Red Sox

Ohtani nearly landed in Boston, but not when you think

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Ohtani nearly landed in Boston, but not when you think

The Red Sox weren't on Shohei Ohtani's final list of MLB teams he was considering this past winter (the Angels, Dodgers, Giants, Cubs, Mariners, Rangers and Padres were his finalists), but five years earlier, when he came out of high school in Japan, they nearly signed the two-way phenom who'll they face tonight on the mound in Anaheim. 

It's a much-anticipated matchup with both teams off to fast starts.

According to WEEI's Rob Bradford, back in 2012 the organization even had Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics and Patriots jerseys made up with Ohtani's name and his high school number 11 on the back as part of their recruiting pitch. 

"After that meeting, we thought we had a good chance to sign him," Eddie Romero Jr., now the Sox assistant general manager, who at the time was the team's director of international scouting, told Bradford. 

Jon Deeble, who was then the Sox chief Pacific Rim scout and now works for the Dodgers, said it came down to Boston and the Dodgers among MLB teams before Ohtani was convinced to stay in Japan with Yomiuri Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. 

"I think from what I understand it would've come down to the Red Sox and the Dodgers," Deeble told Bradford. "At that point, the Dodgers had a very good relationship with him also through someone who was working for them at the time. The Red Sox were definitely one or two to be able to get him, for sure."

The Red Sox were interested in a second chance at Ohtani in the offseason before he narrowed his list down. The Boston Globe's Alex Speier details the team's recruiting pitch this past winter, complete with a video referencing Babe Ruth among other Boston legends. With his hitting (.367, three homers, 11 RBI) and pitching (2-0, 2.08 ERA) display in the first few weeks of the season, the Sox' faith in him coming out of high school, even after their mixed results with another Japanese phenom - Daisuke Matsuzaka - now seems justified. 

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Could Yankees reliever David Robertson be option for Red Sox bullpen?

Could Yankees reliever David Robertson be option for Red Sox bullpen?

New York Yankees right hander David Robertson is one of the best relief pitchers on the MLB free-agent market, and it sounds like the list of teams he'd consider signing with is based on geographical reasons.

MLB.com's Bryan Hoch tweeted some insight into Robertson's plans, which revolve around staying close to home.

The teams closest to Rhode Island are the Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets and Boston Red Sox. The Toronto Blue Jays are fairly close, too. All of those teams would be wise to upgrade their bullpen, and the Red Sox could have a huge need for more relief pitching if closer Craig Kimbrel and/or Joe Kelly leaves via free agency.

Robertson pitched 69 2/3 innings over 69 appearances for the Yankees in 2018. He posted an 8-3 record with five saves, 21 holds, a 3.23 ERA, 91 strikeouts and 26 walks. 

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MLB Rumors: Red Sox 'retain interest' in closer Craig Kimbrel

MLB Rumors: Red Sox 'retain interest' in closer Craig Kimbrel

The Boston Red Sox need to figure out their closer situation with Craig Kimbrel hitting free agency, but there's still a chance the 30-year-old veteran returns to the 2018 World Series champions.

Fancred's Jon Heyman wrote Thursday the Red Sox "retain interest in star closer Craig Kimbrel, but it will come down to price. Boston seems adamant about not wanting to go five years."

The contract term part makes sense for the Sox. A five-year deal at Kimbrel's age would not be the wisest investment. He already declined the $17.9 million qualifying offer the Red Sox extended.

Kimbrel struggled toward the end of the season and throughout the postseason but still managed to earn 42 saves -- his highest total in three seasons with the Red Sox. 

Several MLB teams need to upgrade their closer and Kimbrel arguably is the best one on the market, so it will be interesting to see if the Red Sox get into a bidding war or pursue other options. 

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