Red Sox

Red Sox Talk: Transcript of McAdam's live chat


Red Sox Talk: Transcript of McAdam's live chat

Earlier today Red Sox insider Sean McAdam took some time to field questions from Red Sox Nation. Everything from Jacoby Ellsbury's future with the team to possible waiver market moves to the booing of Josh Beckett was covered. Take a look at the full transcript below:

Live Chat Moderator:
Hey everyone, thanks for joining us for our live chat with Red Sox insider Sean McAdam. Sean will be joining us shortly but feel free to send your questions in now!

Sean McAdam:
Hi folks, and thanks for joining the chat. Let's get to the questions, shall we?

Comment From Josh
Is there any way the sox resign Jacoby Ellsbury? Jackie Bradley Jr is in the mold of Carl Crawford in every aspect. There are teams that would take a lot of CC contract, Sox could sign Ellsbury for cheaper. He is obviously the better player. Thoughts?

Sean McAdam:
To get Ellsbury extended, the Sox will have to overpay this winter because that's how things work with Scott Boras' clients: he wants his guys to reach free agenncy, to enhance their bargaining power. To prevent that from happening, a premium will have to be paid. And remember this, Boras has alluded to Matt Kemp's eight year, 160 million deal with the Dodgers as the starting point. So, no, I don't see him being re-signed.

Comment From matt from boston
sean, what was the red sox reaction to beckett being booed after leaving the game with an injury. players, coaches, etc.

Sean McAdam:
Didn't talk to a lot of players about it, but Valentine addressed and said, essentially, that when fans realize today that Beckett was indeed injured, they would regret booing him.

Comment From Adam
Any reports as to who the Sox would have rcvd from Texas in that deal?

Sean McAdam:
I saw that there was a report of a "blockbuster'' involving Beckett, Ellsbury and Shppach.'' I thinlk these sort of bigger deals get discussed a lot, with a lot of names going back and forth in various proposals. I don't know who would have been coming back, but I'm guessting that it would have been premium prospects. Texas has two great infield prospects -- 3B Mike Olt and SS Jurickson Profar, but they've been comnsidered pretty much untouchable.

Comment From Wally from Yawkey Way
Is this 4 game winning streak legit or is this team pulling another fast one on us? I can't take the unrest anymore!!!!

Sean McAdam:
Good question, Wally. They've been getting better starting pitching during the run, so that's helped. And it's come against two good teams, so that's encouraging, too. Time will tell. The Sox have insisted that they have a good run in them; let's see if this is the start of it.

Comment From Mike
Nice article on the revamping of the bullpen (again!). 2 Questions: 1. You didn't mention Melancon in your article? Where does he stand and what have we seen from him so far? 2. Will Morales take a turn in the rotation with Beckett dealing with back injuries?

Sean McAdam:
Thanks, Mike. I thought Melancon was gaining Valentine's trust, but he's had a couple of rough outings of late and I see him more as a guy they'll only use when they're behind -- at least for now. As for Morales, he could step in and take Beckett's spot if Beckett has to go on the DL, or he could be used to spot-start, especially against the Yankees.

Comment From matt from boston
sean, let's assume the red sox have a great homestand go like 8-2, 7-3 whatever. will the sox actully consider trying to pick up a starting pitcher through waivers, knowing that it may not fall in their lap. and by the way, if bobby v is waiting for regret from the fans, don't hold your breath.

Sean McAdam:
If they have a good next 10 days, I can see them stepping up their search for a starter, even if it's only a rental. Remember, it's more likely that pitchers with lots of money due them will get through waivers, since teams will be less likely to block those guys out of fear of being stuck with them. Re: the booing. I get it. People are frustrated with Beckett, and though he certainly didn't TRY to get injured, the timing last night couldn't have been worse.

Comment From Walter J fernandez
Sean, what was the idea in trading Lars Anderson for a 27 year old AA pitcher? Anderson will not be Anthony Rizzo, but he can bring some value to the Indians. Good OBP guy, why couldn't they have packaged him with someone to help the major league club as they attempted last year.

