Red Sox

Red Sox acquire utility man Michael Martinez from Indians

Red Sox acquire utility man Michael Martinez from Indians

If nothing else, the Red Sox have significantly upgraded their depth for second half of the season with two smaller deals in the span of 24 hours.

The Sox obtained veteran infielder Aaron Hill Thursday night in a deal with Milwaukee and added to that depth Friday by obtaining utility man Michael Martinez from Cleveland in exchange for cash.

With Travis Shaw still hobbled by a foul ball off his foot Wednesday, Hill will get his first start for the Red Sox at third base Friday night.

"We felt, to balance out our roster and better equip us to match up against some lefthanders,'' said John Farrell, "we felt like we needed a righthanded bat on the infield. Aaron Hill's a veteran guy who's done it for a number of years. There's some familiarity back to the Toronto days and we're fortunate to be able to add a veteran like Aaron back in the lineup.

"As we looked at ways to improve the bench, versatility is one thing we wanted to maintain. Michael gives you that, with the ability to play all three infield position. He's paid all three outfield positions. He's a guy who can run, a switch-hitter better from the left side of the plate.''

Hill can play third and second well, and could fill in at shortstop. Martinez is similarly flexible, and can play, third, short, second, left, center and right - much like Brock Holt.

Hill will likely platoon with Shaw at third and can give Dustin Pedroia some time off at second. Also, as Farrell noted, the Sox could have the righthanded-hitting Hill play third against some righties and move Shaw to first to give Hanley Ramirez a day off.

Also, should David Ortiz need extended time off because of his feet and heels, the Sox could have Ramirez slide into the DH role and have Shaw at first and Hill at third.

Finally, the presence of another righthanded bat should help the Sox fare better against lefties, against whom they're just 6-11.

Martinez broke in as an infielder, but has learned to play the outfield, too.

He's expected to join the Sox Saturday -- likely sending Bryce Brentz back to Pawtucket.

In recent weeks, the Sox have attempted to compete with a bench of unproven minor leaguers -- Brentz, Deven Marrero, Ryan LaMarre and Marco Hernandez.

What they've done in the last two days is replace two of those with more established major league-proven veterans.

And the versatility may prove particularly important in the second half when the Sox play so many road games and have to endure lots of travel with early-morning arrivals into road cities.

"(Having depth) keeps guys fresh,'' said Farrell, "and travel that's might require a little rotation (in the lineup).''


As expected, it's Sale, Price and Porcello to start Sox season

As expected, it's Sale, Price and Porcello to start Sox season

New Red Sox manager Alex Cora has announced that, as expected, left-hander Chris Sale will be the Opening Day starter when the Red Sox begin their season nine days from now against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla. David Price will pitch the second game and Rick Porcello the third. 

Cora told reporters in Fort Myers, Fla. that Eduardo Rodriguez would be in the fourth starter's spot if he's ready as he continues to recover from off-season knee surgery and left-hander Brian Johnson is preparing to be the fifth starter for now.

In Price's second Grapefruit League start on Tuesday, he pitched five innings and allowed two runs on three hits, walked one and struck out four in the Red Sox' 12-6 victory over the Pirates. Third baseman Rafael Devers, hitting .349 this spring, hit his third home run of the spring. Andrew Benintendi (.405) had a double and two RBI and first baseman Sam Travis drove in three. 

Sale had a much rougher outing Monday, giving up four runs on five hits, with three walks and six strikeouts in five innings against the Phillies. 



Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Mookie Betts and Aaron Judge are about to go global.

Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy on Monday confirmed the Sox are interested to play the Yankees in London during next year's regular season. Bloomberg reported the clubs are nearing an agreement to play two games there in June 2019. Discussions are indeed taking place, but a deal is not done.

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“We would love to participate in a series in London against the Yankees but this is a decision that MLB and the MLBPA will make," Sox CEO Sam Kennedy said.

Bloomberg reported the games would be played at London Stadium, which was the main facility for the 2012 summer Olympics.

MLB has not played any games in Europe before. The Red Sox have made trips before, including to Japan before the 2008 season.