The Red Sox pursuit of a power bat has reportedly led them in the direction of White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network and FanRagSports.com.
Abreu turns 31 in January. The right-handed hitter from Cuba had 33 homers, 102 RBI and 43 doubles last season with a slash line of .304/.354/.552. He's put together four consecutive seasons of 25 or more homers, 100 or more RBI and at least a .290 batting average. As Heyman reported, the Red Sox were in on Abreu when he came from Cuba before he signed with the White Sox in 2014.
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He is arbitration eligible after making $10.8 million in 2017. He can become a free agent after 2019, so the Red Sox would have two years of control on Abreu unless he signs an extension.
The Red Sox and White Sox pulled one of the biggest deals of last offseason when Boston acquired lefty ace Chris Sale for top third base prospect Yoan Moncada and right-handed pitching prospect Michael Kopech. The White Sox are rumored to be interested in Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr.
LOS ANGELES - Matt Kemp is returning to the place where he began his major league career, reacquired by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday as part of a five-player trade with the Atlanta Braves that sent former Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from L.A. to Atlanta.
The Dodgers sent Gonzalez, oft-injured starting pitchers Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy, infielder Charlie Culberson and cash to Atlanta for the 33-year-old Kemp. Gonzalez then was designated for assignment by the Braves.
After sitting on the sidelines during the recent winter meetings, the Dodgers moved quickly to dump nearly $50 million in salary committed to Gonzalez, Kazmir and McCarthy for 2018. Kemp is owed about $43 million over the next two seasons. Click here for more.
Free agent slugger J.D. Martinez has told the Red Sox he would DH and play the outfield for them, a baseball source said Friday. The flipside: teams are offering Martinez a full-time outfield job, and he enjoys playing the outfield.
Martinez, the best bat available via free agency, visited with teams at the winter meetings this week.
Michael Silverman of the Herald wrote Friday that Martinez has been telling teams he prefers to play the outfield, and suggested the Sox will have to pay a bit more to land Martinez.
“Martinez remains open to being a DH so his preference to play defense regularly does not eliminate the Red Sox from signing Martinez,” Silverman wrote. “It does, however, put them in a position of having to make an aggressive offer that would distance themselves from competing offers where teams can present a corner outfield position.
“Just what defines aggressive is something only Martinez and his agent Scott Boras will ultimately determine.”
The market could start to move a bit now, although that doesn’t mean anything is necessarily imminent. Another baseball source on Friday night noted that the market has started to thaw with Carlos Santana off the board. He agreed to a three-year, $60 million deal with the Phillies.
The Red Sox made an offer for Santana, but the offer made clear that Santana was not their primary choice. In other words, it wasn't close to what Santana ended up with.
A scenario in which Jackie Bradley Jr. is traded to make room for Martinez in the outfield seems reasonable, even if the Red Sox and Boras, who represents Bradley, have both downplayed that possibility.