Red Sox

Manfred indicates harsh punishment for Red Sox is unlikely

Manfred indicates harsh punishment for Red Sox is unlikely

BOSTON -- Parsing the commissioner’s own words, it sounds like any potential punishment MLB delivers the Red Sox for sign stealing will be measured.

Baseball sources on Wednesday said it was premature to categorize the punishment in a particular way -- heavy-handed, wrist slap, etc. -- but Manfred’s own words on Tuesday at Fenway Park gave some insight into his thinking.

Deterrence for breaking the rules is something Manfred has valued before when rules have been broken in his time as commissioner, and the same is true now. So Manfred has reason to do something more than make a token gesture.

“When I think about punishment, I think you need to think about deterrents,” Manfred said. “I think you need to think about how the violation has affected the play on the field, and I think you need to think about how it's affected the perception of the game publicly. All of those things are something that you have to weigh in terms of trying to get to appropriate discipline.”

At the same time, the commissioner strongly indicated he does not think the Red Sox -- or the Yankees, if they’re in turn found to have taped the Sox for the purpose of gaining an advantage -- should vacate any wins.

“Wins, look, I would say this: Could it happen?” Manfred said. “You know, is there the authority to do that? I think the answer to that, under the major league constitution, is yes. Has it ever happened with this type of allegation? I think the answer is -- I know the answer is -- no. And the reason for that is it's just very hard to know what the actual impact is in any particular game.”

Considering how poorly the Red Sox wound up against the Yankees this year, losing 11 of 19 games, it’d be even harder to see evidence of impact. That wouldn’t eliminate the transgression, of course.

Manfred emphasized how cooperative the Red Sox have been and that no violations were presently ongoing. Add in the fact that sign stealing is a problem Manfred said is usually handled behind closed doors, and it just doesn’t sound like the Sox are about to have their world rocked.

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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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