Red Sox

Dombrowski on trades: Third base 'obvious' for Red Sox to upgrade

Dombrowski on trades: Third base 'obvious' for Red Sox to upgrade

BOSTON — Everyone knows it, but Tuesday, Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski had not publicly acknowledged that third base is a clear area where the Red Sox can upgrade via trade.

Appearing on the telecast's pre-game show in an interview with Tom Caron, Dombrowski said he did not think the Sox were close to a deal.

"But talks take place all the time at this time of year," Dombrowski said when asked generally if a deal was close. "So you have half a dozen per talks today with various clubs and your scouts gathering all types of information. I think we’re open to upgrading ourself any way we possibly can. Third base becomes the obvious because when you look at the rest of the club from a positional player perspective ... [and] mostly from a pitching perspective, there’s not any glaring weaknesses at that point.

"But third base is the one area where we really haven’t come up with the league norm, the league average at this time. So again, we’re open-minded to doing it any way we possibly can. Third base is one area where we could possibly address."

Per, the Red Sox have had the third-worst production at third base in the majors this season, -1.6 wins above replacement. Only Pablo Sandoval's old team, the Giants (-2.1) and the rebuilding Phillies (-2.3) have been worse.

Brock Holt got the start at third base on Tuesday night, batting ninth. A lefty, J.A. Happ, was on the mound, which isn't an ideal matchup for Holt. But Deven Marrero, Holt's platoon partner, was needed to play shortstop because Xander Bogaerts was scratched from the lineup. Bogaerts' right hand is bothering him after he was hit by a pitch on it before the All-Star break.

Dombrowski was not as emphatic about the search bullpen help. But a combination of injuries, recent performance and the lack of a track record for the current cast suggests another arm would help too. 

A baseball source confirmed the Red Sox have been in touch with the Mets about reliever Addison Reed.

"We’re also in this spot where right now we’re stretched a little bit because we’re starting actually seven people [in the rotation], but normally six, because we’re giving Doug [Fister] the start on Thursday to give our starters the extra day after all the innings they pitched the last time," Dombrowski said. "So we’re short one man in the bullpen. Of course, Joe Kelly got hurt, Blaine Boyer got hurt. 

"So we’re feeling a little bit short-handed, but I think when we have all of our people, we’re very strong out there and we’ll just have to analyze it, see if there is a move that can make us better."

As expected, it's Sale, Price and Porcello to start Sox season

As expected, it's Sale, Price and Porcello to start Sox season

New Red Sox manager Alex Cora has announced that, as expected, left-hander Chris Sale will be the Opening Day starter when the Red Sox begin their season nine days from now against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla. David Price will pitch the second game and Rick Porcello the third. 

Cora told reporters in Fort Myers, Fla. that Eduardo Rodriguez would be in the fourth starter's spot if he's ready as he continues to recover from off-season knee surgery and left-hander Brian Johnson is preparing to be the fifth starter for now.

In Price's second Grapefruit League start on Tuesday, he pitched five innings and allowed two runs on three hits, walked one and struck out four in the Red Sox' 12-6 victory over the Pirates. Third baseman Rafael Devers, hitting .349 this spring, hit his third home run of the spring. Andrew Benintendi (.405) had a double and two RBI and first baseman Sam Travis drove in three. 

Sale had a much rougher outing Monday, giving up four runs on five hits, with three walks and six strikeouts in five innings against the Phillies. 



Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Mookie Betts and Aaron Judge are about to go global.

Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy on Monday confirmed the Sox are interested to play the Yankees in London during next year's regular season. Bloomberg reported the clubs are nearing an agreement to play two games there in June 2019. Discussions are indeed taking place, but a deal is not done.

MORE - Sox signal they'll keep Swihart, may trade Marrero or Holt

“We would love to participate in a series in London against the Yankees but this is a decision that MLB and the MLBPA will make," Sox CEO Sam Kennedy said.

Bloomberg reported the games would be played at London Stadium, which was the main facility for the 2012 summer Olympics.

MLB has not played any games in Europe before. The Red Sox have made trips before, including to Japan before the 2008 season.