Red Sox

Notes: Sox interested in Kerry Wood

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Notes: Sox interested in Kerry Wood

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Add Kerry Wood's name to the long list of set-up relievers in which the Sox have some interest, an industry source said.

Wood was not offered salary arbitration by the Yankees and would not require compensation.

The Sox engaged in trade talks with the Cleveland Indians for Wood at the July 31 deadline, but ultimately, the Yankees were prepared to take on more of Wood's remaining salary obligations and they dealt for him.

Wood pitched well for the Yankees and, despite not offering him arbitration, are interested in re-signing him.

On Thursday morning, the Red Sox will take part in the Rule V draft in which players not protected on the 40-man roster are eligible to be taken by other organizations for 50,000.

The players must then remain on the 25-man major league roster for the entire year, or be offered back to their original club at half that price.

Since Theo Epstein became general manager, the Red Sox have obtained Daniel Stern, Lenny DiNardo and Javier Lopez -- among others -- through the Rule V draft.

"We still haven't decided if we're going to take someone or not,'' said Epstein. "But if we do, we have a list of players prioritized for us.''

In recent years, the Sox have tended to concentrate on selecting pitchers over position players, operating on the theory that it's easier to nurse along a young pitcher as the 12th man on the staff than it is to carry a position player.

"That general rule still applies for us, for sure,'' said Epstein.

Among the minor leaguers exposed by the Red Sox include Pawtucket outfielder Bubba Bell and reliever Daniel Turpen, who was obtained in the deal that sent Ramon Ramirez to the San Francisco Giants.

"We'll probably have one player taken at least,'' said Epstein. "But the assessment is we'll probably get those guys back because they won't be ready to make a major league roster for an entire year.''

The Red Sox will be at 39 on their 40-man roster once the Carl Crawford signing is official, so they'll have one spot available.

The Sox met with Andrew Miller here, the pitcher they acquired from Florida before non-tendering last week, making him a free agent.

They are hopeful of re-signing Miller -- without the prospect of salary arbitrtion hanging over them. Since Miller was acquired, he's visited the Red Sox in Boston, been visited by some staff members and had newly-hired pitching coach Curt Young speak with him by phone.

"It's going pretty well,'' said Epstein of the nature of the talks. "We'll continue to talk to him. There's been good dialogue. We're continuing to get to know him and see if it's a good fit for both sides.''

The Boston Globe reported that Miller has also been talking with the San Francisco Giants.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

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MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Major League Baseball will change rules to speed games next year with or without an agreement with the players' association.

Management proposed last offseason to institute a 20-second pitch clock, allow one trip to the mound by a catcher per pitcher each inning and raise the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level at the top of the kneecap. The union didn't agree, and clubs have the right to impose those changes unilaterally for 2018.

Players and MLB have held initial bargaining since summer, and MLB chief legal officer Dan Halem said this week he would like an agreement by mid-January.

"My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players, but if we can't get an agreement we are going to have rule changes in 2018 one way or the other," baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after a quarterly owners' meeting.

Nine-inning games averaged a record 3 hours, 5 minutes during the regular season and 3:29 during the postseason.

Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young

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Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young

Max Scherzer heard his name and thrust his arms in the air, shouting and smiling big before turning to kiss his wife.

Corey Kluber, on the other hand, gulped once and blinked.

Two aces, two different styles - and now another Cy Young Award for each.

The animated Scherzer of the Washington Nationals coasted to his third Cy Young, winning Wednesday for the second straight year in the National League. He breezed past Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, drawing 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Kluber's win was even more of a runaway. The Cleveland Indians ace took 28 first-place votes, easily outpacing Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox for his second AL Cy Young.

Scherzer yelled "yes!" when his award was announced on MLB Network, a reaction in keeping with his expressive reputation. He showed that intensity often this year, whether he was cursing under his breath like a madman during his delivery or demanding - also with expletives - that manager Dusty Baker leave him in the game.

Just a little different than the pitcher they call "Klubot." Kluber was stoic as ever when announced as the AL winner. He swallowed hard but otherwise didn't react, only showing the hint of a smile moments later when answering questions.

Not that he wasn't thrilled.

"Winning a second one maybe, for me personally, kind of validates the first one," Kluber said.

Scherzer's win moves him into rare company. He's the 10th pitcher with at least three Cy Youngs, and among the other nine, only Kershaw and Roger Clemens aren't in the Hall of Fame.

"That's why I'm drinking a lot of champagne tonight," Scherzer said.

Scherzer earned the NL honor last year with Washington and the 2013 American League prize with Detroit.

"This one is special," he said. "When you start talking about winning three times, I can't even comprehend it at this point."

Scherzer was 16-6 with a career-best 2.51 ERA this year. The 33-year-old righty struck out a league-leading 268 for the NL East champion Nationals, and in an era noted for declining pitcher durability, he eclipsed 200 innings for the fifth straight season. He had to overcome a variety of ailments to get there, and Washington's training staff was high on his thank-you list.

"Everybody had a role in keeping me out on the field," he said. "I'm very thankful for all their hard work."

Kershaw has won three NL Cy Youngs and was the last pitcher to win back-to-back. He was 18-4 with a league-best 2.31 ERA and 202 strikeouts. This is his second runner-up finish. Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals finished third.

Kluber missed a month of the season with back pain and still easily won the AL award over Sale and third-place finisher Luis Severino of the New York Yankees. Kluber led the majors with a 2.25 ERA, and his 18 wins tied for the most in baseball. He added to the Cy Young he won with the Indians in 2014 and is the 19th pitcher to win multiple times.

The 31-year-old Kluber was especially dominant down the stretch, closing out the season by going 11-1 to help Cleveland win the AL Central. He and Minnesota's Ervin Santana tied for the major league lead with five complete games - nobody else had more than two. Kluber also led the majors with 8.0 wins above replacement, per baseball-reference.com.

Kluber and Scherzer both had rough outings in the playoffs. Kluber gave up nine runs over two starts in an AL Division Series against the Yankees, and Scherzer blew a save in the decisive Game 5 of an NL Division Series against the Cubs.

Scherzer said he couldn't even watch the League Championship Series, although he did tune in for the World Series.

"That will eat at me this whole offseason," he said.

Voting for the awards was completed before the postseason began.

The final BBWAA honors will come Thursday when the MVP awards are announced in the AL and NL.

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