Red Sox

Buchholz: Got to tip your cap to Masterson

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Buchholz: Got to tip your cap to Masterson

By MaureenMullen
CSNNE.com

CLEVELAND In his last two starts, Clay Buchholz has pitched 14 13 innings, giving up just two runs on eight hits and two walks with 10 strikeouts. And he has nothing to show for it.

At least in his previous start, May 18 against the Tigers, the Red Sox won the game; they pushed across the winning run after he'd departed. On Monday night, though, there was no luck.

Buchholz left after 7 13 innings with a 2-1 lead and the tying run on second base. Daniel Bard, who had been so steady until a recent rough patch, retired his first batter, then gave up consecutive run-scoring hits to let the Indians take the lead.

Thats why its hard to read into wins and losses as a pitcher, Buchholz said, acknowledging some frustration. Because you can go out there and give up six runs and still win a game. So its tough to read that. But, yeah, feel like when you go out there and throw the ball well you get results but it doesnt always happen like that.

In his previous start, Buchholz threw a career-high 127 pitches. He threw 94 Monday (with 55 strikes), giving him 331 for his last three starts, one above the 330-threshold the Sox prefer.

I told pitching coach Curt Young before the game . . . the last thing I want to do is make Buck work hard in his last inning, said manager Terry Francona. And that's right what we were getting to. He pitched great and its a shame, but we got to take care of him. And I think hes smart enough to know that. The results werent what we were looking for. He pitched his heart out, just, like I said, didnt want him to work. Thats what would be taxing.

In five starts in May, Buchholz is 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA, giving up six earned runs in 33 innings. He would like to have stayed in to finish the inning. But he realized the situation.

Yeah, Id like to stay in, Buchholz said. But Daniel, hes bailed me out way too many times before not to have confidence in him. So one of those nights. They got a lot of good hitters on that team. Took some good swings. Just a matter of time.

Working against the American Leagues most potent offense first in team average at .266, second in slugging and on-base percentage at .426 and .336, respectively Buchholz could take some consolation in his performance.

That's why their record is what it is, he said. They swing the bats. They pitch well. Indians starter Justin Masterson did a good job tonight, too. You give up two runs you expect to win if you pitch seven, eight innings. Thats just the way it goes sometimes. Came up against another good guy that threw the ball well tonight. You got to tip your cap sometimes.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen

Report: Ex-Red Sox reliever Reed gets deal with Twins

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Report: Ex-Red Sox reliever Reed gets deal with Twins

He was dubbed "Closer B" by Red Sox manager John Farrell when acquired at the trade deadline last summer, now Addison Reed is "Closer B Gone"...to the Twins.

The right-handed reliever, 29, has agreed to a two-year, $16.75 million free-agent deal with Minnesota, pending a physical, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and TheAthletic.com reports. 

Reed began last season with the Mets and had 19 saves and a 2.57 ERA before being traded to the Red Sox, where he had a 3.33 ERA in 29 games (27 innings) without a save as a setup man for Craig Kimbrell.  
 

Red Sox, Mookie Betts far apart on salary and heading toward arbitration

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Red Sox, Mookie Betts far apart on salary and heading toward arbitration

The Red Sox and star right fielder Mookie Betts intend to go to an arbitration hearing in February, and there were signs this was coming even a year ago.

Betts was the only arbitration-eligible player on the Red Sox who did not settle on a contract with the team on Friday, when a deadline arrived for all teams and arbitration-eligible players to exchange 2018 salary figures. Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts and Drew Pomeranz were the biggest names to avoid hearings.

Betts filed for a $10.5 million salary and the Red Sox filed at $7.5 million.  Betts and the Red Sox agreed previously that if no figure could be settled on by the Friday deadline, they would proceed to a hearing, assistant general manager Brian O'Halloran said. 

A three-person panel of arbitrators therefore is set to determine what Betts makes in 2018: either the $7.5 million figure the Sox filed or the $10.5 million figure Betts' camp submitted. The arbitrators won't settle on a midpoint for the parties. 

O'Halloran noted to the Globe there are no hard feelings involved.

Nonetheless, such a large gap would seem to provide incentive to settle. The parties technically could still decide to do so, but that would take a change of course from the present plan. The idea was to settle any time before Friday, and they did not. 

Betts is asking for near-record money for a first-year arbitration eligible player. Kris Bryant set the record Friday with a $10.85 million settlement.

The hearings can be difficult for player-team relations because teams have to make the case in front of the player that he is worth less money than he wants.

Betts, 25, hit .264, with 24 homers, 102 RBI, 25 stolen bases and a .803 OPS in 2017, numbers that fell from his American League MVP runner-up performance in 2016, but were nonetheless very strong and coupled with first-rate defense.

This offseason is Betts' first of arbitration eligibility. In the first three years of service time in a players' career, there's no recourse if you don't like the salary a team is offering. Teams can pay players anything at league minimum or above. 

The only option a player has in those first three years is to make a stand on principle: you can force the team to technically "renew" your salary, which notes to everyone that you did not agree to the salary. Betts and his agents did that in 2017 when the Sox paid him $950,000, a very high amount relative to most contract renewals.

Some of the standard thinking behind forcing a team to renew a contract is that if an arbitration case comes up down the road — and one now looms for Betts — it's supposed to show the arbitrators that the player felt even in seasons past, he was underpaid.

Still, the Sox may have effectively combatted that perception by paying Betts almost $1 million on a renewal. Per USA Today, that $950,000 agreement in 2017 was "the second-highest one-year deal ever for a non-arbitration-eligible player with two-plus years of big league service." Mike Trout got $1 million in 2014.