Sean McAdam:
I'm not sure that Anderson has much value at this point. He's going to be 25 next month and hasn't shown that he can hit major league pitching. Nor has he shown much power at Triple A. That's a tough profile for a 1BLFDH. I think they moved him as a favor and tried to get someone who could surprise and give them something in return.

Comment From Tim
Can you explain the waiver process? When can a player be put on waivers? How long do teams have to claim him? What RS will be placed on waivers and when?

Sean McAdam:
Tim, the waiver process is incredibly complicated, but I'll try to offer the Cliff Notes version. Teams routinely put mostmany of their players through waivers in August, to give them the flexibility of making late summer deals. It's a common practice to put a bunch at the same time through. Once a player clears, even if it's early in August, he can be dealt at any time, even weeks later. If a player is claimed, the original team has the option of granting the claim -- i.e. allowing the player to go --, pulling him back (to determine interest for deals in the off-season, or try to work out a trade with the claiming team. Teams can claim in reverse order of the standings, within the league. So a player in the A.L. would first be available to MINN or SEA, then the team with the next worst record, and so on. Then, if they clear the A.L. teams, the same process is re-started with NL teams.

Sean McAdam:
Hope that helps

Comment From Dillon, Lowell Mass
Why is Shoppach labeled as valuable? I have not seen much out of him and would rather have Larvarnway back up Salty.

Sean McAdam:
1) He's a good receiver and throws well. 2) He crushes LH pitching. He's not considered an every-day catcher, but with his experience, he certainly has value. I'm surprised the Sox held onto him because it certainly seems like they could get by with combination of Saltalamacchia and Lavarnway. He could still be dealt this month, I suppose.

Comment From Michael Corleone - NYNev
Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in (w 4 straight Ws)! Do you think the Sox will make Ellsbury an offer he can't refuse? If not do they trade him before letting him get to free agency? Is he an "A" free agent that would net the Sox some nice prospects from the team that signs him?

Sean McAdam:
I believe the Red Sox will make sort of attempt to extend him this winter and I expect Boras to reject it. At that point, I think they'll attempt to trade him this winter. If he's dealt before the start of next season, the team that gets him can recoup a draft pick if he signs elsewhere. As for the Type A system, that's gone. Now, teams have to present "qualifying offers'' of at least 12 million to recoup picks. But as I said, I don't think it will get to that with the Sox. I expect they deal him this winter.

Comment From Doug from Woburn
Sean, What If the Sox and Crawford can't agree on a course action for his elbow, If CC gets the surgery done without team approval, What then?

Sean McAdam:
That almost never happens. Usually, player, agent and team come to an agreement on how to handle an injury. But it certainly bears watching. I think if the Sox drop out of contention in the next few weeks, it's more likely he'll get the surgery done before the end of the season. If they're in it, he'll play it out and see how he is at the end of the year.

Comment From RI Tony
Would Bobby Valentine make for a better general manager as opposed to an on-field, in the clubhouse manager? I think his talent evaluation is exemplary, but his communication skills are seriously lacking.

Sean McAdam:
In some ways, that's a great point. Valentine has done well with his evaluations. He didn't like the idea of Bard in the rotation and he saw Morales as a good starting candidate. But the role of GM is more complicated than ever, with all the organizational duties of overseeing a farm system, negotiating contracts, handling arbitration, etc. And at 62, Valenitne hasn't done any of those things.

Comment From Bill in North Carolina
You think part of the booing last night was frustration at the front office and their lack of action yesterday?

Sean McAdam:
I suppose it could be interpreted that way, yes. Clearly, a lot of the fans have had it with Beckett and his underperformance since last Sept. as well as some of the issues off-field. I think a lot of fans thought: "OK. he's here. Let's see how he does matched against Verlander and a good team.'' And when he walked off in the third inning, they had reached their limit.

