Red Sox

Five Red Sox bullpen targets in free agency

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NBC Sports Boston illustration

Five Red Sox bullpen targets in free agency

The Red Sox’ offseason forays are likely to be focused on pitching, unless they decide to reshape their offense with an eye on perhaps setting themselves up for the future with players who are further away from free agency — and there’s no indication they’re going to act that way. The Sox could be in a position to wait out some relievers as well, although president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has been known to move quickly when he has a target. But he first, of course, has to have a target.

Here — speculatively, and in no particular order — are five free agents the Red Sox could make a run at as they fill out a bullpen that may lose Craig Kimbrel.

1. Adam Ottavino. Take the Brooklyn kid and bring him to Boston. As far as upside goes, Ottavino has as much as anyone. Entering his age-33 season, the righty struck out 13 per nine innings in 2018. His walks can be problematic, and the Sox would hope that he’d perform more like he did in the first half this year with the Rockies (1.62 ERA, 18 walks, 44 1/3 innings) than the second (3.51 ERA, 18 walks, 33 1/3 innings).

2. Kelvin Herrera. Had the Red Sox lost the World Series, we could be talking about Herrera as the one who got away — and also, maybe, a crisis averted. The Sox had a deal with the Nats for the hard-throwing righty at the trade deadline, and Nats ownership decided not to move him. Shortly after the deadline, Herrera tore a ligament in his left foot. Who knows what would have happened had the Sox acquired him, but if they’re losing one power arm in Craig Kimbrel, Herrera is a way to replace at least the velocity. His fastball sits at 97 mph.  

3. Zach Britton. For two years now, Zach Britton’s been walking a lot of hitters, more than four per nine innings. If the Red Sox think they can help him cut those down, then entering his age-31 season, he almost represents a potential buy-low candidate. Plus, he’s at least familiar with the division.

4. Jeurys Familia. Familia isn’t the best relief option out there but he does represent something of a known quantity. At 29, he’s also on the younger side among the more established names being thrown around, with closer experience.

5. Joe Kelly. He’s not under the radar. But Kelly wants to be in Boston and the Sox want him back, and the sides have been in touch. There’s a greater likelihood that the Sox and Kelly get something done than the Sox and Kimbrel, and a reprise feels like a natural move after Kelly grew in Boston — his fan base grew as well, following a fun night with Tyler Austin.

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Ex-Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright to undergo Tommy John surgery

Ex-Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright to undergo Tommy John surgery

Steven Wright's Red Sox career came to an end on Friday, and it'll be a while before the knuckleballer makes his return to the mound.

Shortly after being released by Boston, Wright revealed to WEEI's Rob Bradford he will undergo Tommy John surgery on Tuesday to repair the torn UCL in his right elbow.

"I'm fully committed to rehab and making a comeback," Wright told Bradford. "I feel better than I have ever and want to get back to a position I haven't been in since 2016, which is healthy. My sole focus is to get healthy and stay focused."

Wright made only six appearances for the Red Sox in 2019 as he tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance in January and served an 80-game suspension. The 35-year-old also served a 15-game suspension in 2018 for violating the league's domestic violence policy.

Wright posted a 24-16 record with a 3.86 ERA in 81 total appearances during his tenure in Boston.

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Watch David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez reminisce on 2004 ALCS

Watch David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez reminisce on 2004 ALCS

Fifteen years ago, the Boston Red Sox pulled off the impossible vs. the New York Yankees in the 2004 American League Championship Series.

David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez took a trip down memory lane to relive the unforgettable moments in a nostalgia-filled video for FOX Sports. The two legends relive everything from A-Rod slapping the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove to Curt Schilling's bloody sock.

A-Rod shared the video and wrote about his painful memories from the series on Twitter. Watch and read below:

Credit to Rodriguez for being a good sport (imagine reading that sentence 15 years ago?...)

The Yankees could find themselves ousted from another ALCS on Friday night when they take on the Astros in a do-or-die Game 5. They would have to win three straight games, including two on the road, to advance to the World Series.

The last team to do that? You guessed it. The '04 Red Sox.

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