Red Sox

Notes: Aceves to replace Buchholz vs. Yankees


Notes: Aceves to replace Buchholz vs. Yankees

By Sean McAdam and JoeHaggerty

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Alfredo Aceves, who has pitched well this spring, will face his former teammates Monday night. Aceves will start against the New York Yankees, taking the place of Clay Buchholz.

Buchholz faced the Yanks 10 days ago in Tampa, but the Sox don't want one of their starters facing a division rival twice in spring training.

That gives Aceves a chance to impress. For now, the thinking is to have Aceves start the season in the Pawtucket rotation, offering some depth in case a Red Sox starter is either hurt or ineffective. But Aceves could also open with a spot in the Boston bullpen.

Buchholz is scheduled to throw a simulated game Monday afternoon, tossing 55-60 pitches, covering four or five innings.

"I think it's going to be good,'' said Buchholz. "There are things I can work on without having to feel like I have to do something in a real game. Obviously, there are things you have to work on every time out. But I think it's going to be a better atmosphere for me, to do it there, rather than try to do it in a game. It will be sort of an off-day kind of thing to get where I need to be.''

Buchholz plans to work on his curveball command, which has been off somewhat this spring.

"I've been trying to throw it more for strikes rather than using it as a finish pitch,'' he said. "The feel, spin . . . everything's good. It's more of a release point for me. It's more about command and Monday will be a good day to work on that.''

Felix Doubront, who was shut down earlier in camp with soreness in his left elbow, tossed his second bullpen session of the spring Sunday, though he was limited to mostly fastballs.

"Nothing in terms of pain today when I was throwing,'' reported Doubront. "Let's see tomorrow how I'm feeling.''

Doubront mixed in 5-to-10 changeups at the end of his session, but the real test for the elbow will come when he begins throwing breaking pitches.

"I have to make sure nothing's bothering me when I throw fastballs and changeups first,'' he said. "Maybe the next bullpen I'll try curveballs. That's the test.''

Doubront will have at least two more bullpen sessions before graduating to live batting practice. He estimated that he's probably two weeks from getting into a game.

"I could get ready to pitch in relief pretty fast,'' he said. "But as a starter, I'm going to have to take my time. I'm not ready to start and throw five innings. I'm behind, but I'm better than I was a couple of weeks ago.'' Lars Anderson still knows he has plenty to prove to himself both on and off the field, but getting a taste of the Major Leagues in a callup last September certainly helped in plenty of areas.Anderson isnt the Golden Boy prospect he might have been a couple of seasons ago as he worked his way up the Boston organizational ladder, and he certainly wouldnt appear to be the future at first base for the Sox after the arrival of Adrian Gonzalez last winter.But Anderson still has talent, value and oodles of power as he showed off on Sunday afternoon in Bradenton with a pair of hits including a solo home run in the top of the fourth inning to right field on an 0-and-2 pitch.The two hits and two runs lifted his spring average up to .182, and the fact that Anderson is now showing some spring pop in front of the big league coaching staff is something that Terry Francona noted.Ive seen him hit a couple of home runs now. Ive seen him hit the ball to left-center on a single and then he turns on a ball and hits a home run, said Francona. Thats what he has to do. Hes going to play first base, so youve got to hear some noise. Hes starting to show that.When he first came to spring training three years ago he was a little ill at ease. Hes kind of growing into it. Hes smart enough to know that even though Gonzalez is here -- if he does what hes supposed to do you dont see too many guys that belong in the big leagues that arent there. Things have a way of working out, and he knows he needs to just go out and play.Anderson hit .200 with 4 RBI in 43 plate appearances for the injury-plagued Sox last season, but hes well aware that he still has plenty to learn at the age of 23. The slugger worked hard on his defense in the offseason, and knows that major-league power can be one of the last things to come along in a hitter's development.Its like any spring Ive ever had. One day youre feeling good, the next day you have no idea, and then youre feeling better again the day after that, said Anderson. Springs are always a roller coaster for me. Theres still a newness to it every year, and where youre at individually that particular year.I would say generally, yes being with the Sox last September helped, because you know the routine, the times and you know the ballparks and staff a little bit. But Ive changed so much in a year that its always a different vibe. I think I see the world a little differently with some different ambitions and goals. Im learning a little bit every day. When asked about Adrian Gonzalez proclaiming on Sunday morning at City of Palms Park that he wanted to play all 162 games for the Red Sox this season, Francona didnt seem to have all that much of a protest.I would have no problem with that, said a smiling Francona with a chuckle.

Francona indicated that he thought Gonzalez and Carl Crawford would both be in the lineup Monday against the New York Yankees at City of Palms Park, but that some of the starters would only play a few innings against the Bronx Bombers. If a player is headed to Lakeland against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday afternoon, they wont be in the lineup for very long.Well have a lot of guys playing tomorrow, and theyll just be playing short if theyre in the lineup vs. the Tigers, said Francona. Daisuke Matsuzakas baseball career has been one big adjustment since coming to the Red Sox prior to the 2007 seasons, and that continues with new Boston pitching coach Curt Young. The Sox are convincing Matsuzaka to break up the days when he throws long toss and goes for his side session in an effort to get him into more of a regular routine the rest of the pitching staff observes.Young and Matsuzaka had been talking about throwing his side a day later. With what Matsuzaka has been doing over the course of his career, in Japan, they had the extra day, said Francona. So hed have long toss and then side. Here hes been doing it on the same day. Hes always done it. He was adamant that he would do it. Curts trying to get him where he doesnt do it on the same day. We asked him, Hey, just try it. Thats what were attempting to do. Francona said that he should have a Red Sox Opening Day starter to announce by the end of this week. Jon Lester is the leading candidate.
Sean McAdam can be reached at Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

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


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" 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 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 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.