Comment From Brian
If Sweeney doesn't break his hand, is he in Arizona instead of Podsednik?

Sean McAdam:
Hard to say. I think Cincinnati had the most interest in him and I think the Sox would have put him in a different deal, by himself, to get a mid-level prospect back. But I suppose it's possible.

Comment From Vote for Pedro
Any chance Ciriaco gets a chance at a starting role and Aviles moves into a utility job? Sox should play the hot hand (Pedro), no?

Sean McAdam:
I would caution against going overboard on Ciriaco. He's had a nice stretch the last few weeks, but usually, guys like this tend to get exposed over time. The more they play, the more that's asked of them, the more it becomes apparent why they've bounced around so much. But I'll say this: with his speed and versatility, he's shown he's a capable major league role player for some teams.

Comment From Jon
What do you expect from Middlebrooks going forward? Will he be a 30 hr guy next year?

Sean McAdam:
You would expect something like that. He's got 13 homers in about half a season, so that wouldn't be much of a stretch.

Comment From Adam from PEI Canada
Would Boston be wise to approach Arizona this offseason with a package headlined by Ellsbury in an attempt to land Upton (assuming they can convince him to waive the no trade)

Sean McAdam:
The only way Arizona would do that would be to get Ellsbury extended first. Why give up a five-tool player who's 24 and signed for several more seasons for a similar player who can be a FA after 2013? But Ellsbury lives in ARI in the off-season and might be open to staying there.

Comment From Matt in Taunton, MA
Hi Sean. I'm wondering if you have any information on Beckett's injury.

Sean McAdam:
Nothing yet, Matt. Usually, we find about those things when the clubhouse opens the following day. Not sure if the tests are complete. Beckett didn't seem to think it was anything serious and they caught it early before it had the chance to get worse. But worst-case scenario: he slipped on a wet mound at Yankee Stadium in 2010 and missed a third of the season.

Comment From Joekur9
Do you see any correlation between Sox' current winning streak and Tito's impromptu player meeting?

Sean McAdam:
You're the second person to ask me that today! And no, I don't. I don't think it was anything more than Tito catching up with some players he enjoyed managing.

Comment From Brian
Sean, I'm curious how you guys handle the trade deadline. How do you and people like Jon Heyman with CBS get the "inside" information. Your coverage was awesome yesterday, loved you on Felger and Mazz.

Sean McAdam:
Thanks for the kind words, Brian. At deadline time, you talk to sources around the game -- could be scouts, could be an agent, could be someone in a front office somewhere -- and do your best to assemble the most information, while separating fact and fiction.

Comment From Projo-Warren
is trading deadline day one of the hardest for a beat writer ?

Sean McAdam:
It's nerve-wracking, Warren. And the 24-hour news cycle has made it even more demanding. With Twitter, etc., everything is immediate. It used to be that you could take your time throughout the day and build up your information for a story in the next day's paper. Not now, of course -- there are demands to relay the info you have NOW. And, of course, get it right.

Comment From Doug Mcrey, Charlestown
what is your starting lineup for 2013?

Sean McAdam:
Doug, if I could do that, I'd be in Vegas right now, putting my power of forecasting to better use. Way too much stuff could happen between now and then. But as I've said, I'd be surprised if Ellsbury is here next year. And it wouldn't surprise me if there is more turnover, especially if they fail to make the playoffs.

Comment From Warren in Providence
Sean, I am still hoping to hear some specifics as to why the media continually harps on Beckett and Lackey being negative influences on the other this true and if so, what specifically are they doing?

Sean McAdam:
A lot stems from their role in the chicken-and-beer thing last September. Remember, too, that Beckett got out of shape, didn't do some conditioning work last year and that sets a poor example for the younger pitchers. When a staff leader works hard, it sends one message; when he slacks off, it sends an entirely different one. And Beckett is a notoriously stubborn guy who doesn't always take suggestions well, another bad example to set.

