Red Sox

Source: Red Sox need to be blown away to trade Xander Bogaerts, rumors "overblown"

Source: Red Sox need to be blown away to trade Xander Bogaerts, rumors "overblown"

LAS VEGAS — The Red Sox would have to be blown away to deal one of the best position players in baseball, Xander Bogaerts, and the idea they’re actively shopping some of their established players have been “overblown,” a baseball source with direct knowledge of the situation said on Tuesday night.

A separate source also said the Diamondbacks specifically are not trading for Jackie Bradley Jr.

The Red Sox are wise to explore the possibility of moving some of their players close to free agency, like Rick Porcello and Bradley — wise, in particular, if they’re doing so with the goal of not only shedding salary alone, but to acquire pieces that would be further away from free agency. They could then potentially replace those they give up with other alternatives that may cost less via free agency.

Sustainability should be a goal for the franchise, and this offseason and next represent potential turning points as the Sox may lose some of their best players to free agency. 

But Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has always been focused on the present more than the future, and that hasn’t changed. Teams have, and likely will continue to, bring the Sox offers for established players. But the Sox don’t appear to be the ones doing the shopping. They have a willingness to listen, and any ownership group would like the idea of moving money — who doesn’t like to save money? — but it’s not going to be an easy sell for Dombrowski to detract from his title-defense roster. 

When considering that Dombrowski is under contract only for another two seasons, there’s even less incentive for him to be concerned with the future.

The Sox can absorb the loss of some present talent. They won 108 games, and they’re likely to go into the year with a slightly weaker roster, as Craig Kimbrel is expected to go elsewhere as a free agent. That’s OK, though, because the Sox will still enter the season with one of baseball's best teams.  

But Bogaerts would be a virtually impossible player to replace and his 2018 season was probably buried by the success of so many around him.  If he leaves as a free agent — and he’s very likely to test the market — well, so be it. But parting with Bogaerts would be a mistake barring a huge haul, and the Sox know that.

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An Opening Day start for Red Sox' Chris Sale: 'I think I'm going to be ready'

An Opening Day start for Red Sox' Chris Sale: 'I think I'm going to be ready'

Already coming off a season cut short by an elbow injury that shut him down last August, Chris Sale's spring training got off to a slow start as he recovered from a bout with pneumonia just as pitchers and catchers reported to Red Sox camp in Fort Myers. 

He says he's progressing after the illness led to him dropping a few pounds from his already thin frame (6-foot-6, 180). He'll throw a side session Sunday and told reporters on Saturday that he thinks he'll be ready for Opening Day March 26.

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"I think I’m going to be ready for [the opener]. But like I said, those aren’t my calls to make. I go out there, do my job, tell them how I feel on a daily basis," Sale said. "Obviously as the workload picks up, we have to see how things work out. I’ve just got to be open and honest with them and then we map out a plan and see how it works out."

In a Friday interview on WEEI's "Ordway, Merloni and Fauria" show, Sale said having his season end early last summer and going through a rehab process to avoid Tommy John surgery has him raring to go into 2020 despite questions about his stamina.

"I feel like I'm better now than I was then because of going through that [injury and rehab]."

Sale hasn't reached 200 innings pitched since 2017. He went 6-11 in 25 starts (147.1 IP) in what he called "a nightmare season" in 2019 after his and all the starters' workloads were limited in spring training and he struggled with his velocity at times before the injury was diagnosed.

"I feel really good," he told WEEI. "I can sit here and tell you what I want to do, what I think I'm going to do, but I've just got to go do it. I live here in town and put in a lot of work. I was here four to five times a week. It's exciting. For me, this really started last September October when that rehab process began.

"I gotta get back to the basics. Not really worry about fading, the injuries. This is sports. Injuries can happen overnight...I'm not worried about what my track record is or what people are thinking of me."

Jerry Narron hired as Red Sox bench coach

Jerry Narron hired as Red Sox bench coach

Ron Roenicke officially has his bench coach for 2020.

The Boston Red Sox manager announced after Saturday's spring training win over the Tampa Bay Rays that Jerry Narron will take over the role.

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If Narron's name sounds familiar, that's likely because he served as Red Sox bench coach during the 2003 season when Grady Little was manager.

The 64-year-old went on to assume the same role with the Cincinnati Reds in 2004–05, then served as the Reds' interim manager from June 2005 to July 2007.

Since then, Narron has had multiple jobs including stints as bench coach of the Milwaukee Brewers (2011-15) and Arizona Diamondbacks (2017-19). He was Roenicke's bench coach in Milwaukee.

Boston's bench coach position opened up once Roenicke was promoted to interim manager earlier this month. Roenicke replaced Alex Cora, who parted ways with the Red Sox after his name was mentioned in MLB's report on the Houston Astros sign-stealing investigation.