Red Sox

Ross on Ortiz: 'He's on fire'

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Ross on Ortiz: 'He's on fire'

BOSTON -- For the last two games, Cody Ross has had the best seat in the house.
With David Ortiz at the plate, Ross has stood in the on-deck circle awaiting his turn and watching Ortiz inch closer to the 400 home run mark.
Ortiz hit his 399th career home run in Wednesday afternoon's 10-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. He finished the game 1-for-2 with three walks, an RBI, and four runs scored.
Ross was Boston's clean-up hitter, behind Ortiz on both Tuesday and Wednesday.
And while it's not exactly 762, Ross compared the experience to watching Major League Baseball's official home run king.
"He's on fire," said Ross after the win. "He's not getting too many pitches to hit. Almost Barry Bonds-ish. You can't have enough protection for him. But when he's getting that pitch, he's not missing it. And that was a perfect example today. I think he might have saw one strike, and he hit that ball out.
"I can't tell you how neat it is to stand on-deck and just watch him, and see him hit a homer and come around, and be able to give him a high-five. I mean, I'm a fan too. So, it's pretty neat."
Ortiz' solo blast to the right-field tunnel in the bottom of the fifth, that put Boston up 10-2, marked his 21st home run of the season. That's just eight home runs less than his total of 29 home runs in 146 games in 2011. And it's only June 27.
He had a chance to hit No. 400 during his final at-bat in the bottom of the eighth inning, but Ortiz struck out swinging on a 1-2 slider.
"It's coming, obviously," said Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia after the win.
And if it doesn't come during this upcoming seven-game West-Coast road trip that begins Thursday night in Seattle?
"I'll get it done when I get back," said Ortiz with a smile and a wink after Wednesday's game.
Either way, Ortiz said that home run No. 400 isn't on his mind.
"Right now, that's not really something I think about," said Ortiz. "But I know that at some point, when I'm not playing, you start looking at things, and start realizing my good career I'll probably have.
"Right now, my focus is just on producing for this ball club and try to win some games, and put ourselves in a better situation."

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.