Comment From T
Do you think Papi is here next year? Will the Sox "qualify" him (netting a pick if he leaves) by offering the 12M? Thanks

Sean McAdam:
I think he'll return, yes. He's pretty obsessed with getting a multi-year deal, but his leverage isn't the greatest, being an older DH. And yes, they'll certainly make the qualifying offer -- no risk for the club there.

Sean McAdam:
Lots of people standing by -- let's go another 15 minutes or so

Comment From tom
anyway josh hamilton might have been involved in that texas blockbuster with boston?

Sean McAdam:
Highly doubt it. He's a free agent this fall and they wouldn't be giving up a CF whom they control for another year for one who could walk in three months.

Comment From Jon in Phoenix
Any chance of a MastersonKalish swap during the offseason? I think Masterson would slot in well as a 3-4th starter with this team. Also, Doubront seems to have exceeded everyones expectations for his ceiling. Can he be a consistent 4 starter and win 12-13 games as a cost controlled starter?

Sean McAdam:
That deal might make some sense for both teams. Cleveland would get a young OF whom they could control for another 5 years and the Sox get an experienced, versatile pitcher. Though the Sox like Kalish and see him as part of the club going forward, worth thinking about for both sides. Good suggestion! As for Doubront, the Sox have always thought highly of him, but yes, I think it's fair to say he's exceeded expectations for his first full year. And if he harnesses his control and becomes more efficient, he could still improve.

Comment From DilyPickle
Sean, big fan keep up the great work. Do you think Bard will be a valuable piece to the bullpen if the Sox make the playoffs. You can't teach 100mph but he has to locate it.

Sean McAdam:
Could be. He certainly has the talent, as you point out. It's all about throwing strikes, since his stuff can be filthy. As I wrote this morning, he's been better over the last five outings in Pawtucket, walking just two in the last five. So there's hope.

Comment From David
Sean, is Bobby V here next year? Jeff Passan of Yahoo was on EEI the other day and he seemed to believe that was practically a foregone conclusion that he'd be gone.

Sean McAdam:
At this point, I think it's all about how they finish. I believe they have to get into the post-season for Valentine to return. If they miss out, it's a tough sell to the fan base to bring him back after missing the playoffs for three years in a row. And he's already a tough sell in that clubhouse.

Comment From Indiana Mike
Do you see Brad Mills coming back to Boston in some capacity after he gets fired in Houston, either as Bobby V's replacement or on staff? He would seem a fallback if John Farrell is unavailable.

Sean McAdam:
Unlikely. I like Brad a lot and think he's a good teacher. He hasn't had much success in Houston and that will hurt him, even if people recognize that they traded away his best players. Francona didn't win in four years in PHI, so there's always a chance a guy learns a lot and wins with his next team, especially if that second team has talent. Just don't see it happening here for Mills.

Comment From Chris
Who are some of the starting pitchers in next year's free agent class?

Sean McAdam:
Tim Linceum, Matt Garza, Josh Johnson and Chris Carpenter are probably the top four. Some others have options, like Dan Haren and Ervin Santana.

Comment From Sam the Ram
When is someone going to tell Dustin Pedroia that he is not a home run hitter? He is a joke in the clutch and seldom goes for the single when that is all the team needs at the time. Does he avoid criticism because he is a favorite of the writers? Youk played just as hard as Pedroia and he was shipped out of town thanks to the media? Pedroia has been no more productive than Youk.

Sean McAdam:
Hmm, where to start there. 1) Pedroia played for two months with various thumb injuries, which surely affected his swing and production. 2) Pedroia has ALWAYS swung hard, from his college career forward, and when healthy, has been a very good player, including being named MVP. 3) You give the media way too much credit; Youkilis wasn't shiped out of town because of the media; he was traded because Middlebrooks is a better player and Youkilis couldn't adapt to not playing every day.

