Red Sox

Youkilis says Red Sox need manager that can 'handle the media, first and foremost'

Youkilis says Red Sox need manager that can 'handle the media, first and foremost'

LOS GATOS, Calif. — Kevin Youkilis knows better than most what can go wrong with a Red Sox manager, particularly when it comes to the media.

The former Red Sox star said Friday afternoon that he thinks both Alex Cora and DeMarlo Hale would be great fits to replace John Farrell because of their experience in the market. He acknowledged both are friends — Cora as a former teammate, Hale as a former coach. But he believes in their credentials as well.

“I think Alex Cora’s a great fit, I think DeMarlo Hale’d be a great fit,” Youkilis said Friday afternoon from the restaurant he owns in California, Loma Brew. “Because they both have experience in that city, they know that city, they’ve been around it. I think it’s hard — I don’t know what it takes to be a manager. I’ve played for good managers. I just know in Boston the key is one, the media, and two, culture-clubhouse. It can go sour quickly, and if you’re that guy, the glue that can hold the team together while also holding the glue together and handling that, it’s a great fit. 

“The reason I’d hire them is they have the experience working not only with the media, but just being in that town and seeing winning in that town. And understanding success and the failures, even when we lost. They’ve seen both.”

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Youkilis was criticized by Bobby Valentine in a television interview early in the 2012 season, an incident that prompted Dustin Pedroia to speak out and proved the beginning of the end for Bobby V.

“I think Tito worked out well because he came from a long background in baseball and his personality was perfect for Boston,” Youkilis said. “So I think Tito’s personality — just, you got to have somebody that can handle the media, first and foremost, and that can separate the team from the media and how to be the middle man. So [to me] personally, the Red Sox job, probably more than 50 percent is media driven. A sense you have to be able to handle the media and take on that role and be OK with it.”

Youkilis is still involved in baseball, helping out the Cubs and his first general manager, Theo Epstein.

“And the other half is making sure the culture of the clubhouse is good and the product on the field [is good] and the guys are doing the right thing,” Youkilis said. “That’s easier when you hire a good coaching staff. I’ve learned that through the Cubs. You put together a great staff, your in-game management’s easier. 

“But, managing in Boston’s a very tough task. And you got to have very, very thick skin. You just got to want to take on the challenge. And you’re going to have to force laughter when there’s no laughter to be around, and I think that’s why Tito did so well. And so, you have to have a good personality in a way. Or, you just have to be this guy that just enjoys that spotlight. Because if you don’t enjoy that spotlight…. you’re going to have a lot of clashes that aren’t needed.”

Living in Northern California, Youkilis has teamed up with Jonny Gomes — who’s from the area — to help those affected by the wildfires in the area. Youkilis is storing supplies at his restaurant and plans to deliver them himself next week.

“I’m driving up a truck on Tuesday,” Youkilis said. “We got a bunch of stuff here.”

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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.