Red Sox

Nava happy to contribute again

798442.jpg

Nava happy to contribute again

TORONTO -- The 2012 season has been both a revelation and a disappointment for Daniel Nava.

In one sense, he got an opportunity to re-start his career and took full advantage in the first half of the season, showing an ability to get on base and much improved defensive play in the outfield.

But Nava has also twice had his year interrupted with injuries, with two stints on the DL because of a hand issue limiting his playing time.

Friday night, with the season sputtering to a close for the Red Sox, Nava enjoyed a complete game, starring in the field and at the plate in the Red Sox' 8-5 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

In the fifth, with the bases loaded and two out in a tie game, Nava singled to right, scoring two runs and giving the Sox their first lead of the night.

"It's been a while since I've been out there,'' said Nava. "So to get an opportunity to be in that situation and have a count where I was able to get a pitch to do something with, it felt really good. Especially, since the other night (against the Yankees), I had a couple of opportunities and wasn't able to even move the runner over or even get a runner in on a sac fly.

"It was like, 'Gosh, that's how it feels again,' after so long.''

But Nava's biggest contribution of the night came with his glove. The Jays had tied the game on a Brett Lawrie double in the bottom of the eighth and Adam Lind hit a slicing liner to left.

Nava raced over and went into a slide, grabbing the ball inches off the turf. He then scrambled to his feet and made a strong throw to second which nearly doubled up Lawrie.

"Off the gap,'' he said, "I thought it was it was in the gap, so I was heading that way. It kind of came back. Instinctcs took over because I didn't think I was going to have to dive for it. It just happened.''

Nava was angry that his throw to second short-hopped second baseman Mike Aviles, who couldn't hold onto the ball even though the throw beat Lawrie back to the bag.

"I was frustraed with myself because I should have taken into account the (artificial) surface we were playing on,'' said Nava. "It has a little more bounce to it, a little spring, and I think it was a tougher play. It worked out because it meant a lot to keep (Lawrie) from scoring initially, but there's two parts to a play.''

Even though he couldn't record the double play, his teammates were suitably impressed.

"That was awesome,'' gushed catcher Ryan Lavarnway. "Man, that was one of the most spectacular catches I've seen all year. Especially in a tie game...it would have (led) to the go-ahead run. The way things have been going, you don't know what would have happened. I thought it was a game-saving catch.''

Report: Ex-Red Sox reliever Reed gets deal with Twins

red_sox_addison_reed_080317.jpg

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

red-sox-mookie-betts.jpg

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.