Comment From Jim on the cape
We hear how much the Sox like Kalish. What is it that they l like? Not much power for a corner outfielder. Plays hard, of course. Did they misread Kalish vs. Reddick?

Sean McAdam:
It will be interesting to see, Jim, on the Reddick-Kalish thing. For now, of course, Reddick has been the better player. It's tough to evaluate Kalish right now because he missed more than a year with the shoulderneck injuries. What do they like. His swing, plate discpline, athleticism and instincts.

Sean McAdam:
Let's take three more

Comment From Tyrion Lannister
obviously its very difficult to get a front office job but have you ever considered a job in a front office? clearly you know your stuff.

Sean McAdam:
Thanks, but you're giving me way too much credit there. There's a ton I don't know about scouting and evaluation, to name just a few areas. I have enormous respect for people who work in front offices. It's highly competitive, with incredibly long hours. And I'm happy doing what I'm doing.

Comment From Juan
Who do you see as as the next few homegrown players to step in and make an impact?

Sean McAdam:
The Killer B's ass they've come to be known: OF Jackie Bradley Jr; RHP Matt Barnes and INF XAnder Bogaerts are the three most regarded prospects. There are others of course, but they're consideres the cream of the crop and are almost untouchable in deals.

Comment From Ill Have Another
has there ever been a time of more unrest than now in red sox history? even during the 86 yr drought people seemed to be less volatile towards the playersfront officeowners

Sean McAdam:
I don't thnk this is the worst. Go back to the early 80s when the team wasn't keeping its free agents (Lynn, Fisk, etc) and there were ownership squabbles between Buddy Leroux and Haywood Sulliivan. That was pretty bad and it didn't follow two world championships, either.

Sean McAdam:
That's going to do it for today, folks. Thanks to all for participating. I'm off next week, but we'll return in two weeks. Again, many thanks!

Live Chat Moderator:
Thanks Sean and thank you all for participating. If you missed anything, the transcript for the entire chat should be on later today!

Red Sox can be thankful for a successful past and a bright future

Red Sox can be thankful for a successful past and a bright future

For the glass-is-half-full folks, there are those back-to-back Eastern Division titles. For the glass-is-half-empty folks, well, there are those two first-round playoff ousters (though both their conquerers made it to the World Series, and one of them won it). But, here on Thanksgiving night, there's plenty for Red Sox Nation to be thankful for, starting with . . . 


We know you don’t need the Red Sox to know you how important the most basic elements of life are. But sometimes, the typical fantasy land of baseball can grab our attention. The death of 17-year-old Sox prospect Daniel Flores (above) this month from complications because of cancer didn’t take away only a potentially great baseball career. It took away a beloved, hard-working young person from the people who loved him. He had just made millions of dollars in July for his talent on the field, but what does such a windfall matter compared to one’s health? His cancer was both rare and fast-moving, per the Boston Globe.


The kids deserve some love. They probably won’t be together on the Red Sox forever. Heck, the group could get broken up this winter. But while any of the Killer B’s (plus a D) remain on the Sox, there should be a sense of optimism. Two straight 93-win seasons may have resulted in a first-round exit, and 2017 didn’t meet expectations for some individual performances. But you know what? The youths are still damn good, and there’s time for them to show us they can be even better.


Neither hogs the spotlight once the game ends or says too much. Sale doesn’t even have Twitter. But the righty closer and lefty starter both do two things exceedingly well: make batters swing and miss, and prevent runs. When both pitch, your seat at the park may well be worth the price of admission. (But we won’t ask what you paid for those seats.) Sale didn’t take down Pedro Martinez’s Sox single-season strikeout record this year, finishing with five fewer than Martinez’s 313 in 1999. But he could have done it. And with a little more rest next year, one can envision him plowing his way through playoff opponents too.


A first-time manager’s not a sure thing, but as Sox owner John Henry noted, there was a feeling it was time for a change. It’s a little early to be thinking ahead to a New Year’s resolution, but a manager who better connects with his players and brings a different vibe to the day-to-day scene is reason to feel the Sox are following the right road map. Plus, if nothing else, Cora took that awesome picture walking toward Fenway.


