Red Sox

Notes: Sox sign Albers, minor leaguers; trade Patterson

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Notes: Sox sign Albers, minor leaguers; trade Patterson

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

Bobby Jenks wasn't the only transaction for the Red Sox Thursday -- just the biggest name for the biggest money.

The team also announced the signing of one other major-league reliever, completed a deal from earlier this month, and agreed to terms with six minor-league free agents.

Boston signed Matt Albers to a one-year, non-guaranteed deal for 875,000. Albers pitched for Baltimore the last three seasons, appearing in 62 games while compiling a 4.52 ERA. He also pitched for the Orioles in 2008 and 2009, having come over from Houston as part of the trade for Miguel Tejada.

Albers will compete for one of two remaining bullpen spots. Albers is a sinker-slider type who gets lots of ground balls.

The Sox added six minor-league free agents, including four lefties: Rich Hill, Andrew Miller, Randy Williams and Lenny DiNardo.

All but Williams have some previous history with the Sox.

Hill pitched part of last season at Pawtucket, then was promoted to the big-league team in September. Hill actually had a deal in place weeks ago with the Sox, but it wasn't formally announced because the Sox would have had to expose him to the Rule V draft, held last week at the conclusion of the Winter Meetings in Orlando.

Miller was obtained in a trade with Florida last month, but when the two sides couldn't reach agreement on a deal, was non-tendered earlier this month. By signing a minor-league deal, the Sox could potentially have Miller start the season at Pawtucket to work through some of the mechanical and command issues he's battled without exposing him to waivers.

DiNardo pitched for the Red Sox for parts of three seasons from 2004 through 2006.

Williams pitched in 27 games for the Chicago White Sox last season and has pitched for Seattle, San Diego and Colorado in his career.

The Sox also signed Clevelan Santeliz, who spent the last six seasons in the White Sox' minor-league system.

Hill, Miller, Williams and Santeliz were given invitations to spring training.

Finally, the Red Sox signed former outfielder Ryan Harvey to a minor-league deal with the intention of converting him to the mound. Harvey was the No. 6 overall pick of the Chicago Cubs in 2003, but never got above Double A while the Cubs, and more recently, the Colorado Rockies.

The Sox officially closed out the Adrian Gonzalez trade when they sent utilityman Eric Patterson as the player to be named later, joining prospects Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo and Reymond Fuentes.

Patterson hit .226 with two homers and seven RBI in 45 games with the Red Sox last season. He was obtained from Oakland on the final weekend of June when the Sox were struck by a rash of injuries.

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

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.