Red Sox

Red Sox wave white flag of surrender on season by doing nothing at trade deadline

Red Sox wave white flag of surrender on season by doing nothing at trade deadline

BOSTON -- Dave Dombrowski shifted in his seat and then delivered the saddest opening statement since Brett Kavanaugh ranted about PJ and Squee.

"We do not have any announcements," Dombrowski proclaimed with faux cheer. "We did not make any trades."

Dombrowski probably should've stopped right there, because the next 25 minutes left the distinct impression that no matter what they say, management and ownership have collectively given up on the 2019 season.

Uncomfortable doesn't even begin to describe Dombrowski's attempts to explain away this disaster of a trade deadline, which did indeed pass without the Red Sox doing anything beyond acquiring fifth starter Andrew Cashner a couple of weeks ago.

Instead, Dombrowski tried to sell us (and maybe himself?) on the idea that the bullpen is actually really good, and no, seriously, a bunch of teams wanted to acquire *his* relievers, thank you very much. He noted that internal solutions exist at Triple A, which means he's counting on the disappointing Ryan Brasier or the unproven Tanner Houck to rescue his flawed bullpen.

A week that started with the hopes of acquiring Mets closer Edwin Diaz before downshifting to the possibility of adding two relievers ended with the Red Sox acquiring no one because the price was too high. Dombrowski admitted the team's place in the standings played a role.

"If we were closer to first place, I would've been more open minded with some of the other things," he said.

Translation: this team isn't good enough to justify any further expenditures, not when the prize is a one-game wild card crapshoot at Cleveland or Minnesota. Ownership doesn't think this club is worth another penny, and it's definitely not my fault.

"The reality is, if we're going to make it, it's going to be the guys that are in the clubhouse," Dombrowski said. "That is the case."

Translation: Did I mention this isn't my fault?

While the Red Sox stood pat, the rival Astros acquired former Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke to pair atop a rotation that already includes Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, becoming prohibitive World Series favorites in the process. The Rays bolstered their bullpen (Miami's Nick Anderson) and offense (slugging first baseman Jesus Aguilar). The Indians added Yasiel Puig. The Twins grabbed a pair of relievers. If there was any remote solace, it's that the Yankees struck out, too.

What happened? For two days, manager Alex Cora had strongly hinted that the Red Sox would be adding bullpen help. Tuesday night's implosion, when Marcus Walden, Josh Taylor, and Colten Brewer combined to blow a 5-4 lead in a 6-5 loss to the Rays, seemed to cement the marriage of need and availability.

And then … crickets. Dombrowski described the costs as prohibitive, but it's hard to believe he couldn't have struck a deal for someone, anyone.

"I don't know that there was a player out there that was traded that we couldn't have acquired," Dombrowski said. "It's just that we didn't like the price that was asked. And I guess the other part of it is to know that as we talked about our farm system over the years, we got asked about a lot of our players that we just didn't want to make moves on."

This is a complete and utter surrender. With the starting pitching middle of the pack and the bullpen still two arms short, the Red Sox didn't see the point in sacrificing future resources on a hopelessly flawed team. From an ownership perspective, it might prove the right move in the long term.

But if that's the case, let's call it what it is and agree to wait 'til next year.

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Report: Former Red Sox infielder Eduardo Nunez to join Mets as non-roster invite to spring training

Report: Former Red Sox infielder Eduardo Nunez to join Mets as non-roster invite to spring training

Midway through the 2019 MLB season, the struggling Boston Red Sox made an attempt to shake things up on their bench and get them back into the playoff race. That decision involved designating Eduardo Nunez for assignment.

Nunez spent parts of three seasons with the Red Sox after he was acquired at the 2017 MLB trade deadline. Nunez quickly endeared himself to Boston fans by batting .321 and smashing eight homers in 38 games with the team.

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But after his first season, Nunez's production tailed off. He was still productive during the team's 2018 World Series run, though he was hampered by a knee injury, before things bottomed out in 2019. He was hitting just .228 at the time of his release and his defensive range was declining because of his balky knee.

Now, after remaining out of MLB work for almost half a year, it looks like Nunez is getting one more shot at sticking around in the MLB.

According to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez, the New York Mets have invited Nunez to join them as a non-roster invite at spring training in 2020. 

It may be tough for Nunez to ultimately win a spot with the Mets, who also have former Red Sox shortstop/third baseman Jed Lowrie on the team. But he is going to be on a minor league deal as a result of this signing.

And if injuries strike and Nunez proves himself, perhaps he could eventually earn a roster spot.

We'll soon see what happens with Nunez, but it is nice to see the 32-year-old get another chance to play at the MLB level, even if it is just a spring training invite.

Dodgers president on Red Sox, Astros sign-stealing: 'I'd like to have answers'

Dodgers president on Red Sox, Astros sign-stealing: 'I'd like to have answers'

Los Angeles Dodgers team president Stan Kasten, in his first public comments on the sign-stealing scandal that has rocked baseball, lamented that he still has many unanswered questions after Major League Baseball's punishment of the Houston Astros. 

Kasten noted that the investigation isn't over, with MLB continuing to look into the Red Sox' alleged sign-stealing using video - a system that Alex Cora reportedly brought to Boston as manager after serving as Astros bench coach.

"This investigation isn't over," Kasten said, via Evan Drellich of The Athletic, who along with colleague Ken Rosenthal broke the stories detailing the Astros' and Red Sox' schemes.  "I’d like to have answers to many questions about what happened, by whom and when."

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Kasten saw his Dodgers lose World Series in 2017 to Houston and 2018 to Boston, only to have those two championships called into question after MLB's report on the Astros' tactics led to the firing of manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow. Cora also parted ways with the Red Sox amid the controversy and Carlos Beltran, a player on the '17 Astros involved in the scheme, was fired just months after being named manager of the New York Mets.  

Houston was also fined $5 million and docked draft picks. The Red Sox could face similar penalties.

Here are Kasten's full comments, via Drellich:

Earlier this week, baseball commissioner Rob Manfred shot down suggestions that the World Series titles could be stripped from the Astros and Red Sox, a request made by, among others, the L.A. City Council. 

Speaking specifically about losing to the Astros in the 2017 Series, Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, at the team's Fan Fest on Saturday, questioned the legitimacy of Houston's title.  

"We know how hard it is to win a World Series," Turner said. "We know that it's something you really have to earn, and with the commissioner's report and the evidence and what they had, it's hard to feel like they earned it and they earned the right to be called champions."