In what was an already complicated contract valuation attempt, the Brewers weren’t worried about the Red Sox when it came to Eric Thames.
The Sox never made an offer on the Brewers slugger this winter, but did follow him closely.
While the Brewers were aware Thames could go elsewhere, the Sox’ interest was not a factor in their own pursuit, Brewers general manager David Stearns said.
In general, the Brewers didn’t get bogged down trying to price Thames based on other teams’ interest. Coming off dominating seasons in Korea, the Brewers gave Thames three years and $16 million.
“We thought we had an idea what other teams might be pursuing him as well,” Stearns said on the CSNNE Baseball Show Podcast (listen below). “We also knew that there were international teams both in Korea and Japan that were pursuing him quite aggressively. We knew we had a level of competition. Frankly as went through our process, we just determined what we thought was appropriate value. And we understood that there was a chance that we could potentially be outbid. And if that was the case so be it.
“But we tried to stay pretty strict to our own process and understand how we valued the risk. … Certainly, if you had complete information and you knew what other teams’ level of interest was and you knew what they were bidding or proposing for a particular player it would make our jobs a lot easier to determine what an appropriate value is. And you can have those conversations internally and you can try to figure it out, but it’s not an easy thing to predict, and so generally, the safer alternative is to really focus on your own situation and what you think the appropriate value for the player is.”
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.
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.