Red Sox

Red Sox DFA Blake Swihart, call up Sandy Leon and Erasmo Ramirez

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USA TODAY Sports

Red Sox DFA Blake Swihart, call up Sandy Leon and Erasmo Ramirez

Blake Swihart's career with the Boston Red Sox could be over.

The Sox designated him for assignment Tuesday, the team announced. He will need to pass through waivers before going to Triple-A Pawtucket. Given his age and offensive ability as a catcher/outfielder, it wouldn't be shocking if a team claimed him. Swihart has struggled of late for the Red Sox. He hasn't collected a single hit in the last seven games (0-for-14 overall). He's batting .231 (6-for-23) with one home run, four RBI and a .310 on-base percentage this season.

The Red Sox had only one catcher, Christian Vazquez, on the MLB roster with Swihart being DFA'd. Reinforcements are on the way, though, with Sandy Leon oficially making his way back to the Red Sox from Triple-A Pawtucket. Leon is well-liked by Red Sox pitchers and does a great job behind the plate, but his offensive production is not good. He's batting .120 for Pawtucket in 2019.

Right-handed pitcher Erasmo Ramirez also is being called up from Triple-A to replace Marcus Walden.

The Sox open a two-game series against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night. Boston is tied with the Toronto Blue Jays for last place in the American League East.

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Watch Red Sox rookie Michael Chavis' hot streak continue with huge home run

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USA TODAY Sports

Watch Red Sox rookie Michael Chavis' hot streak continue with huge home run

Michael Chavis' run for American League Rookie of the Year took another positive step forward in the Boston Red Sox's game against the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday afternoon.

Chavis crushed a two-run home run, his second blast in as many days, deep to left field at Rogers Centre to give Boston a 6-2 lead in the third inning.

It was Chavis' ninth home run of the season, tying him with J.D. Martinez for the second-most on the team. Chavis, however, has accumulated these home runs in 19 fewer games than Martinez.

The former top prospect entered Monday's matchup in Toronto with a .290 batting average, 22 RBI and a .389 on-base percentage in 25 games this season. He's collected multiple hits in four of his last six games, including 10 hits overall during that span.

Chavis, at least so far, has been hitting at a better rate than Blue Jays outfielder Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who is considered one of the elite prospects in baseball.

It's obviously very early into Chavis' career, but his impressive development has been among the most encouraging aspects of Boston's 2019 season. Winning the AL Rookie of the Year quickly is becoming a very attainable goal for the talented infielder.

Betts focused on another World Series title, not next contract>>>

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Red Sox star Mookie Betts' focus on next World Series title, not new contract

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USA TODAY Sports

Red Sox star Mookie Betts' focus on next World Series title, not new contract

Boston Red Sox star Mookie Betts' next contract is going to be the biggest off-the-field story surrounding the franchise until the outfielder makes a decision on his future, but right now, he's squarely focused on winning the second World Series championship of his career.

Betts is able to hit the market as an unrestricted free agent after the 2020 MLB season, but he's not giving the scenario too much thought at the moment, per the Boston Globe's Pete Abraham.

“No. I’m thinking about us trying to win the World Series again,” Betts said. “It’s 2019, that’s not what I’m worried about. When 2020 comes, we’ll worry about 2020. Then I’ll worry about whatever happens after that.

“I’ve always been able to compartmentalize things like that. My contract is not on my to-do list right now.”

Betts is one of the two or three best players in baseball and won the American League MVP, a silver slugger, a batting title, a Gold Glove and the World Series all in a stellar 2018 campaign.

He's off to a solid start in 2019, too, batting .298 with seven home runs, 23 RBI and a .408 on-base percentage through 45 games. Betts' improved play after a slow start has been among the main reasons why Boston has gone 13-5 in its last 18 games to climb above the .500 mark and get back into the American League East race. 

The Red Sox no doubt want Betts to remain with the franchise on a long-term basis. Team chairman Tom Werner said as much right before the 2019 campaign began.

“We’re hopeful (about signing Betts),” Werner said. “Of course, you know, he has two more years (left) with the Red Sox. It’s probably not going to happen now that the season has started. We’ll get another shot at it next year. Our hope is that he will also play out the rest of his career with the Red Sox."

Securing Betts' signature on a new contract will come at a very steep price, and possibly a record-breaking one, too. Betts has watched Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout and Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper, two outfielders the Red Sox star stacks up well against statistically, recently sign new contracts for $400 million and $330 million, respectively. Betts should absolutely seek a new deal in the ballpark of $300 million to $400 million, particularly when you factor in his extraordinary talent, past success, age and what he means for the business side of the Red Sox.

It is encouraging for the team, however, that he's not thinking too much about his next contract. The Red Sox, despite their improved performance in May, still have plenty of ground to make up in the AL playoff races, and they need Betts to play at an MVP-caliber level if the team is going to reach the 2019 postseason and earn an opportunity to defend its crown.

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