We've heard the name Edwin Encarnacion (a lot). We've heard the name Carlos Beltran (almost as much). We've even heard the names Mark Trumbo, Matt Holliday and Mike Napoli.
But we haven't heard much talk about the Red Sox turning to Jose Bautista as a potential replacement for David Ortiz as a middle-of-the-order bat.
Jon Heyman, on the fanragsports.com site, reported that "Bautista’s people met for a long time (at the general managers' meetings) with a Red Sox executive, and it’s known that Bautista’s ability to pull and take advantage of the Green Monster came up".
Conventional wisdom was that Bautista, even though he just turned 36, is looking for a long-term megadeal in free agency and the Sox -- with Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval already under contract for the next several years -- weren't interested in committing themselves to another aging slugger for mulitple seasons. But Bautista's mediocre, injury-plagued walk year in Toronto (.234/.366/.452 in 116 games, with 22 homers and 69 RBI) may have reduced his bargaining power, and the Sox could be thinking they can get him on the cheap . . . or at least on the short. A one- or two-year contract would be much more attractive to Boston, as the team attempts looks for an offensive placeholder for a younger bat (Yoan Moncada, Sam Travis, Rafael Devers) currently on the road to Fenway.
Bautista's agent, Jay Alou, downplayed the conversation with the Red Sox, and there's speculation his client -- aware of his reduced value -- may accept a $17.2 million qualifying offer from the Blue Jays. But, in any case, the Joey Bats-to-Boston? talk has started; we'll see where it ends.
Red Sox minor league catcher Oscar Hernandez has been handed a 50-game suspension for a second positive test for a drug of abuse, our own Evan Drellich reports.
Hernandez signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox in January and currently is on the Triple-A Pawtucket roster. The 24-year-old will be able to return in late May.
Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright will be suspended 15 games for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy, NBC Sports Boston has learned. The league is set to make the announcement Friday.
Wright, working his way back from right knee surgery, has to serve the suspension when healthy. Potential time on the disabled list to begin the season would not count. Wright is not expected to appeal.
Wright was arrested at his Tennessee home in December following an incident involving his wife, Shannon. Wright was charged with domestic assault and preventing a 911 call, which are misdemeanors in Tennessee, and released on a $2,500 bond.
The case in December was retired by the Williamson County courthouse. If Wright commits no other offenses for a 12-month span, the charges are expected to be dropped.
Fifteen games matches the lowest suspension MLB has given out in relation to a domestic violence case since the league and players union agreed to a policy in 2015. Mets pitcher Jeurys Familia was suspended 15 games in March 2017.
"It's a situation that, it sucks not only for me, but for my family, for the team," Wright told reporters in Florida on Thursday. "But I try not to think about it. When MLB comes out with their discipline, or if there's going to be discipline or not, it's just going to go from there."
Wright said this spring that he did not harm his wife.
“We’ve been going to counseling. We’ve been working through it,” Wright said. “We’ve been trying to do as much as we can to put it past us, but it’s hard. Because MLB is doing their investigation and it’s in the limelight. It’s really hard on a personal level to get past something that’s constantly being thrown at you. But I did it to myself. It’s one of those things that I’ve got to live with the consequences that came from my actions that night.”