Red Sox

A-Rod backs 'fine young man' Manny Machado as a free-agent signing

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A-Rod backs 'fine young man' Manny Machado as a free-agent signing

Manny Machado seemed to embrace his villain role in the postseason and one of baseball's other great villains - Alex Rodriguez - is endorsing him as a "fine young man" as Machado is pursued as a free agent this offseason.

A-Rod said he's mentored Machado since the former Orioles and Dodgers third baseman was a teenager in Miami, where both players grew up. A-Rod is still an advisor to the Yankees and, on a visit to London where he was promoting the Yanks-Red Sox series their next spring, Rodriguez was asked if he'd recommend Machado to his old team.

"No one has asked me for advice. I do wish Manny well. He's a fine young man," A-Rod told the New York Post. "It's a fun part of his career. I would just tell him to eliminate the white noise and focus on the game.

"I haven't had a chance to talk to [owner] Hal [Steinbrenner] or [GM Brian] Cashman, but I know ownership is as hungry as ever to put a great product and winner on the field," Rodriguez said. "And he's a great player.

Machado's added to his reputation as a heel by stepping on a few (see below) in the postseason. He was fined for the incident with the Brewers' Jesus Aguilar in the NLCS. He also was a self-proclaimed "not Johnny Hustle" and proved that at least once in the World Series. 

A-Rod, of course, was unliked by every team he wasn't playing on, for various reasons (see below). And there were times the teams he played for weren't too crazy about him either. 

https://twitter.com/BasebaIlKing/status/962102408653361152

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Report: Brian Bannister leaving Red Sox to join Giants

Report: Brian Bannister leaving Red Sox to join Giants

After five seasons in Boston, Brian Bannister is taking his talents elsewhere.

The former Red Sox vice president of pitching development will join the San Francisco Giants, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network.

Bannister was initially hired by the Red Sox as a scout in 2015. Later that year he was promoted to director of pitching analysis and development by then-Sox GM Dave Dombrowski.

In 2016, Bannister became Boston's assistant pitching coach and VP of pitching development. He was removed from the coaching staff but kept the latter title following the 2019 season.

Bannister spent five years as an MLB pitcher with the New York Mets and Kansas City Royals before pursuing a scouting/coaching career.

UPDATE (7:30 p.m. ET): Bannister confirmed his Boston exit Wednesday night in a pair of tweets thanking the Red Sox organization.

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Chaim Bloom: Red Sox 'exploring all options' with Mookie Betts

Chaim Bloom: Red Sox 'exploring all options' with Mookie Betts

Chaim Bloom continues to take the safe approach when it comes to conversations about Mookie Betts' future in Boston.

Bloom was asked on "NESN After Hours" about Betts' contract situation with the superstar right fielder set to become a free agent after the 2020 season. According to the Boston Red Sox chief baseball officer, who was hired in October, all options remain on the table.

“Well, I mean, you’re talking about, as you said, one of the great players in the game,” Bloom said. “We are thrilled to have him, and I know this organization prior to my arrival was happy to have him. Now we have to figure out how we go forward. I think where we are as an organization, we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t explore all of our options. But we do that recognizing we have a very good team and one of the best players in the game and we’re going to handle the situation accordingly.”

Watch below:

This kind of answer from Bloom is predictable, but it's telling that a possible trade involving the 2018 American League MVP hasn't been ruled out.

Boston has been adamant about its goal to cut payroll before the new campaign, and parting ways with Betts certainly would help accomplish that. If there's no indication Betts is willing to commit beyond 2020, trading him for a haul of prospects does make sense. Still, as Bloom acknowledges, Betts is one of the best players on the planet and the organization should aim to lock him up long-term.

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