Red Sox

Steven Wright says he did not harm his wife in domestic incident

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Steven Wright says he did not harm his wife in domestic incident

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Speaking publicly for the first time since he was arrested and charged with domestic assult in December, Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright said he did not touch his wife, Shannon, in an incident that drew police to their Tennessee home.

Wright’s case in December was retired by the Williamson County courthouse in Tennessee, which put his case en route to a potential dismissal. The charges can be dropped if he has no other offenses for 12 months.

"It's tough because I really want to at least tell my side of the story,” Wright said Wednesday at JetBlue Park. “Because when it comes out [initially], you obviously think of the worst. But it wasn't that bad. Especially on a personal level, especially because I never touched her. And that's probably the hardest thing for me, to like sit there and see people like talk about being a wife-beater and all that stuff, when I didn't even make physical contact. But that's pretty much all I'm allowed to really say right now.”

Wright said he remains under investigation by Major League Baseball and that he cannot fully explain his arrest until it is completed. He may be suspended to begin the season. He has not been interviewed as part of the investigation, but is expected to be soon

Indications are a decision is nearing.

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“I have some pulse, but I'm not at liberty to discuss it,” Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Wednesday. “Not from a time perspective, but how they see things. But they're not done with their investigation, so they're not really to step forward yet.”

Wright said he and his wife are trying to reconcile. They have two children.

“It definitely got escalated in that one particular night,” Wright said. “We’ve been going to counseling. We’ve been working through it. 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. It’s just hard. 

“You get labeled as somebody that’s a wife-beater when you don’t even make physical contact. I’m looking forward to telling that side of the story, about what happened, because people will understand a little bit more about what happened. It’s not what you’re reading as far as you hear about domestic violence.”

Wright and his family had previously issued statements, but he had not spoken to media directly. 

Whether Wright will even be physically ready for opening day, regardless of any impending suspension, is unclear. He's rehabbing after an operation that replaced the cartilage in his left knee. The top four Sox starters, Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello and Drew Pomeranz all threw bullpen sessions on Wednesday, so Wright is not on a normal progression.

"I feel pretty good," Wright said. "I’m still in the rehab phase with the knee, trying to push it as hard as I can within reason. It’s one of those things. Each day, it’s such a unique surgery, it’s not a typical surgery you see guys having, so it’s kind of a day-to-day operation, but I’m around eight months now, so I’m trying to push it as hard as I can so I can get back as fast as possible."

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Travis Shaw says return to Boston Red Sox 'makes sense on paper'

Travis Shaw says return to Boston Red Sox 'makes sense on paper'

After being non-tendered by the Milwaukee Brewers, could a return to the Boston Red Sox be in order for Travis Shaw?

With Mitch Moreland hitting free agency, the Red Sox should be in the market for a left-handed-hitting first baseman. That makes Shaw an obvious fit, and the 29-year-old agrees a reunion with Boston would make sense.

Shaw discussed the situation with Rob Bradford on WEEI's Bradfo Sho podcast

"I got non-tendered this week. It was kind of a hard decision. The Brewers did offer me but I decided I kind of wanted a fresh start and was willing to risk to see what was out there free agent-wise," Shaw told Bradford. "Just wanted a fresh start after everything that happened last year. Like you said, [signing with the Red Sox] makes sense on paper now we’ll see with who else call or what other teams call. That’s kind of what we’re sorting through now. We’ve had quite a bit of interest so far over this week which is an encouraging sign for me. We’ll just go from there."

Before the 2017 season, the Red Sox traded Shaw to the Brewers in the deal that brought reliever Tyler Thornburg to Boston. In his first two years with Milwaukee, Shaw was an integral part of the offense with 30+ home runs and an OPS well above .800. Last season, however, Shaw missed some time with a wrist injury and saw his production dip significantly.

Assuming Shaw can return to the type of player we saw in '17 and '18, he makes for an intriguing option for Boston in free agency. Along with his potential at the plate, Shaw brings versatility to the table as he can adequately play multiple positions.

