Red Sox

Highlights from the Red Sox 8-0 loss to the Blue Jays

Highlights from the Red Sox 8-0 loss to the Blue Jays

FINAL SCORE: Blue Jays 8, Red Sox 0

IN BRIEF:  The Red Sox pitching staff started the game strong, but a six-run fifth inning by the Blue Jays derailed their efforts to even up the series. The Sox only recorded two hits during their fifth consecutive loss.

BOX SCORE

RED SOX RECORD: 76-70

HIGHLIGHTS

4th inning

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. lofts sacrifice fly to left field, Cavan Biggio scores (1-0 TOR) 

Rowdy Tellez crushes solo homer to right-center field (2-0 TOR)

5th inning

Guerrero Jr. hits a two-run single to left field (4-0 TOR)

Randal Grichuk cracks two-run double off the right field wall (6-0 TOR)

Teoscar Hernandez lifts a two-run homer to left field (8-0 TOR)

UP NEXT:
@ Blue Jays, Thursday, 7:07 p.m., NESN
@Phillies, Saturday, 7:05 p.m., NESN
@Phillies, Sunday, 1:05 p.m., NESN

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Scott Boras explains why J.D. Martinez opted in to Red Sox contract

Scott Boras explains why J.D. Martinez opted in to Red Sox contract

An offseason filled with uncertainty for the Red Sox began on an encouraging note as J.D. Martinez chose not to opt out of his contract earlier this month.

Boston's prized DH decided to return for $23.75 million in 2020 rather than test the free-agent market. Wednesday at the GM Meetings in Arizona, his agent Scott Boras explained why.

“J.D. wanted assurance of competition at a high level and the fact that he played so well in Boston,” Boras said. “We looked at it and with those two things in mind, that was the focus. For that reason, he decided to opt in. The contract that we structured allowed him choices after each season. It was something that in this year, at this time, we felt like it was the best decision.”

Martinez enjoyed another stellar season at the plate for the Red Sox in 2019. The 32-year-old hit 36 home runs with 105 RBI and a .939 OPS in his second season in Boston.

“This is an elite bat,” Boras said. “This is very different than what DHs are, usually, to most teams. He’s a franchise bat so we always look at him that way.”

While Martinez's bat obviously will be welcomed back to the middle of the Red Sox lineup, his return casts even more doubt on Mookie Betts' future in Boston. Betts is set to become a free agent after the 2020 campaign and has repeatedly been the subject of trade rumors.

Martinez will get another chance to opt out following the 2020 season.

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MLB rumors: Latest free agent buzz on Yankees, Madison Bumgarner, Jose Abreu and more

MLB rumors: Latest free agent buzz on Yankees, Madison Bumgarner, Jose Abreu and more

The MLB offseason is underway, and the rumor mill has been in overdrive since the GM meetings began earlier this week in Arizona.

Some of the top pitchers in the sport, including Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg and Madison Bumgarner will dominate free agency headlines in the coming weeks. Several good hitters are available, too, setting the stage for what should be an exciting winter of player movement.

And, of course, the trade market is always fun to monitor. 

Here are the latest rumors from the GM meetings in Arizona.

Josh Donaldson, 3B
Donaldson rebounded from a disappointing 2018 to hit 37 home runs with 94 RBI and a .379 on-base percentage over 155 games for the Atlanta Braves in 2019. As you might suspect, he's drawing interest from several teams, per MLB Network's Jon Heyman.

USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale reports the Texas Rangers are in on Donaldson as well.

Madison Bumgarner, SP
Bumgarner should be one of the most sought after starting pitchers on the free-agent market, and one team keeping tabs on the veteran left-hander is the Philadelphia Phillies, per The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal.

"Yes, the Phils have checked in on Bumgarner, and likely are motivated to keep him away from the Braves, their NL East rivals. The Braves are the team closest to Bumgarner’s hometown of Hickory, N.C., and seem a more natural fit for him than the Phillies."

Bumgarner did his best to help the Giants contend for a postseason berth with a 4-2 record, a 3.75 ERA and 88 strikeouts over 96 innings after the All-Star break. He's no longer a No. 1 ace, but Bumgarner is still a quality pitcher and should be pursued by World Series contenders. His postseason résumé, which includes two championships and 16 total appearances, is really impressive.

The Phillies ranked 11th out of 15 National League teams with a 4.64 starters ERA in 2019, so Bumgarner absolutely would be a quality addition to their rotation in 2020.

New York Yankees
Another team to watch in the Bumgarner sweepstakes is the Yankees. Acquiring another top-of-the-rotation pitcher should be a top priority for Yankees general manager Brian Cashman this offseason, and he recently confirmed the team's interest in Bumgarner to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.

“I will definitely talk to Bumgarner’s agency,” Cashman told the Chronicle.

New York's lack of an ace was a problem in the 2019 playoffs, and the team's 4.51 ERA among starters ranked fourth among the five American League playoff teams during the regular season. The Yankees are interested in Gerrit Cole, too, but as the top free-agent starter on the market, he's going to receive a massive contract. Bumgarner would be a cheaper option for the reigning AL East champs.

Jose Abreu
Abreu is a great option for teams in need of more power in their lineup. He's averaged 29.8 home runs and 101.8 RBI over his six major league seasons, and at 32 years old, the veteran first baseman should still have a few really productive years remaining.

One team to keep in eye on with Abreu is the Miami Marlins, per Heyman.

The Marlins certainly could use another big bat in their lineup. Miami hit the fewest homers (146) of any NL team, in addition to having the third-worst batting average of those 15 clubs.

A Red Sox-Yankees trade? Bloom, Cashman won't rule it out>>>

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