Red Sox

Red Sox have 2 days to activate RHP Tyler Thornburg

Red Sox have 2 days to activate RHP Tyler Thornburg

The Red Sox have a big decision to make heading into the All-Star break.

On Monday, relief pitcher Tyler Thornbug completed his 30-day rehab assignment in Pawtucket. The Red Sox have two days to decide whether or not they'll cut ties with Thornburg who struggled both with the Red Sox and in Triple-A this year, according to Boston Globe reporter Alex Speier. In 11 Triple-A appearances in 2019, Thornburg has posted a behemoth 12.66 ERA, has walked nine batters and allowed five homers. He posted a 7.71 ERA with the Red Sox before joining the injured list with a right hip injury on May 24. 

If Boston does not activate Thornburg, their options are limited to either outrighting him or designating him for assignment. Both of those roads would likely lead to Thornburg joining another club. 

The Red Sox traded Travis Shaw for Thornburg in 2016, hoping to add a set-up man. Thornburg was coming off a career year in which he recorded a 2.15 ERA for Milwaukee, but missed all of 2017 with a shoulder injury and hasn't been the same. Meanwhile, Shaw clubbed more than 30 home runs in both 2017 and 2018. 

Boston needs help in the bullpen, but it's unlikely that Thornburg miraculously returns to his lights-out 2016 form. After just 41 big league appearances in three seasons, Thornburg's time with the Red Sox may be nearing an end. 

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Report: There is 'great skepticism' teams will pay up for Mookie Betts

Report: There is 'great skepticism' teams will pay up for Mookie Betts

The No. 1 Red Sox offseason storyline to keep tabs on this winter is their difficult situation with Mookie Betts.

Betts will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2020 season if he and the Red Sox fail to agree on a contract extension before then. With Boston looking to shed payroll and J.D. Martinez opting into his contract, there's plenty of speculation the superstar right fielder could be traded for a package of top prospects.

But according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, there's some doubt that teams interested in Betts will be willing to giving up the farm for one year of the 2018 American League MVP.

Needless to say, new Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom has his work cut out for him.

That work begins this week at the GM meetings in Arizona, where Bloom and the rest of the Red Sox brass aims to get some clarity on which direction the organization is heading for 2020 and beyond. That process, of course, begins with Betts.

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Dustin Pedroia retiring? Not so fast, say Red Sox

Dustin Pedroia retiring? Not so fast, say Red Sox

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- When last we heard from Dustin Pedroia, the former MVP sounded like someone who recognized his career was winding to an end.

Persistent knee issues had limited him to just nine total games in 2018 and 2019, and when he shut it down this past Memorial Day, it seemed unlikely we'd see him in a Red Sox uniform again for anything more than a sendoff.

"I haven't sat down and thought about retirement," Pedroia said. "I just know that right now I need a break from the everyday stresses and dealing with what I'm dealing with. . . . I think time will give me the right answer of if I can do this."

While it still seems unlikely that Pedroia returns, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and general manager Brian O'Halloran refused to rule it out at Monday's GM meetings, even noting that Pedroia has been encouraged.

"Every indication I've gotten is that he's feeling good and intending on playing," Bloom said.

The Red Sox brass hopes to meet with Pedroia, an Arizona resident, this week. O'Halloran noted that the passage of time has altered Pedroia's perspective.

"I think perhaps how he feels about things has changed since it was pretty raw at that point (in May), the time you're talking about," O'Halloran said. "He's been working out and doing well by his own account and we're going to talk to him and learn more. I don't think that anything specifically changed. I think it's more that time has passed and he's been feeling better."

That said, can the Red Sox count on Pedroia to play a role in 2019? While it would be wise to progress on the assumption that he won't play -- former president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski left himself in a hole last year by proclaiming he believed Pedroia could appear in 125 games -- they're certainly not sweating that keeping him active means eating a roster spot.

"I would never think of it as a problem to have Dustin Pedroia on our 40-man roster and be concerned about planning around him, no," he said. "So it's good to have him on our roster and hopefully he continues to progress and is in the mix."

Pedroia still has two years and $25 million remaining on the eight-year, $110 million extension he signed in 2013.

TOMASE: Looking at Chaim Bloom's exhausting to-do list at GM meetings>>>

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