Red Sox

Red Sox get over .500 mark for first time, beat Tigers, 6-3

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Red Sox get over .500 mark for first time, beat Tigers, 6-3

It took the Red Sox 49 games, but finally, they're over .500 for the first time this season. Strangely enough, they did it by beating Justin Verlander.

In their six previous tries to get over the break-even mark, the Sox had lost every time -- until Tuesday night.

The Sox pounded out 10 hits and scored five runs off the reigning American League MVP and Cy Young Award winner for a 6-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers, giving them a winning record of 25-24.

David Ortiz drove in two runs with two doubles and a home run, while Daniel Nava had a bases-clearing double to lead the Sox to the win.

Daniel Bard allowed two runs -- both on solo homers over 5 13 innings. He evened his record at 5-5 with his second straight win and third in his last four starts.

Bobby Valentine nearly emptied his bullpen, using five relievers to get the final 11 outs, with Alfredo Aceves, who had given up homers in each of his last two outings, notching his 12th save.

STAR OF THE GAME: David Ortiz
Ortiz smacked two doubles and a homer and drove in two runs and scored twice.

Ortiz doubled to lead off the second and scored on a fielder's choice. In the fifth, with Adrian Gonzalez on first, he doubled him home before being thrown out attempting a triple. Finally, he hit an opposite-field line drive into the Monster Seats in the seventh for his 11th homer of the year.
HONORABLE MENTION: Daniel Nava
With the bases loaded in the fourth, Nava worked a full count off Justin Verlander with the bases loaded. He then sliced a double into the left field corner, and with all three runners going on the 3-and-2 pitch, the bases emptied and the Sox led 4-0.

GOAT OF THE GAME: Justin Verlander
The Detroit ace extended his streak of starts with at least six innings to 53 straight, but this was not his best outing. He allowed 10 hits -- a season high -- and five runs and didn't come out for the seventh inning.

TURNING POINT: Nava's double in the fourth opened up the game for Daniel Bard and gave him some breathing room against Verlander.

BY THE NUMBERS: This is the latest it's taken a Red Sox team to get over .500 since 1996, when the Sox didn't have a winning record until their 131st game.

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.