Right-handed sluggers Michael Chavis and Bobby Dalbec currently are the Red Sox' options at first base. Chavis was solid in his 2019 rookie campaign, and Dalbec enters 2020 as one of the organization's top prospects.

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MLB rumors: Winter meetings preview - Five Red Sox moves to watch as offseason begins in earnest

MLB rumors: Winter meetings preview - Five Red Sox moves to watch as offseason begins in earnest

The start of baseball's offseason has included some thank-the-lord movement, with a second-tier starter (Zack Wheeler) landing a $118 million deal from the Phillies and the hyperactive Rays dealing away a stalwart outfielder (Tommy Pham), much to the chagrin of ace Blake Snell.

With baseball's annual winter meetings beginning on Sunday at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, all eyes will be on Chaim Bloom and the Red Sox, who have yet to make a major move, but will soon be on the clock.

So, what can we expect? Here are five areas of focus.

1. IS THERE A MOOKIE BETTS TRADE?

The Red Sox would be crazy not to consider deals for Betts if they believe he intends on reaching free agency, which he has made clear both publicly and privately over the last two years. They'd be crazier to give him away for nothing, however, and thus begins the dance of the offseason. The question they must answer is, "How much is too little?" and then draw a line in the warning-track sand. Potential trade partners like the White Sox and Braves have already spent aggressively, which means a Betts deal likely needs to happen sooner than later, since whomever acquires him must fit $28 million into their 2019 payroll and pretty soon that money will start disappearing. One team to watch: the Dodgers, who have money to spend, prospects to trade, and a World Series hill to climb after three straight near-misses.

2. DEALING DAVID PRICE

Chris Sale just started throwing, per WEEI.com, and his five-year, $145 million extension kicks in on Opening Day. Selling low on the potentially dominant left-hander is a recipe for regret, especially since his contract could end up being pretty reasonable if he returns to health. The better trade candidate is Price, who turns 35 in August and has three years and $96 million remaining on a contract that's more likely to provide diminishing returns, but paradoxically includes fewer short-term questions. We laid out the case for Price being an actual trade asset on Thursday; as free agent pitchers leave the market, someone will be left short, and maybe Price becomes a target.

3. FINDING A STARTER (OR TWO)

Trading Price may ease the financial crunch on a team hoping to drop below the $208 million luxury tax threshold, but it will blow another hole in a rotation that's already down one starter with the presumed departure of free agent Rick Porcello. The Red Sox obviously won't be in on Astros ace Gerrit Cole or Nationals World Series hero Stephen Strasburg. They also can't afford Madison Bumgarner or maybe even old friend Wade Miley. Will they go the opener route? Take a flier on a reclamation project like Felix Hernandez or Michael Wacha? Try to turn center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. into a starter? Here's where Bloom's creativity will be put to the test.

4. SURPRISE US

Until he starts dealing, Bloom remains an enigma. He's beholden to no one on the roster, a position which allowed predecessor Dave Dombrowski to cut ties with Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez while they were still owed money. Could Bloom decide a roster overhaul is in order and use a supposed foundational piece like All-Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts or outfielder Andrew Benintendi to swing a larger deal? We may start to get some clarity on his thoughts next week.

5. RIGHT SIDE OF THE INFIELD

At this time last year, the Red Sox were foolishly counting on 125 games out of second baseman Dustin Pedroia (he played six) and 162 out of a first base platoon of Mitch Moreland (91) and Steve Pearce (29). While some portion of either job could go to second-year slugger Michael Chavis, the Red Sox will be in the market for help at first and second, and this is a spot where Bloom helped unearth some legit finds in Tampa, from Carlos Pena to Logan Morrison to Ji-Man Choi. There should be no shortage of affordable options at first, in particular, from Justin Smoak to Travis Shaw to C.J. Cron.

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