently batting .221/.289/.423 with 17 doubles, 15 home runs, 58 RBIs, 49 runs scored, 10 stolen bases, 28 walks, and 105 strikeouts over 81 games (342 plate appearances) this season. He has not played since July 12 because of a right hand contusion.

After spending the first six years of his big-league career as the Colorado Rockies’ everyday shortstop, Story has emerged as a Gold Glove-caliber second baseman thus far in Boston. Coming into play on Monday, the 6-foot-2, 213-pounder ranked first among qualified second baseman in defensive runs saved (8) and second in outs above average (9), per FanGraphs.

Given his experience up the middle, Story could serve as Team USA’s starting second baseman or shortstop next spring. Those responsibilities fell to Ian Kinsler and Brandon Crawford when the United States last won the World Baseball Classic in March 2017.

This time around, Team USA will open group play at Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz. next March. They will compete against Canada, Colombia, Mexico, and another country that has yet to qualify. The championship game will then take place at loanDepot Park in Miami on March 21.

In addition to the United States, the Netherlands will also compete in the upcoming WBC. Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts — a native of Aruba — played for the Netherlands in 2013 and 2017. It remains to be seen if he will do so again in 2023.

(Picture of Trevor Story: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox, utilityman Kiké Hernández agree to multi-year deal, per report

The Red Sox and free-agent utilityman Enrique Hernandez have reached agreement on a multi-year deal, according to’s Mark Feinsand.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal adds that Hernandez’s new contract with Boston is good for $14 million over two years. It also includes deferrals and is pending a physical.

Hernandez, 29, had spent the previous six seasons with the Dodgers, most recently slashing a modest .230/.270/.410 to go along with five home runs and 20 RBI over 48 games played in 2020.

He also put together a decent postseason for Los Angeles en route to their first World Series title since 1988 by posting a .755 OPS across 15 games and 31 plate appearances this past October.

A right-handed hitter and right-handed thrower, Hernandez has proven to be quite the versatile player in his tenure with the Dodgers, seeing playing time all around the infield, outfield, and even the pitcher’s mound (one appearance in 2018).

Going back to last season, Los Angeles deployed the Puerto Rican at second base 27 times, in right field seven times, in left field four times, in center field three times, and at first base and shortstop two times each.

Based off these totals, one might assume Hernandez’s best position defensively is second base, which in this case is true.

Per FanGraphs, the 5-foot-11, 190 lb. infielder/outfielder played 220 1/3 innings at second base in 2020. In those 220 1/3 innings, he was worth positive-8 defensive runs saved despite posting a negative-2.6 ultimate zone rating.

Going into the offseason, the Red Sox sought out to address their second base issues coming off a 2020 season in which that particular position group  put up an American League-worst .586 OPS and league-worst wRC+ of 55.

The addition of Hernandez, who by no means is an offensive superstar, might not be too appealing on the surface, but this is really a solid pickup for the Sox.

That being the case because when they don’t need him to play second base, the club could start him at a bevy of other positions, including all three spots in the outfield if necessary.

As an added bonus, which the Red Sox likely took into consideration here, Hernandez owns a lifetime wRC+ of 120 in 893 career plate appearances against left-handed pitching.

That attribute could very well come in handy if Hernandez was to be used a platoon option with Andrew Benintendi in left field, assuming Benintendi is still on the team by Opening Day.

Of course, given his connections to Puerto Rico, Hernandez should be familiar with Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who, as Team Puerto Rico’s general manager for the 2017 World Baseball Classic, picked the former sixth-round draft pick to play for his home island’s team.

In signing Hernandez to a two-year deal, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. have now added four free-agents (Hernandez, Martin Perez, Matt Andriese, Hunter Renfroe) on major-league contracts so far this winter.

Of that group, Hernandez is the first to get a deal with a guaranteed second year as opposed to a club option.

(Picture of Enrique Hernandez: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Red Sox manager Alex Cora hints at team’s interest in free-agent outfielder Eddie Rosario

The Minnesota Twins non-tendered Eddie Rosario last Wednesday. It took all of a day for the free-agent outfielder to be linked to the Red Sox.

Rosario, 29, hails from Puerto Rico and is close with Sox manager Alex Cora, who served as Rosario’s general manager for Team Puerto Rico during the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

Because he was projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn approximately $9.6 million in his third and final year of arbitration eligibility in 2021, Rosario was ultimately let go by Minnesota, thus making him a free agent earlier than expected.

Having finished in the top-20 in American League MVP voting each of the last two seasons, Rosario being cut came as somewhat of a surprise. The former fourth-round draft pick had just put the finishing touches on a 2020 campaign in which he slashed .257/.316/.476 with 13 home runs and 42 RBI over 57 games and 231 plate appearances. That’s good for an OPS+ of 115 and a wRC+ of 110.

Cora was one of those in the game who were caught off guard by the Twins’ decision to let Rosario go. He said as much when speaking to Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Dia earlier Monday afternoon.

“As a friend, I was surprised by what happened to Eddie last week,” Cora said (in Spanish). “As a baseball man, we will see what happens in the future. Eddie is a complete player, who still has room to keep improving. Everyone knows how talented he is.”

Talented as the left-handed hitting Rosario may be, his fit within the Red Sox’ roster does not exactly line up at the moment. That is the case because Boston already has two left-handed hitting outfielders — Andrew Benintendi and Alex Verdugo — on their major-league roster.

On top of that, Rosario is best suited for a corner outfield position defensively, more so left field if he were to regularly play at Fenway Park, meaning one of Benintendi or Verdugo would have to make a move to center or be traded in order to accommodate Rosario.

So, as of now, the odds of a Rosario-Cora reunion of sorts happening seems low, especially when you consider what the Sox should be prioritizing this offseason: starting pitching and bullpen help.

That said, if the opportunity arises and there is a way Rosario would fit on this roster, it would not be surprising to see Boston explore that avenue at some point this winter.

“What we are going to do for everything we do is be smart and opportunistic,” Cora said of his team’s offseason approach. “And this market is perfect for being opportunistic.”