Red Sox

Eduardo Rodriguez told to rest injured right knee for 3-4 weeks

Eduardo Rodriguez told to rest injured right knee for 3-4 weeks

NEW YORK -- The Red Sox are unlikely to see one of their key stating pitchers until the second half, if at all.

CSNNE.com has learned that Dr. James Andrews’ recommendation to Eduardo Rodriguez was to attempt to rest for three to four weeks and try to recover conservatively from a right knee subluxation rather than go for surgery. Rodriguez went to Andrews today to receive a second opinion on his injury.

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Surgery this season, or really at any time, remains possible.

The news was positive overall for the Red Sox left-hander, because it means there’s a chance he helps down the stretch run. There’s still swelling in Rodriguez’s right knee, but there's said to be no ligament damage discovered.

Rodriguez was headed to New York on Monday, where the Sox open a three-game series with the Yankees on Tuesday.

Eventually, surgery may still be necessary -- be it during this regular season, or in the future -- and that procedure would shelve Rodriguez for roughly five to six months. Another subsequent subluxation of the knee would likely send Rodriguez to the operating table.

The injury is the same Rodriguez suffered in spring training 2016. He was most recently hurt in Baltimore on Thursday, falling over in the bullpen while warming up for the game. Rodriguez said he did not feel discomfort during that 94-pitch start until the next day, when he was put on the disabled list.

Michael Brantley as far down on Red Sox' free-agent list as you can get

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USA Today Sports Photo

Michael Brantley as far down on Red Sox' free-agent list as you can get

EDITOR'S NOTE: This week across the NBC Sports Regional Networks, we'll be taking an in-depth look at some of the top free agents in baseball. Tuesday is dedicated to Indians outfielder Michael Brantley.

BOSTON -- There is probably no area the Red Sox are stronger than their outfield, leaving Michael Brantley about as far down on the list of viable free-agent pursuits as one could imagine. 

The only way adding Brantley would make a lick of sense is if the Red Sox were to flip someone presently on the team in an effort to prevent this group from breaking up all at once. Hypothetically moving Jackie Bradley Jr., and then pushing Andrew Benintendi to center field and playing Brantley in left, for example.

But there’s no evidence yet the Sox are ready to act that way, and they haven’t yet under Sox president of baseball operations of Dave Dombrowski.

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Assume, then, that Brantley’s movements will largely be a spectator sport for the Red Sox this winter. His presumed departure from the Indians is significant, considering Cleveland has been one of the consistent powers in the American League along with the Red Sox in recent years. Brantley played a combined 101 regular-season games in 2016-17, but was able to stay on the field for 143 in 2018.

Entering his age-32 season, Brantley represents a high-upside signing for a potential rival. The Sox had the best offense in the majors in 2018, but Brantley was the 17th-best offensive producer in the outfield, by one advanced metric, weight runs created plus -- a hair better than Benintendi, who was 22nd.

But that kind of production comes with the risk seen in recent years: Whether Brantley stays on the field. 

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COMING WEDNESDAY: Manny Machado

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Craig Kimbrel rejects qualifying offer, will enter free agency

Craig Kimbrel rejects qualifying offer, will enter free agency

To the surprise of almost no one, Craig Kimbrel rejected his $17.9 million qualifrying offer from the Red Sox and will test the free agent market for a bigger contract. 

Kimbrel is reportedly looking for a contract worth around $80 million, and this move will allow the Red Sox to receive a draft pick if Kimbrel signs elsewhere. 

Kimbrel recorded 42 saves for the Red Sox on the way to a World Series championship. However, Kimbrel was shaky in the postseason. He allowed seven earned runs in the playoffs but never lost a game in the ninth. 

Kimbrel may fetch big money this offseason as a big-name closer, so the Red Sox will have to decide whether its worth the long term commitment to retain his services. 

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