We don’t want to be too materialistic. But Uncle Dave Dombrowski couldn’t let you buy everything you wanted last year. The credit card companies needed him to step back for a year. Now he’s ready to spend. He might not close down Bloomingdale’s for the day for you to do your private shopping, but if you need a couple great jackets to complete your look, it sounds like he’s ready to get you some designer threads. He probably feels there won’t be too many chances to have a moment like this with you, at this stage of your life, and he wants to make the most of it.



Why the Red Sox should sign not one but two relievers


Why the Red Sox should sign not one but two relievers

BOSTON — There is a world outside of Giancarlo Stanton. 

Stanton, at this point, simply doesn’t appear likely to end up in Boston. That should feel obvious to those following along, and so should this: it can change. 

But there are other pursuits. Besides their search for a bat or two, the Red Sox have been actively pursuing left-handed relief options. Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski is a fast mover, but this year’s market has not been.


Robbie Ross Jr. and Fernando Abad are both free agents, leaving Robby Scott as the lone incumbent southpaw from last season's primary group. Brian Johnson is bound for the pen, with Roenis Elias as a depth option too.  Still, even if Johnson’s transition pans out, the Sox still have an opening for a late-inning reliever with the departure of free agent Addison Reed. 

Reed is a righty, but between Matt Barnes, Joe Kelly, Heath Hembree, Carson Smith, and Craig Kimbrel, the Sox have more right-handed choices than left. Coming back from surgery, Tyler Thornburg, should be in the mix eventually too, but it's difficult to expect too much from him.

What the Red Sox should do: sign one of each for the bullpen, one righty, and one lefty. And then trade a righty or two. Turn some of that mishmash into an addition elsewhere. Be creative. 

Because inevitably, come midseason, the Sox will want to add another bullpen arm if they sign just one now. Why wait until you have to give up prospect capital when you can just add the piece you want now?

Go get a near-sure thing such as Pat Neshek, a veteran who walks no one and still strikeouts a bunch. At 37 with an outgoing personality, Neshek also brings leadership to a team that is looking for some. He walked just six guys in 62 innings last season. Entering his 12th season in the majors, he’s looking for his first ring.

All these top of the market relievers may be handsomely paid. But relievers are still something of a bargain compared to position players and starting pitchers. One of the key words for this winter should be creativity. If there’s value to be had in the reliever market, capitalize on it. 

Comeback kid Mike Minor, Jake McGee and Tony Watson headline the crop of free agent lefties available. Brad Hand of the Padres could also be had by trade but his market isn’t moving too quickly (and he won’t come cheaply).

Minor, 29, who posted a 2.55 ERA in 2017 after health issues kept him out of the majors in 2015-16, is expected to be paid handsomely. He is also open to the idea of potentially starting if a team is interested in him doing so. The Royals reportedly could give him that shot.

McGee’s American League East experience could be appealing.

He's 31 and had a 3.61 ERA with the Rockies in 2017 and has a 3.15 ERA lifetime. He’s not quite the strikeout pitcher he was earlier in his career — he had an 11.6 K/9 in 2015 — but a 9.1 K/9 is still very strong, particularly when coupled with just 0.6 homers allowed per nine.

For what it’s worth: McGee has also dominated the Red Sox, who have a .125 average, .190 on-base percentage and .192 slugging against him in 117 regular-season plate appearances. 

McGee throws a mid-90s fastball with a low-80s slider. He can operate up in the zone, and he actually has been even more effective against righties than lefties in his career, including in 2017. McGee’s been a closer, too, with 44 career saves.

The Sox had the second-best bullpen in the majors by ERA in 2017, at 3.07. Yet, come the postseason, there wasn’t a sense of great confidence or even a clear shape to the pecking order behind one of the absolute best relievers in the game, Kimbrel.