Red Sox

MLB Rumors: Yankees to meet with Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg in free agency

MLB Rumors: Yankees to meet with Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg in free agency

This may shock you, but the New York Yankees are going big game hunting this offseason.

The Yankees are set to meet free-agent pitchers Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg in California this week, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported Monday.

Cole and Strasburg are the cream of the 2019-20 free agent pitcher crop: Cole finished second in American League Cy Young Award voting after a dominant 2019 campaign for the Houston Astros, while Strasburg was named World Series MVP after a lights-out postseason effort for the Washington Nationals.

According to Rosenthal, Cole is a more realistic target for New York than Strasburg, who could draw interest from other teams like the San Diego Padres but is a strong candidate to re-sign with Washington.

In fact, the Yankees are making Cole their "top priority" in free agency, per Rosenthal, as New York is hoping to make the 29-year-old the ace of its rotation after a failed bid to trade for him following the 2017 season.

In any case, the Yankees' week of A-lister meetings is a sign they're willing to spend after their 103-win season ended with an ALCS loss to the Astros.

That means Chaim Bloom and the rival Boston Red Sox have their work cut out for them. The Red Sox convinced J.D. Martinez to stick around but still have questions in their rotation, as Rick Porcello is hitting free agency and Chris Sale is recovering from a shoulder injury.

The Red Sox aren't expected to make any big splashes this offseason outside a potential trade of Mookie Betts, but perhaps their rival completing a blockbuster will spur more action.

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Why J.D. Martinez would have major issue with an MLB video crackdown

Why J.D. Martinez would have major issue with an MLB video crackdown

Major League Baseball is considering significant changes to prevent teams from replicating the 2017 Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal.

One of those changes may significantly affect J.D. Martinez.

The Boston Red Sox slugger admitted Monday he heard that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is considering restricting players' access to live video replay during games.

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"I don't deny video can help you perform if you have access to it during the game, but a golfer can't come off the sixth and take a look at his swing," Manfred told ESPN's Karl Ravech over the weekend. " ... We're going to have to live with less access to live video in and around the dugout and clubhouse."

Martinez relies heavily on in-game video to dissect his swing. So, it's safe to say he wouldn't be a fan of these developments.

"To go out there and take all video out and you're not allowed to look at at-bats I think is a little ridiculous," Martinez told reporters Monday in Fort Myers.

"When I was in the minor leagues, Double-A, Triple-A, we had video systems. It's something you grew up with. You go back and check something in your swing and it helps you throughout the game. ... All of a sudden, you take that away? It's a little extreme."

Martinez, who has proclaimed the Red Sox innocent in MLB's investigation into their 2018 club for sign-stealing, also insisted in-game video doesn't help batters steal signs.

"It's kind like you're watching the game live on NESN," Martinez said. "You're watching the game on NESN. Can you steal the signs? It's too hard. It's cutting in and out. There's a guy eating a sausage and they're talking about a guy eating his hot dog, and all of a sudden (there's) the pitch."

Martinez acknowledged why the league would have to take some action based on the extent of the Astros' cheating. But the 32-year-old designated hitter believes in a less drastic solution, like delaying access to video replay by an inning.

Just as long as baseball doesn't take away the tool that's helped him become one of the game's best hitters.

"If you have to delay it, delay it," Martinez said. "Whatever you have to do. But to sit there and take that away? I mean, it's what makes me me.

"I'm a very analytical guy. I like to study my swing. I like to study what my back foot is doing, my elbow, whatever it might be. And there's a lot of guys nowadays that are like that. That's the trend of the game."

J.D. Martinez details why Ron Roenicke is 'perfect fit' as Red Sox manager

J.D. Martinez details why Ron Roenicke is 'perfect fit' as Red Sox manager

The Boston Red Sox replaced Alex Cora with Ron Roenicke, and one of the team's best players believes it will be a smooth transition for the new manager.

Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez was asked Monday about Roenicke's new role, and he explained why the team's next manager is a really good fit for the job.

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"Ron managed before, he understands it," Martinez told reporters. "He was a big piece of Alex's decisions. He understood Alex. Alex always used him, always leaned on him. He knows us, and we trust him. He's a familiar face. He knows the personalities in the clubhouse, and he knows how to handle everyone. I think it's like the perfect fit." 

Roenicke was hired as manager of the Milwaukee Brewers before the 2011 season. The Brewers lost to the rival St. Louis Cardinals in the 2011 National League Championship Series but didn't reach the postseason for the rest of Roenicke's tenure in Milwaukee. He was fired after a poor start in 2015.

The Red Sox hired him in 2017 to be the team's bench coach after Cora was brought in as manager. Roenicke served as a veteran voice for Cora to lean on, and the partnership helped the Red Sox win a franchise record 108 regular season games and the World Series in 2018. 

Boston was wise to promote Roenicke to manager following Cora's sudden departure in the wake of the sign-stealing scandal involving the Houston Astros. He has relationships with the players, he knows the pressures of the job, and the players clearly respect him.

Tomase: Red Sox are facing an enthusiasm deficit