Red Sox

WATCH: JD Martinez hits 40th home run

usatsi_11217935.jpg
USA TODAY

WATCH: JD Martinez hits 40th home run

In the fifth inning of Sunday night's nationally-televised tilt at Fenway Park, J.D. Martinez became just the fourth Red Sox player to hit 40 or more home runs in their first season with the team, when he launched a first-pitch, 78 mph Dallas slider into the second row of the Green Monster seats in left field:

Martinez, who's in the hunt to become just the second American League player since 1967 to hit for the triple crown, gave the Red Sox a 5-1 lead over the defending World Series champs with the three-run blast.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

World Series MVP Pearce returns to Red Sox with 1-year deal

World Series MVP Pearce returns to Red Sox with 1-year deal

World Series MVP Steve Pearce is returning to the Red Sox.

Pearce, 35, who hit three home runs in the World Series, including two in series-clinching Game 5, has agreed to a one-year contract, the Red Sox announced Friday.

The deal is worth $6.25 million, NBC Sports Boston Red Sox Insider Evan Drellich confirms. That's the same salary Pearce made last season in the final year of a two-year deal he signed with Toronto before the 2017 season. 

“We’re thrilled to have Steve back with us for another year as we think he’s a great fit for our club,” Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said in a team press release. “Obviously, we all saw what kind of impact he can have on the field, especially with the postseason that he had. He also provides good depth and balance from the right side for us.”


Pearce split the regular season between the  Blue Jays and Red Sox, combining to hit .284 (61-for-215) with an .890 OPS, 11 home runs, and 42 RBI in 76 games. 

Pearce started 11 of the Red Sox’ 14 postseason games, all at first base. He reached base via hit or walk in each of his 12 playoff games, batting .289 (11-for-38) with four home runs, 11 RBI, a 1.083 OPS, nine walks and eight strikeouts. After homering in Game 4 of the World Series at Dodger Stadium and adding two home runs in Game 5, Pearce was named the Series MVP. In the Fall Classic, each of his four hits went for extra bases, as he posted a .500 on-base percentage with eight RBI against the Dodgers.

In the regular season, he made 28 starts at first base, 19 at designated hitter, seven in left field, and two in right field. Acquired from Toronto with cash considerations on June 28, Pearce appeared in 50 games with Boston, batting .279 (38-for-136) with a .394 on-base percentage.

Against left-handed pitchers in 2018, Pearce batted .304 (31-for-102) with a .400 on-base percentage and .559 slugging percentage. He hit five of his regular-season home runs against the Yankees, including three on Aug. 2.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Yankees not afraid to spend big on MLB free agents, says Brian Cashman

Yankees not afraid to spend big on MLB free agents, says Brian Cashman

The time for MLB free agency almost is here, and the New York Yankees are prepared to spend a lot of money, if needed, to improve a team that was eliminated from the 2018 postseason by the rival Boston Red Sox. 

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, who is on stranger to signing the best free agents on the market, recently gave some insight into the team's free-agent mindsight.

"I think we're always open-minded to being big or small players," Cashman said, per MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. "I don't think it really matters what we wind up doing, as long as we do well enough that we become the best team in baseball. We're capable of being big-game hunters. We've reset our luxury tax.

"Hal Steinbrenner and the Steinbrenner family have always been massively supportive of this franchise for the fans. We're capable. We'll see if we execute on that level, if this is the winter that we choose to do that, or if we go a different direction. Everything we try to do is in the best interests of the franchise, present and future."

The Yankees' pitching was exposed in the playoffs against the Red Sox. Luis Severino struggled and the bullpen wasn't as formidable as it was during the regular season. Adding a premier starting pitcher should be a prioirty for Cashman and Co., and Hoch notes that indeed is the case.

The top free-agent arms expected to be available are Patrick Corbin, Dallas Keuchel, J.A. Happ, Charlie Morton and Nathan Eovaldi. Corbin could be an ace, but pitching in Arizona is a lot different than the pressure that comes with playing at Yankee Stadium and dealing with the New York media.

The Yankees do need to spend somewhere to overtake a deeper and more talented Red Sox team, and after taking a relatively quiet approach last winter, New York would be wise to open up the checkbook for substantial improvements. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE