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Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said on Wednesday that the club has not yet picked up Jon Lester's $13 million option for 2014.

The Sporting News' Anthony Witrado reported the opposite on Monday, news that spread far enough that Cherington decided to set the record straight publicly. He said the organization will make a decision after this season. We fully expect the Red Sox to eventually exercise the option, even if they do so with the sole purpose of flipping Lester to open up a rotation spot for one of their flame-throwing MLB-ready prospects. Lester has logged a 3.86 ERA with 160 strikeouts over 193 1/3 innings this season.
Wed, Sep 11, 2013 03:59:00 PM

Dustin Pedroia (knee) has been cleared to begin running.

Pedroia mentioned on a podcast last week that his goal is to be ready for Opening Day. With him being cleared to run a full month ahead of the start of spring training, it may just give him a shot. Boston will likely take things very carefully with the 34-year-old second baseman, however, and we'll need to hear the words "baseball activities" before getting too optimistic. Still, this is good news for Pedroia and Red Sox fans.
Jan 18 - 3:13 PM

According to Buster Olney of ESPN, Boston's five-year offer to J.D. Martinez is worth "in the range of" $100 million.

That explains why the marriage hasn't happened yet, as Martinez and his agent Scott Boras are said to be looking for a seven-year contract worth between $180 million and $210 million. There's talk that the 30-year-old free agent slugger might hold out into spring training to get closer to what he wants financially. Martinez batted .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI in 119 games last season between the Tigers and Diamondbacks.
Jan 17 - 1:44 PM

Mets signed 1B Adrian Gonzalez to a one-year contract.

New York will only have to pay Gonzalez the MLB minimum of $545,000, with the Braves and Dodgers sharing his $22.3 million guaranteed salary for 2018. The 35-year-old projects to open the 2018 season as the Mets' primary first baseman while Dominic Smith does a little more developing at the Triple-A level, though that narrative could change this spring. Gonzalez batted just .242/.287/.355 in 71 games last season for Los Angeles while fighting a chronic back injury.
Jan 17 - 12:12 PM

Mets GM Sandy Alderson said Wednesday that Michael Conforto (shoulder) likely won't be ready until the beginning of May.

Conforto needed major surgery in early September after tearing the posterior capsule in his left shoulder on a swing. He was sporting terrific numbers at the time of the injury (.939 OPS, 27 HR, 68 RBI in 109 games) and the 24-year-old outfielder carries a good amount of fantasy intrigue into the 2018 campaign, but there is obviously some risk that his rehab won't shape up as smoothly as everyone is hoping. Jay Bruce, signed to a three-year, $39 million free agent deal last week, will open the season as the Mets' primary right fielder.
Jan 17 - 11:45 AM

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cubs have re-signed Brian Duensing to a two-year, $7 million contract.

It's a relatively inexpensive deal for a guy who registered a 2.74 ERA and 61/18 K/BB ratio over 62 1/3 innings of relief last season. Heyman says Duensing had more lucrative offers from other teams "but liked the Cubs experience so much he wanted to return." The 34-year-old will continue operating as a lefty specialist for the reigning National League Central champs.
Jan 17 - 9:47 AM

Mets signed OF Jay Bruce to a three-year, $39 million contract.

The deal was agreed to last week and then finalized on Tuesday evening after Bruce passed his physical. He'll be introduced -- or rather reintroduced -- at a press conference Wednesday at Citi Field. The 30-year-old slugger batted .254/.324/.508 with 36 home runs and 101 RBI in 146 games last season between New York and Cleveland before entering a relatively unkind free agent market. He projects to hit near the heart of the Mets' batting order in 2018, with everyday starts coming between the two corner outfield spots and first base.
Jan 16 - 8:45 PM

Christian Yelich's agent told Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com on Tuesday that his client's relationship with the Marlins is "irretrievably broken."

Yelich expressed surprise and disappointment last month when the Marlins moved Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna, and now his trade request has become more of a trade demand. "The relationship between player and team is irretrievably broken," the agent, Joe Longo, said Tuesday. "It's soured. He's part of the old ownership regime. The new ownership regime needs to get new parts into this plan and move forward, and he needs to get on with his career where he's got a chance to win. The big issue is him winning and winning now." Yelich, 26, has drawn interest from the Nationals, Blue Jays, Giants, Phillies, Braves, and Rangers, but Miami's asking price is said to be sky high.
Source: ESPN.com
Jan 16 - 7:22 PM

Ichiro Suzuki may consider returning to Japan for the 2018 season, per his agent John Boggs.

Boggs told Barry Bloom of MLB.com that he had extensive conversations earlier this winter with the Mariners and Padres, but both clubs have since moved on. Other teams have asked Boggs to "check back" closer to spring training. Ichiro, a certain first-ballot Hall of Famer, has racked up 3,080 major league hits since arriving from the Orix Buffaloes in 2001. But he batted just .255/.318/.332 in 136 games with the Marlins last year at age 43. And he turned 44 in October.
Source: MLB.com
Jan 16 - 6:36 PM

Hunter Pence will move to left field for the Giants in 2018, with newcomer Andrew McCutchen taking over in right.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy made that announcement during a conference call with the media on Tuesday afternoon, and it's the most ideal defensive alignment for all of the parties involved. Gorkys Hernandez and Steven Duggar are currently the in-house options for center field, but the Giants probably aren't done adding. They have been linked to free agent center fielders like Jarrod Dyson, Lorenzo Cain, Cameron Maybin, and Jon Jay.
Jan 16 - 4:13 PM

In a statement released to The Athletic on Tuesday, Pirates infielder Josh Harrison said that he'd prefer to be traded if the Pirates don't expect to contend in 2018 or 2019.

Harrison sees which way the wind is blowing after the recent trades of Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen. "If indeed the team does not expect to contend this year or next, perhaps it would be better for all involved, that I also am traded," Harrison said in part of the statement. "I want what is best for the organization that gave me a chance to be a Big Leaguer." The versatile 30-year-old is owed $10 million in 2018, with a $10.5 million club option (or $1 million buyout) for 2019 and an $11.5 million club option (or $500,000 buyout) for 2020. Rosenthal writes that the Mets, Yankees, and Brewers are among the teams with reported interest in Harrison. If the Pirates don't feel they are getting fair value, they could easily hold and wait until the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
Source: The Athletic
Jan 16 - 2:09 PM

According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, the Giants have Jarrod Dyson as their top non-Lorenzo Cain free agent option for center field.

Dyson is followed by Jon Jay and Cameron Maybin on the Giants' list. The club acquired Andrew McCutchen from the Pirates on Monday and haven't officially ruled him out for center field, but the speedy Dyson is obviously the superior defender. The 33-year-old batted .251/.324/.350 with five home runs, 30 RBI, and 28 steals over 11 games with the Mariners last season.
Jan 16 - 11:19 AM




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