Red Sox

Red Sox' Xander Bogaerts has odd choice for pitcher he fears most

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Red Sox' Xander Bogaerts has odd choice for pitcher he fears most

When most people think about feared pitchers in Major League Baseball, guys like Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and Aroldis Chapman immediately come to mind.

Xander Bogaerts isn't "most people."

The Boston Red Sox shortstop revealed Tuesday on the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon which pitcher he fears most in the league, and his answer was a surprising one.

“In spring training I got asked who might be the pitcher you fear the most or something like that and I said Jeff Samardzija,” Bogaerts said. “I haven’t faced him in awhile. I faced him a lot when he was with the White Sox.”

Bogaerts is 1-for-6 vs. Samardzija in his career, last facing the right-hander in 2015. Now, Samardzija is a part of the San Francisco Giants rotation and could end up facing Bogaerts when they visit Fenway Park for a series in September.

“When he’s been with the Giants now I haven’t seen him as much. They’re coming here soon, so hopefully I don’t have to face him," said Bogaerts. "Jeff Samardzija, the way he throws it. he just looks at you like he doesn’t fear anything. Some people have different guys, I have Jeff Samardzija.”

While it certainly isn't a popular choice, Bogaerts picking Samardzija does make some sense. The 34-year-old is an imposing figure on the mound at 6-foot-5, 240 pounds and has enjoyed several productive seasons during his 12 years in the big leagues. That includes this season, as he's currently 9-9 with a 3.54 ERA and 1.12 WHIP.

If Samardzija does indeed face Bogaerts next month, that feeling of fear probably will be mutual. With 27 home runs and a whopping .946 OPS entering Tuesday night, the Aruban has been one of the Red Sox' best offensive players in 2019.

Betts shuts down notion he dislikes Boston>>>

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Xander Bogaerts offers thoughts on Mookie Betts returning to Red Sox in 2021

Xander Bogaerts offers thoughts on Mookie Betts returning to Red Sox in 2021

The Boston Red Sox made a decision that made a lot of fans unhappy in early February. The team decided to trade Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers along with David Price in exchange for a package of three prospects.

Betts, the MLB's MVP back in 2018, is one of the top five players in the league. He hit .295 with 29 homers last year as the Red Sox lead-off hitter, so parting with him obviously stings.

But could the Red Sox try to bring him back in free agency next offseason? It's possible, and it's something that Xander Bogaerts thinks the team could attempt to do.

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“Hey, you know... probably, maybe in a year,” Bogaerts said of potentially getting Betts back in 2021, per Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com. “We’ll see how that goes. He knows what he means to us and we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

Of course, there's no guarantee that Betts will end up returning to Boston. He could opt to sign an extension with the Dodgers or he could simply sign with the team that offers him the most money. And given how far apart he and the Red Sox were in negotiations, Betts may simply be out of their preferred price range.

It's tough to prognosticate what will happen in a year. And Betts wasn't willing to give any context clues during his introductory press conference with the Dodgers.

But Bogaerts and the Sox will remain hopeful. And until then, Boston's shortstop had one message for his former teammate.

“Obviously, I wish him nothing but the best," Bogaerts said, per Cotillo. "One of the best teammates I’ve had. One of the best young players we had to wear the Red Sox uniform.

"He’s someone we’re going to miss a lot. It’s not easy to replace somebody like that on and off the field.”

Rob Manfred provides updated timeline for Red Sox sign-stealing investigation

Rob Manfred provides updated timeline for Red Sox sign-stealing investigation

With spring training now here for MLB clubs, the Boston Red Sox have one massive question hanging over their heads. What will be the result of the MLB's investigation into the team's alleged sign-stealing?

Well, on Sunday afternoon, the Sox got an update on when that may be coming thanks to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.

Manfred has stated that the investigation will likely be wrapped up within the next two weeks, according to Evan Drellich of The Athletic.

It will be interesting to see who the MLB is re-interviewing and what impact that will have on the investigation. But the fact that some developments have "slowed down" the MLB doesn't seem to be good news for the Red Sox.

The sooner the Sox know the results of the investigation, the sooner they can move on from it. And that will be important with the regular season drawing nearer and nearer.