Category Archives : Rumors


Phillies scouting Garin Cecchini, Cole Hamels rumors intensify

According to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, the Phillies sent one of their top scouts to the Red Sox Yankees game yesterday and they were likely looking at prospect Garin Cecchini, among others. The Phillies sending out their scout further intensifies the Cole Hamels speculation as both the Red Sox and the Yankees have been in trade discussions for Hamels in the past year.

Charlie Manuel (former manager and current assistant to GM Ruben Amaro) believes Garin Cecchini is a rising start and rightly so. He’s been doing quite well in Spring Training this year but he struggled at AAA last season. He was ranked by MLB.com as the #57 prospect in baseball before the 2014 campaign and #51 by BaseballProspectus.com. And rightly so. Between Salem and Portland in 2013, he put up a .322/.443/.471 triple slash with 7 home runs, 33 doubles, and 7 triples. The potential is there, that’s for sure.

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Cliff Lee facing elbow surgery

According to CSN Philly, Cliff Lee felt a bad sensation in the same spot in his elbow that he injured last season. He will likely be examined by Dr. James Andrews, which is always a bad sign for pitchers. It may end his season, if not his career.

How will this affect the Red Sox? To start, the Red Sox are in need of top level pitching and this could possibly shrink the market for pitchers. It could also help the Red Sox in their pursuit of Cole Hamels, as any little remaining hope the Phillies had in competing this year is completely dashed if they don’t have Lee in the picture. The Phillies might be forced to deal Hamels if they decide they won’t be competitive for the next few years.

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Phillies executive spotted at Red Sox camp

Charlie Kerfeld is a special assistant to Phillies GM Ruben Amaro and he has been spotted at the Red Sox spring training facility. While it is not uncommon for baseball executives to visit other teams facilities to scout players, his presence has sparked immense speculation.

The Phillies have had ongoing trade talks with the Red Sox but it is clear their demands have been too high for Ben Cherington. It has been rumored that they have an extremely high asking price which is understandable for a pitcher like Hamels but Cherington is right to be wary. The Phillies want top prospect Blake Swihart and the Red Sox definitely shouldn’t give him up for Hamels. Hamels is a high caliber pitcher but Swihart is the Red Sox catcher of the future. Swihart put up very impressive numbers for Portland (.300/.353/.487) and although he struggled in AAA, he has the potential to hold down catching duties for the Red Sox for the next 10+ years.

The bottom line is while the Red Sox lack an ace, they should stay the course for now and see if the Phillies will come down on their enormous asking price. The Red Sox have an extremely stocked minor league system and should be able to put together a package that is good for both teams. Including Swihart would be borderline highway robbery. It will be very interesting to see how trade talks develop to say the least.


Varitek Could Return to Organization as Manager

Of course with the season after his retirement marked more by chaos than playoffs there would be speculation that long time captain Jason Varitek could return to manage the Red Sox.  The rumors are out there with many in the Sox fan base either not liking Bobby Valentine from the outset or turning on him during the season.

The idea that Varitek could return to manage the current Sox roster is silly.  Even after a trade that may register a 7.8 on the Richter scale he is simply too close to too many players on the team.  Separating friend from employee would be difficult and unfair.  More importantly Varitek needs managerial experience.

Varitek could get that experience in Greenville.

Flying under the radar of Red Sox news in recent days was a visit by Varitek to Fluor Field at West End to watch the Greenville Drive take on rival Asheville (NC) Tourists.  Varitek took in the game from the owners’ box.  It’s almost 1,000 miles between Fluor Field and Fenway Park, certainly a long way to drive just to see a single-A ball game.

Adding substance to the speculation was Cherrington’s company while watching the game: Ben Cherrington.

At season’s end when the Red Sox announce their annual organizational reshuffling, don’t be surprised when a seat in the Drive’s ownership box is given to Varitek.


Shop Talk: lolwut

The latest reports circulating around the Big Apple now suggest that it was Kelly Shoppach, and not Adrian Gonzalez, who sent the text messages to the Red Sox brass complaining about manager Bobby Valentine.

It would not be a surprise to find out that Shoppach was the source of the text messages. Earlier in the season Shoppach complained loudly about his lack of playing time. At the time Jarrod Saltalamacchia was swinging a hot bat and had a couple of Ortiz moments with game winning or tying home runs. As the strikeouts began mounting for Salty (he now has more multi-strikeout games than games without a strikeout) Shoppach worked his way into the lineup more regularly and justified his complaints. Shoppach’s .798 OPS outpaced Salty by a fair bit and the pitching staff performed better with him behind the plate.

Like the rest of the Red Sox season, the story has more twists and turns. Some reports indicate that Shoppach used Gonzalez’ cell phone to send the messages which at least explains why Adrian drew the initial attention of gossip mongers. Shoppach, for his part, denies any involvement with the text messages.

And so it goes. Since the epic collapse of 9/11 the focus of the Red Sox has seemingly turned from the field to the clubhouse. Who is at fault? What was their motivation or why were they lacking it? Who was hoisting lagers and who ratted them out?

Here’s hoping that we return to baseball by the start of the 2013 season.


Red Sox Trade Rumors – 7/15/12

Red Sox GM Ben Cherington recently told reporters that the Red Sox will not be “sellers” as the team approaches the trade deadline. Cherington told a group of reports, including WEEI’s Rob Bradford:

I don’t envision a scenario where we’re sellers, in the traditional sense of the word. We have some potential surplus in areas we’ve talked to teams about, and maybe there was ways that could help us now and in the future. But every year in Boston is too important. We’re focused on winning this year, and still believe we can.

