The Red Sox pursuit of a power bat has reportedly led them in the direction of White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network and FanRagSports.com.
Abreu turns 31 in January. The right-handed hitter from Cuba had 33 homers, 102 RBI and 43 doubles last season with a slash line of .304/.354/.552. He's put together four consecutive seasons of 25 or more homers, 100 or more RBI and at least a .290 batting average. As Heyman reported, the Red Sox were in on Abreu when he came from Cuba before he signed with the White Sox in 2014.
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He is arbitration eligible after making $10.8 million in 2017. He can become a free agent after 2019, so the Red Sox would have two years of control on Abreu unless he signs an extension.
The Red Sox and White Sox pulled one of the biggest deals of last offseason when Boston acquired lefty ace Chris Sale for top third base prospect Yoan Moncada and right-handed pitching prospect Michael Kopech. The White Sox are rumored to be interested in Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr.
Steven Wright has made it an easy decision for Alex Cora when the injured Drew Pomeranz returns from the disabled list.
When Pomeranz went down with biceps tendinitis on June 5, Wright immediately stepped up in his spot throwing seven shutout innings vs the Tigers. That proved to be no fluke, as the knuckleballer followed up with another scoreless outing in 6.2 innings pitched vs the Orioles.
Then on Saturday in Seattle, Wright put the exclamation point on his case to take over for Pomeranz in the rotation for the foreseeable future. The right-hander's scoreless streak reached 24.2 innings before the Mariners were able to scratch across a run in the third. That would be the only run scored against Wright in the game, as the 2016 All-Star again threw seven strong innings.
In eight starts this season, Pomeranz hasn't made it to the seven-inning mark. In 2017, he did so only once in 32 starts. The left-hander's inability to go deep in games has made him the odd man out in the rotation at least until another starter goes down, or Wright begins to show signs of inconsistency.
Besides, Pomeranz has had success as a reliever in the past. He thrived in the role in 2014 and 2015 with Oakland. It makes more sense to have him as an added lefty in the bullpen, rather than use a knuckleball pitcher in relief.
Wright shouldn't be expected to keep up this kind of pace. But he has once again earned himself a starting role, for as long as he can provide some much-needed stability at the back end of the rotation.
With a number of top-round Red Sox draft picks beginning to ink deals, including first-round pick Triston Casas of American Heritage High (Fla.), a friendly reminder that Boston's farm could use some serious infusion of life.
The top-ranked prospects in the Red Sox' minor league system are. . . how do we say this politely? Underperforming . . .
(Stats as of late last week.)