Red Sox

Monbouquette excited to watch Weiland's debut

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Monbouquette excited to watch Weiland's debut

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON -- Bill Monbouquette, the native of Medford, Mass., who threw a no-hitter for the Red Sox against the White Sox in 1962, was at Fenway Park Sunday morning before the Red Sox first-half finale against the Orioles. Monbo and several other former Sox players were there as part of the teams Alumni Day celebration.

Monboquette, who turns 75 on Aug. 11, pitched for four teams the Sox, Yankees, Tigers, and Giants in his 11- season career, compiling a record of 114-112, with a 3.68 ERA. He was happy to report the stem cell transplant which he underwent almost three years ago has worked to combat the acute myelogenous leukemia he had been battling.

On Sunday, he was looking forward to watching right-hander Kyle Weiland make his major league debut for the Sox.

Im sure hes very, very excited, very nervous, Monbouquette said. But after the first pitch itll be like hes pitching any other time. Thats the way I was.

Monbouquette reflected on his own big league debut July 18, 1958, with the Sox facing the Tigers. He went five innings, giving up five runs (three earned) on seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Monbo wasnt involved in the decision as the Sox won, 11-9, at Fenway Park. But he quickly established his hard-nosed, no-nonsense reputation.

Billy Martin stole home on me that night, Monbouquette said. And the next time up, I flipped him. I really flipped him good. In those days there were no helmets. All I saw was his hat came off and the ball went between his hat and his head. Then the next pitch he popped up and he came running right across the mound, which is a no-no. Well, my glove was loose and I had my fist cocked. And he said he to me, Well, you owed me that, rook. And then I end up being his pitching coach in New York, and I wouldnt wish that on anybody. He was a tough guy to coach for.

But in that first game, they got four or five runs off me. We made two or three errors. Lepcio made a big error.

Of course, infielder Ted Lepcio, who turns 82 on July 28, did not make an error in that game. He just happened to enter the conversation just in time to hear Monbouquette using his name in vain. One ballplayer giving another ballplayer some good-natured grief.

Nice to see some things never change.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http: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.