Red Sox

Farrell: 'Fairly obvious' Kluber was sending a message with pitch to Nunez

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Farrell: 'Fairly obvious' Kluber was sending a message with pitch to Nunez

CLEVELAND — The Indians might have come to the plate in the eighth inning still trailing 1-0 on Wednesday night were it not for Corey Kluber's apparent ego.

Kluber, an amazing pitcher, had none on and two out in the eighth when Brock Holt drew a walk in an excellent at-bat, after Kluber held a 1-2 advantage in the count.

The next batter, Eduardo Nunez, pulled ahead 2-0 before taking a mighty swing at a breaking ball. Nunez fell to one knee and looked rather silly, but Kluber, apparently, thought the swing was insulting. 

The next pitch from Kluber hit Nunez in the left elbow pad. Nunez glanced out at Kluber and walked rather slowly but there were no further developments in terms of animosity. (Chris Sale, who threw behind Manny Machado earlier this year is on the mound for the Red Sox on Thursday.)

“For pinpoint control, I think that was fairly obvious a message,” Sox manager John Farrell said Thursday of the pitch that hit Nunez.

Farrell also said he didn’t think there was an unwritten rule for swinging too hard.

The batter after Nunez, Mookie Betts, made Kluber pay with a single that extended the lead to 2-0. Holt was only in scoring position because Nunez was hit with a pitch. 

Unwritten rules and intentional pitches aren't going anywhere, but the game was too tight and this series too important for Kluber to let bravado take over. 

The score wound up 6-1 because of four Sox runs in the ninth. But in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Indians scored on an Edwin Encarnacion homer — a home run that theoretically could have tied the game had Kluber kept the score 1-0 in the eighth.

Nunez told WEEI.com's John Tomase that he did not think the pitch was a message pitch.

“I don't think so," Nunez said. "I think they're really good and Kluber's really good. He's too good to think that way. He's one of the best pitchers in the game. I don't think he should think that way.” 

Dodgers send Adrian Gonzalez to Braves, re-acquire Kemp

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Dodgers send Adrian Gonzalez to Braves, re-acquire Kemp

LOS ANGELES - Matt Kemp is returning to the place where he began his major league career, reacquired by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday as part of a five-player trade with the Atlanta Braves that sent former Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from L.A. to Atlanta.

The Dodgers sent Gonzalez, oft-injured starting pitchers Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy, infielder Charlie Culberson and cash to Atlanta for the 33-year-old Kemp. Gonzalez then was designated for assignment by the Braves.

After sitting on the sidelines during the recent winter meetings, the Dodgers moved quickly to dump nearly $50 million in salary committed to Gonzalez, Kazmir and McCarthy for 2018. Kemp is owed about $43 million over the next two seasons. Click here for more

Martinez tells Red Sox he would DH, but others want him as outfielder

Martinez tells Red Sox he would DH, but others want him as outfielder

Free agent slugger J.D. Martinez has told the Red Sox he would DH and play the outfield for them, a baseball source said Friday.  The flipside: teams are offering Martinez a full-time outfield job, and he enjoys playing the outfield.

Martinez, the best bat available via free agency, visited with teams at the winter meetings this week.

Michael Silverman of the Herald wrote Friday that Martinez has been telling teams he prefers to play the outfield, and suggested the Sox will have to pay a bit more to land Martinez.

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“Martinez remains open to being a DH so his preference to play defense regularly does not eliminate the Red Sox from signing Martinez,” Silverman wrote. “It does, however, put them in a position of having to make an aggressive offer that would distance themselves from competing offers where teams can present a corner outfield position. 

“Just what defines aggressive is something only Martinez and his agent Scott Boras will ultimately determine.”

The market could start to move a bit now, although that doesn’t mean anything is necessarily imminent. Another baseball source on Friday night noted that the market has started to thaw with Carlos Santana off the board. He agreed to a three-year, $60 million deal with the Phillies.

The Red Sox made an offer for Santana, but the offer made clear that Santana was not their primary choice. In other words, it wasn't close to what Santana ended up with.

A scenario in which Jackie Bradley Jr. is traded to make room for Martinez in the outfield seems reasonable, even if the Red Sox and Boras, who represents Bradley, have both downplayed that possibility.

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