Red Sox

Drew focused on healthy, productive 2011

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Drew focused on healthy, productive 2011

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- J.D. Drew, one of the last position players to arrive in camp this week, said his strained hamstring is improving all the time and shouldn't limit him much in camp.

"It's much better over the last couple of weeks,'' said Drew. "Hopefully, no issues there and we can go through camp with no problem. It was a long process for the off-season, trying to get that thing better. But it seems to have finally turned the corner.

"We've tried a bunch of different stuff, but I think we'll straighten in out with stretching and stuff like that. I hadn't had any problems with it before until the second half (of last season). Hopefully, that's an issue we don't have to deal with a whole lot down here.

"It's going to be a thing where I kind of take it step-by-step as spring opens up and things get rolling. But for the most part, right now it feels pretty good.''

While Drew may ease into activity to avoid aggravating the hamstring, he plans no major changes in his preparation.

"I think it's always the same old thing -- just trying to fine-tune, get your legs up underneath you and make sure everything is ready to go for April. I had a nice off-season routine going, good workouts. I'm excited to be in camp and ready to go.''

Drew rejoins a restocked roster and overhauled outfield that has new teammate Carl Crawford in left, Jacoby Ellsbury back in center and Mike Cameron relegated to the bench.

But Drew thinks Cameron will still contribute.

"Cam's going to play his usual out there,'' Drew said. "(His) ability to play all over is going to be huge. (Rest) is something every guy is going to need from time to time and for him to fill in for Ellsy or Crawford or me. Tito's been real good with that in the past, finding days when we need them. I'm sure he'll continue to do that.''

While some players set statistical goals befoe each season, Drew takes a more general approach.

"My thing is at-bats, quality at-bats every time I step on the field,'' he said. "If I can control that and do that every time I step on the field, things will be fine.''

He had no explanation for why he struggled so much against lefthanded pitching last season, hitting just .208

"No reason at all,'' he said with a shrug. "I don't have any answers on that one.''

Drew's five-year, 70 million contract expires after this season, but there's no reason to put any added pressure on himself to perform in a walk year.

"Every year is a big year,'' Drew said. "I think you want to go in there and give yourself the best chance to have a great year and help your team. So that's my goal.''

At the start of last season, Drew said he might retire at the end of this year, but he's made no further plans.

"I haven't thought a lot about it,'' he said. "Me and my wife have talked a little bit. More than anything, the (focus) this off season was to get myself healthy and get ready for this season. As the year unfolds, we'll have some more (talk).''

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

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.