Red Sox

Brock Holt likely to be activated from the IL in coming days

Brock Holt likely to be activated from the IL in coming days

After missing almost a month and a half with eye and shoulder injuries, Brock Holt will soon be making his return to the Boston Red Sox. The team is likely to activate him from the IL either Monday or Tuesday, according to manager Alex Cora.

Holt was hitting just .063 to start the season, but part of that was due to an eye injury he suffered just before Opening Day. His son, Griff, poked him in the eye and Holt was having trouble picking up spin on the ball as a result. That's what led him to his first rehab assignment. There, he suffered a shoulder injury that has derailed him a bit longer than many had anticipated. But now, he's ready to come back.

Holt's return as the top utility man will give the Boston bench a boost. They have been operating with only three hitters (at most) on the bench for the season, as Cora has opted to keep at least 13 pitchers on the roster to shore up their uncertain bullpen. Holt's ability to play anywhere will give Cora more options about when to rest his players, and he will give the team a lefthanded bat on the bench as well.

“We can move Michael Chavis to first if needed,” Cora said per Jason Mastrodonato of The Boston Herald. Holt “can play the outfield, he can play short, so we’ll use him the same way we did last year. Obviously he’s a bat off the bench when he doesn’t play that matches up well against righties, so it gives us multiple options now on the bench.

“You’ve got Pearce, you’ve got Nunez, you’ve Holt when he doesn’t play, so it’s a little bit tougher for the opposition to match up with us late in games.”

It's unclear exactly what the corresponding move to adding Holt would be. The team has seemingly delayed adding Holt to the roster because of their need of bullpen depth in wake of David Price's 15-pitch outing on Saturday. But perhaps after Sunday's game, the team will option Travis Lakins or the recently called up Darwinzon Hernandez to the minors to get Holt back on the roster. If the Sox do that, it will mark the first time this year that the team will carry less than 13 pitchers on the roster.

We'll soon see what the Sox plan on doing, but definitely keep an eye on Holt in the coming days.

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How Bobby Bonilla Day can save MLB's ongoing salary dispute

How Bobby Bonilla Day can save MLB's ongoing salary dispute

If baseball wants to solve its impasse over player compensation during the pandemic, here's a thought — make Bobby Bonilla Day a holiday.

Bonilla is the former Mets slugger who struck an incredible deal as his career wound to a close.

In exchange for waiving the final $5.9 million he was owed in 2000, Bonilla agreed to receive 25 payments of roughly $1.19 million every July 1 from 2011 through 2035.

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Why trade $6 million in 2000 for nearly $30 million later? Because Mets owner Fred Wilpon intended to invest the money with Bernie Madoff, whose funds consistently delivered massive returns. We now know Madoff was running the world's biggest Ponzi Scheme, and when his $64 billion fraud collapsed in 2008, it took hundreds of millions of Wilpon's money with it.

What's bad for him was good for Bobby Bo, however. Every summer, the six-time All-Star receives a check for over a million dollars, payments that will continue until he's 72. (The Mets, it should be noted, also agreed to make 25 annual $250,000 payments to Bret Saberhagen for similar reasons, starting in 2004.)

Here's where the current contentiousness enters the picture.

The owners want the players to take a massive pay cut in exchange for a season, arguing they can't afford to play in empty ballparks without salary concessions. The players don't want to return a penny, and in fact hope to play more than the proposed 82 games to make as much of their prorated salaries as possible.

One solution is deferrals. The players agree to put off some portion of their earnings, allowing ownership to maintain cash flow in the short term before the game's economics hopefully stabilize in the future.

And what better day to do it than Bobby Bonilla Day? Every July 1 starting next year, the players can receive a portion of their 2020 salary. Maybe it's paid in installments over three to five years, or maybe it's a lump sum.

However it's done, it could represent a meaningful olive branch from the players and a signal that they're willing to compromise in these unprecedented times.

The value for the owners is clear, because Wilpon isn't the only one who sees the allure of deferrals. The World Series champion Nationals prefer them as a rule, deferring not only $105 million of Max Scherzer's $210 million contract, but even $3 million of the $4 million they gave reliever Joe Blanton in 2017.

With players and owners at each other's throats, it could be disarming to invoke one of the game's stranger annual curiosities. And if it helps us play baseball in 2020, there's also this: Open the season on July 1 and make Bobby Bonilla Day, for one year anyway, a national holiday.

Who are the best right fielders in Red Sox history? Ranking the Top 5

Who are the best right fielders in Red Sox history? Ranking the Top 5

Corner outfielders for the Red Sox have vastly different responsibilities. 

While left fielders have to learn how to play with the Green Monster at their backs, right fielders are tasked with covering an immense amount of ground with some quirky angles —duties which require not just a mobile defender, but a fearless one. A strong arm helps, too, lest the turnstiles between first and third just spin all game.

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Fortunately for the Red Sox, there have been no shortage of exceptional right fielders over the years, including a number who didn't make our top five, like Dirt Dog Trot Nixon; postseason heroes J.D. Drew and Shane Victorino; and Earl Webb, whose 67 doubles in 1931 remain one of the longest-standing single-season records in the game.

The final list includes a Hall of Famer, two MVPs, a hometown hero, and one of the franchise's longest tenured stars.

Click here for the Top 5 right fielders in Red Sox history.