After extending an offer to Jon Lester, and hosting Pablo Sandoval earlier this week, all was quiet on Yawkey Way on Thursday. The team appears to be in holding pattern of both free agents while Lester visits other clubs, and Sandoval gauges his market. Yesterday we learned that the Toronto Blue Jays are a team very interested in Sandoval, and are viewed as a dark horse in the Kung-Fu Panda sweepstakes. Still, the Red Sox appear to be favorites to land the 28-year old third baseman, even though they have yet to make a contract offer. While no more meetings are scheduled for Sandoval as of right now, the same can’t be said for left-hander Jon Lester. With an offer from Boston in hand, the 30-year old is still set to meet with a handful of clubs interested in adding the veteran to their staff. While the Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs are viewed as Boston’s chief competition, ESPN analyst Curt Schilling wouldn’t be surprised if the New York Yankees jumped into the Lester bidding. The former Red Sox right-hander sent out a tweet on Thursday morning, suggesting that the Red Sox longtime rivals could offer Lester a deal worth $200M over 8 years. Of course there’s no tangible basis to Schillings tweet, but it just goes to show that the Yankees shouldn’t be treated lightly in free agency. They can throw around money with the best of them.
- With the Rule 5 draft looming, the Red Sox added four players to their roster in order to protect them from the early December draft. Of the quartet of players the Red Sox welcomed to their big league roster, top prospect Blake Swihart was the most significant addition. Infielders Sean Coyle and Travis Shaw also received Rule 5 protection after solid 2014 campaigns. Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez — the spoils of the Andrew Miller trade — was awarded a 40-man roster spot, after turning heads in double-A. (Blake Swihart, Eduardo Rodriguez headline four Red Sox added to 40-man roster)
- While the overall season breed disappointing results, Mookie Betts was one of the few silver linings for the Red Sox in 2014. A second baseman by trade, Betts was moved to the outfield in 2014 while in double-A Portland. On top of learning a new position, the 21-year old remained white hot at the plate, and cruised through AA and AAA. While Betts’ first trip to the MLB tamed expectations, Mookie Madness spread like wildfire upon his second visit to Boston. But despite his solid rookie season, Betts isn’t taking a starting spot next season as a given. (Mookie Betts not taking anything for granted)
- Examining past Major League Baseball trades and free agent signings can create some interesting connections between the past and present. Right now you probably think that Ken Ryan and Brandon Workman’s baseball careers are totally independent of one another, but you’d be wrong. Created by Gratland.com’s Ben Lindbergh, the transaction tree shows the how the end of one players tenure, leads to the start of another’s. (MLB Transaction Tree)
- After he was traded at the deadline last season, we knew that the Red Sox would eventually come calling on Jon Lester once he hit free agency, but that same notion was necessarily felt with reliever Andrew Miller. However, a Thursday report claimed that the Red Sox have every serious interest in re-signing the dominate lefty that they helped turn into one of the games best relievers. (Boston ‘very serious’ about pursuit of lefty Andrew Miller)
- After blowing through all their international amateur bonus money, the Red Sox don’t figure to be huge players in the Yoan Moncada sweepstakes. However, Boston has done their due diligence on the Cuban infielder, who just recently worked out for teams in Guatemala. With Boston’s ability to spend money whenever they want, the team shouldn’t be counted out for Moncada, but they seem to be just window shopping right now. (Red Sox performing “due diligence” on Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada)
- Tweet of the day: Seems like Atlanta feels good about their chances with Lester…