Red Sox

Groome on off-field behavior concerns: 'At times, it gets me so frustrated'

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Groome on off-field behavior concerns: 'At times, it gets me so frustrated'

NEW YORK -- It went down to the final 24 hours or so before the deadline for signing players selected in last month's draft, but the Red Sox and No. 1 pick Jason Groome finally reached agreement on a deal late Thursday and officially confirmed the signing Friday afternoon.

Groome, a lefthanded pitcher from Barnegat, N.J., received a $3.65 million signing bonus, according to an industry source.

In a conference calls with reporters Friday night, Red Sox scouting director Mike Rikard said Groome will begin his career at the team's Gulf Coast League affiliate in Fort Myers before transitioning to Lowell of the New York-Penn League in a few weeks.

But given his age -- he turns 18 soon -- and his workload from his senior year, the Red Sox will be careful monitoring his innings in his first pro season.

"We'll be extremely conservative right out of gate,'' confirmed Rikard.

Though he grew up on the Jersey shore, where fans of the Yankees, Mets and Phillies usually reside, Groome has long been a Red Sox fan, making his signing especially meaningful to him.

"Every time I would watch Red Sox-Yankees, Pedro (Martinez) would be on the mound,'' said Groome. "I just took a liking to Pedro's style and how he played and the Red Sox, how they played as a whole. And now they have two of my favorite players, David Price and Dustin Pedroia, two great ballplayers.''

Back in the spring, some had projected Groome to be the first overall pick. But questions over high school eligibility, coupled with doubts over his signing demands and some unsubstantiated rumors of his off-field behavior set his stock tumbling to the point where he was available when the Sox chose at No. 12.

"It was a rough past year,'' acknowledged Groome. "But my parents were always with me, by my side. There's nothing you can really say because it's all he said, she said. It did affect me at times, but once I got back out on the field, I just took all that into consideration. That's was my determination this year -- to prove everyone wrong.

"It's kind of tough when people are saying things. But there's nothing you can do about it. If it's not true, then it's not true. At times, it gets me so frustrated. These people never even met me and they're saying all these negative things. Once they meet me, they see how great of a person I am.''

Sean McAdam can be followed on Twitter: @Sean_McAdam

MLB Rumors: Yankees offer Gerrit Cole a record contract

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MLB Rumors: Yankees offer Gerrit Cole a record contract

The Boston Red Sox may be looking to cut their payroll this offseason. But that doesn't mean that their rivals will be too.

In fact, some may spend big. And that includes the New York Yankees.

The Yankees have been reportedly interested in free-agent pitcher Gerrit Cole. The former Houston Astro is expected to get a lot of money on the open market, and according to Bob Klapisch of the New York Times, the Yankees have made a record-setting offer for his services.

This would be a big signing for the Yankees, as they could use another top-tier pitcher for their starting rotation. And Cole would certainly fill that need.

Cole, 29, had one of the best seasons of his career for the Astros, logging a 20-5 record and posting a 2.50 ERA. He also struck out a league-best 326 batters and helped the Astros win the American League pennant.

While the Yankees offer is on the table, they are still competing with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels to earn his services, as Klapisch noted. We'll see if this offer is enough or if any of the teams involved in the sweepstakes up the ante.

And while the Yankees chase after Cole, the Red Sox are weighing some moves of their own. According to the latest rumors, they are expressing interest in a reunion with Rick Porcello.

Where Cole ranks among the MLB's top 10 free agent starting pitchers>>>

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MLB Rumors: Red Sox interested in a reunion with Rick Porcello

MLB Rumors: Red Sox interested in a reunion with Rick Porcello

The Boston Red Sox may be trying to cut some payroll this offseason, but that isn't going to stop them from targeting some free agents. And that may include one of their own.

According to Jason Mastrodonato of The Boston Herald, the Red Sox are having talks with Rick Porcello about a potential reunion. While the Red Sox may be interested in Porcello, Mastrodonato wrote that "it's unclear how aggressive the Red Sox will be in their pursuit."

He also noted that a short-term, incentive-based contract may make sense for both sides.

Porcello, soon to be 31, has spent the past five seasons with the Red Sox after being acquired in exchange for Yoenis Cespedes, Alex Wilson, and Gabe Speier. He won the Cy Young Award in his second year with the team, 2016, but he has had issues in the seasons since that campaign.

In 2019, Porcello endured his worst campaign as a pro, logging a career-worst 5.52 ERA and 7.4 K/9, his worst mark since joining the Red Sox. Still, he posted a 14-12 record and still profiles as a solid back-end starter because of his ability to eat innings.

We'll soon see if the Red Sox end up being involved in the Porcello sweepstakes. If they are involved, they will have competition and may find themselves facing off with the likes of the New York Mets, who reportedly have an interest in Porcello.

Where Porcello ranks among the MLB's top 10 free agent starting pitchers>>>

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