I don’t think blowing it up makes sense for where we are. There’s a lot of talent on the team. We’re right in the thick of the wild card chase. We’ve played very well since the beginning of May aside from the last week. I just think it would be foolish to start doing things that got in the way of giving us a chance this year. We’ll see how it goes. Like I said, we have to play well. We have to start winning games.

Red Sox GM Ben Cherington

Red Sox GM Ben Cherington

It seems very reasonable not to expect a fire sale any time soon, and just as reasonable not to expect the Red Sox to ship youth and prospects out for an established player in an effort to make a run at the World Series. There are, however, plenty of options in between the reaches of that spectrum that could help the Red Sox retool without jeopardizing their future. While the rumor mill is relatively quiet at his point, the few rumors out there suggest that Cherington is actually practicing what he is preaching. The Red Sox aren’t actively shopping any of their star players, and they do seem interested in turning positions of surplus into players that can help the positions of need.

Here are some of the more recent rumors floating around concerning the Red Sox:

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The Return Of Jacoby: Ellsbury to be Activated Tomorrow

Jacoby Ellsbury will be activated tomorrow, July 13th. He has been on the disabled list since dislocating his shoulder while sliding into second base on April 13th. Last year’s MVP runner-up, Ellsbury had played in just 7 games prior to sustaining the injury, and had less-than-stellar production.

Ellsbury’s return will further crowd the outfield which consists of guys like Daniel Nava, Cody Ross and Ryan Sweeney and Ryan Kalish on the 40 man roster. As the team expects Carl Crawford back at some point soon, there has been much speculation as to whether an outfielder will be traded. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe suggested that Sweeney may be that player, yet Mike Silverman of the Boston Herald has said that the team is not looking to move Sweeney. Daniel Nava has also caught the attention of other teams.

Hey ladies, I’m back!

UPDATE: Justin Germano has been designated for assignment to make room for Jacoby Ellsbury on the roster. The 29 year old right hander made just one appearance for the Boston Red Sox this year; a sterling 5.2 innings pitched in mop up duty against the Yankees during which he allowed no runs while striking out 7.


Kevin Youkilis traded to the Chicago White Sox

According to Rob Bradford of WEEI, Kevin Youkilis has been traded to the Chicago White Sox. His nameplate is gone, which is clear writing on the wall.

No word on who is coming back in the deal, this post will be updated once the full trade is disclosed.

Update 5:01 PM ET:  Apparently the Red Sox will receive a pitcher and a utility player in return from the White Sox. No word on who yet.

Update 5:08 PM ET: It seems as if the Red Sox will recieve pitcher Zach Stewart from the White Sox. No word on the utility player they’re expected to get as well.

Update 5:12 PM ET: According to Gordon Edes over at ESPN Boston, the Red Sox will receive Zach Stewart, and that’s it. He doesn’t think we’ll be getting any more than that.

Update 5:18 PM ET: Jon Heyman at CBS Sports saying that Brent Lillibridge is included in the trade too. Yay!

Update 5:25 PM ET: Ken Rosenthal has the scoop “Youkilis and cash – lots of cash – to #WhiteSox for Lillibridge and Stewart. #RedSox.”

Update 5:30 PM ET: The Red Sox will send the White Sox $5.5 million.

Update 5:47 PM ET: Trade is now official. Best of luck Youk!


Kevin Youkilis expected to be traded soon

According to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, Kevin Youkilis is expected to be traded soon. Red Sox officials had a meeting last night discussing the roster moves they’ll have to make once Youkilis is traded.

So far this season, Youk is hitting .225/.311/.359 with four home runs and seven doubles in 41 games for the Red Sox. He’s been dealing with injuries all year, and has struggled mightily at the plate.

On the other hand, Will Middlebrooks is hitting .319/.358/.558 with eight home runs and nine doubles in 39 games for the Red Sox. That’s the reason the Red Sox are trading Youkilis. The Red Sox obviously don’t think keeping Adrian Gonzalez in right is a good idea, and the best lineup right now is one with Middlebrooks in it.

The White Sox and the Dodgers are two of the primary teams in the mix for Youkilis. The Diamondbacks were in contention for Youk, but balked with the Red Sox asked for outfielder Gerardo Parra.

I’ll update this post as the story develops. Stay tuned.

Update 11:44 PM ET: According to WEEI, the White Sox are front-runners for Youkilis right now and they are currently in trade talks with the Red Sox.


Red Sox Interested in Jorge Soler

Cuban Defector Jorge Soler has become eligible for Free Agency today. Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus has listed the Red Sox amongst the teams favorited to land the Cuban outfielder.

At 20 years old, Soler would not be major league ready. However, Baseball America has stated previously that, had he been eligible, he would have ranked as the 39th best prospect in baseball. Soler has been compared to Kansas City Royals prospect Bubba Starling. Scouts rate his a very good athlete, suited for right field with incredible raw power. He has also been labeled as a “younger Yoennis Cespedes.”

Soler would need to be signed before July 2, so as to not count against the international free agent cap that will be instituted under the new collective bargaining agreement (consider him a lock to sign well before then). Once signed, Soler is expected to start in Low-A.