Red Sox

Red Sox draft pick Feleipe Franks: 'My career is football'

Red Sox draft pick Feleipe Franks: 'My career is football'

The Boston Red Sox made the decision to take a chance in the 31st round of the 2019 MLB Draft. With their pick, they added Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks to their squad.

Franks hasn't played baseball since high school, but that didn't stop the Red Sox from selecting him. And they ended up signing him before the July 12th deadline to ink prospects to contracts.

Despite that development, Franks' latest comments seemingly confirm that he is focused on football for the foreseeable future.

"My career is football," Franks said Monday at SEC media days per ESPN's Mike Rodak. "My main focus is football [in] college, then hopefully a career in the NFL. Then [baseball] is kind of like a backup plan, backup job."

Franks completed just 58.4 percent of his passes as a junior starter at Florida, but he was effective when accurate, totaling 2,457 yards, 24 touchdowns, and just six interceptions for the Gators. He also ran for 350 yards and seven touchdowns, so the 6-foot-6, 240-pound prospect does have dual-threat ability.

There's a good chance that an NFL team will take a chance on him in the draft or as an undrafted free agent. As of this writing, WalterFootball.com's Charlie Campbell has Franks listed as a Round 5-7 prospect, but the big-armed passer could rise if he shows improvement in 2019.

While Franks was an interesting choice by the Red Sox, it looks like he's more of a long-term, potential-based investment. He could eventually suit up for one of the Sox' minor league affiliates, but that won't be until he's finished with his football career.

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How Mookie Betts impressed new Dodgers teammates with team meeting speech

How Mookie Betts impressed new Dodgers teammates with team meeting speech

The Boston Red Sox lost an MVP-caliber talent in outfielder Mookie Betts.

But they also lost a strong leader in the clubhouse.

Just ask the Los Angeles Dodgers, whom Betts addressed for the first time in a recent team meeting after his trade from Boston earlier this month.

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According to Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, Betts' speech to the clubhouse was reminiscent of Kirk Gibson, who chewed out his Los Angeles teammates and demanded a new level of excellence when he joined the team as a free agent in 1988.

Except Betts delivered his message without putting anyone on blast.

"When you stand up in front of the team on the first day and essentially call everyone out, says he wants to hold everyone accountable for their effort -- not just in the game, but in the workouts -- that’s like, all right, you learn what he’s about really fast,” said Turner said Sunday of Betts, via MLB.com's Ken Gurkick

"Same principle [as Gibson’s speech], just not critical of us. This was him saying this before he knew anybody. Just signs of leadership, it jumps out at you."

Betts' passion surprised Turner, who took the 27-year-old outfielder for the quiet type.

"Just kind of assumed he was a quiet guy who goes about his business," Turner said. "Then Day One, you realize you were way off. He was proactive, let’s get in front of this -- Day One is as urgent as Game 7 of the World Series. It was awesome, actually."

Dodgers utility man Enrique Hernandez used the same adjective after hearing Betts' speech.

"It was awesome," Hernandez told Gurkick. "It was, 'this is how I play the game,' and I respected the heck out of him for that."

Betts had made strides as a leader in Boston since David Ortiz retired in 2016, setting an example with his play but also holding his teammates accountable. The Dodgers will need that accountability this season as they attempt to live up to massive expectations as clear World Series favorites.

As for Betts' work on the field, he went 0-for-2 with a sacrifice fly Sunday in his Dodgers spring training debut.

Red Sox claim RHP Phillips Valdez off waivers, place Dustin Pedroia on 60-day IL

Red Sox claim RHP Phillips Valdez off waivers, place Dustin Pedroia on 60-day IL

The Boston Red Sox have made yet another move to bolster their pitching depth.

On Sunday, they claimed right-hander Phillips Valdez off waivers from the Seattle Mariners. To make room for Valdez, they placed veteran second baseman Dustin Pedroia on the 60-day injured list.


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Valdez, 27, only has 11 games worth of major league experience under his belt. In 2019, he posted a 3.94 ERA and 1.62 WHIP in 16 innings pitched with the Texas Rangers. Valdez was claimed off waivers by the Mariners in November, then designated for assignment on Saturday.

Pedroia suffered a "significant setback" during his knee rehab, so his placement on the 60-day IL doesn't come as a surprise. The 36-year-old did not report to spring training with the Red Sox.

Along with Valdez, Boston has added Chris Mazza, Martin Perez, Trevor Hildenberger, to its pitching staff this offseason.