Red Sox

Pedroia: Didn't need a survey to know I'm sexy

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Pedroia: Didn't need a survey to know I'm sexy

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- In Terry Franconas new book, it was revealed that a marketing survey found Red Sox fans wanted more sexy players, using Dustin Pedroia as an example.

The diminutive yet feisty second basemans reaction to the news that he was found to be sexy?

They didnt need a damn marketing team, Pedroia said. I could have told them that for free.

Pedroia, standing in front of his locker at the teams spring training complex Tuesday morning, could be light-hearted about something he already believed to be true. But, he turned serious when asked what the Sox have to do to improve on their dreadful 2012 season?

We got to do everything better than we did last year, he said.

Last season was difficult. We had a tough time. We lost a lot of games. So I think everybodys motivated to make sure that doesnt happen again.

We got in a lot of new guys. I think a lot of guys are excited. So theres going to be a lot of different things going on. Everyones just got to do what they do. Dont try to do too much.

With a quarter of the players on the 40-man roster new to the organization this season, there were plenty of new guys in the clubhouse. With the way last season went, it may be a good thing to have so many new faces.

I thought the moves were great, Pedroia said. We added a lot of personality to the team. Theres guys that are going to bring a lot of energy to the clubhouse to the team, a lot of positive stuff. And everyones excited for everything.

A lot of the guys, you see them around the game, theyre the guys that are known for loving to play the game. They like tough atmospheres and good places to play. So its going to be fun playing with those guys.

One of the new guys will be his double-play partner Stephen Drew.

Hes a great player and Im looking forward to getting out there with him, taking some ground balls, and getting to know him a little bit, Pedroia.

But perhaps the most important addition to the team is manager John Farrell, who replaces Bobby Valentine who lasted just one season.

Johns awesome, Pedroia said. Everybody got to know him when he was here before as pitching coach from 2007-10. Hes easy to talk to. Obviously when he walk in the room he has that presence that he brings. Its going to be great for us.

Thats one of the things when he was here before. He was always communicating with guys and open about your role. You knew what you were going to do that day and that definitely helps.

But he was adamant that Valentine is not to blame for the Sox awful 2012 season, when they went 69-93, finishing last in the American League East.

None, Pedroia said. He didn't play. Its the players. Bobby didnt go out there and get any hits or make any errors or do any of that. We lost those games. Its on us.

Despite hitting .290 with 15 home runs, 39 doubles, and 60 RBI, Pedroia was hampered by a right thumb strain last season. Hes fully healthy now he said and had no limitations in his off-season workouts.

It was fine, he said. I had like a pin in my pinky for about four weeks and then they just took it out. It was kind of no big deal. And then my thumb and the other finger healed in like a month or six weeks or something.

Last season was the first losing season of his life, Pedroia said. It taught him a lesson.

I dont want it to happen again, he said. Its a lot of frustration. Its not fun coming to the field when youre not winning every day. When you have that feeling that you show up and you know youre going to win, that's the feeling you want.

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.