Sox lose Minor League free agents, sign one

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Sox lose Minor League free agents, sign one

According to Baseball America, the Red Sox have lost several of their minor league free agents, including a former first-round pick, while signing one.
 
The Sox added outfielder Mitch Maier earlier this month. Maier, 30, was a first-round (30th overall) pick of the Royals in 2003 out of the University of Toledo. He made his big league debut with the Royals in 2006. In parts of six seasons with the Royals, he appeared in 360 games, batting .248, with a .327 on-base percentage, and .344 slugging percentage, while playing all three outfield positions 209 games in center, 101 in right, and 38 in left. Maier, who bats left and throws right, also pitched in two games for the Royals, and appeared in one at first base.
 
Right-hander Billy Buckner, 27, has signed with the Angels organization. Buckner, a  second-round pick of the Royals out of the University of South Carolina in 2004, was in the Sox organization for one season. He made 27 combined starts for Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket in 2012, going 12-9 with a 3.65 ERA.
 
Right-hander Caleb Clay has signed with Washington. He was a first-round (supplemental, 44th overall) pick of the Sox in 2006 out of Cullman High in Alabama. In six seasons in the Sox organization, he appeared in 120 games, making 51 starts, posting a combined record of 15-28 with a 4.70 ERA and 13 saves. But Clay, who turns 25 in February, did not advance beyond Double-A.
 
Right-hander Michael Olmsted signed a major league contract with the Brewers and was added to their 40-man roster.  Olmsted, 25, was a ninth-round pick of the Mets in 2007 out of Cypress College in California. He had been in the Sox system for two seasons.  He split 2012 between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland. In 47 total games he posted a record of 1-4 with a 1.52 ERA and 19 saves. In 14 games with Portland, spanning 20 innings, he did not allow an earned run, recording 31 strikeouts with seven walks.
 
Third baseman Marquez Smith signed with Cincinnati. He was an eighth-round pick of the Cubs in 2007 out of Clemson. Last season was his first in the Sox organization.  Smith, who turns 28 in March, appeared in 71 games for Portland, 55 at third, 13 at second, and serving as the designated hitter in three. Smith hit .293 with eight home runs, 37 RBI, a .358 on-base percentage, and .413 slugging percentage.
 
Infielder Nate Spears has signed with Cleveland. Spears, 27, was a fifth-round pick of the Orioles in 2003 out of Charlotte High School, in Florida, just north of Fort Myers. He had been in the Sox organization since 2010. He made his major league debut in 2011. In the last two seasons, he appeared in seven big league games, playing three games in left field, two at second base, and one at third. In four big league at-bats he went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts. Former Sox manager and new Indians manager Terry Francona was always quick to praise Spears in their time together.
 
Also, right-hander Will Inman tweeted over the weekend that he has signed with the Rays. Inman, who turns 26 in February, had been with the Sox for just one season. In 33 appearances with Pawtucket, he posted a record of 1-3 with a 2.23 ERA and six saves. Inman was a third-round pick of the Brewers in 2005 out of Tunstall High in Danville, Virg.
 
The Sox have several other minor leaguers who became free agents after the season, including pitchers  Yeiper Castillo, Nelson Figueroa, Mike MacDonald, Tony Pena Jr.,  Jason Urquidez, and Leonel Vasquez; catcher Mike Rivera; first baseman Reynaldo Rodriguez; and third baseman Andy LaRoche.

Talking Points: Veteran Red Wings torch Bruins

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Talking Points: Veteran Red Wings torch Bruins

GOLD STAR: Take your pick: Steve Ott, Drew Miller and Luke Glendening torched the Bruins with veteran savvy and toughness against a very young defensemen unit trying to survive in the second preseason game. Ott and Glendening each scored a goal and finished with three points, and Miller finished with a goal and two points while all three forwards had a plus-3 rating for the night. All of their goals came off winning battles, crashing the net and taking advantage of defensive miscues. The goals provided a good lesson to the young kids that have a ways to go before they’re NHL ready at this point in their careers. It certainly must have been a kick to the stones to many Bruins fans when “Brave” Steve Ott was named the No. 1 Star of the game after it was all over, but that was certainly appropriate.

BLACK EYE: Adam McQuaid was the most experienced defensemen out on the ice for the Bruins on Wednesday night, and it was a rough night for him with so many young guys around him on the back end. McQuaid finished a minus-2 in 17:41 with a couple of hits and got a little better as the game was going on, but was on ice for two of the first three goals allowed to Detroit in a really lackluster middle section of the game. In general, it was about more than just one player, though. There were blown assignments in the D-zone and some really noticeable lost battles leading to scoring chances for a Red Wings group that aggressively took it to the Bruins. This is a game that will leave the Bruins coaches with plenty of video material moving forward.

TURNING POINT: The real slippage came early in the game when the Bruins failed to score on some good power play chances for Peter Mueller and Matt Beleskey, and then allowed two goals within 19 seconds of each other in the first period. The first goal was a PP one for the Red Wings with Ryan Spooner whistled for a face-off infraction, and the second was simply the Bruins falling asleep at the wheel just seconds after the first goal was scored. Lost battles led to a bang-bang play in front with Steve Ott scoring as Malcolm Subban was turned around looking for the puck, and the B’s were reeling headed into the first intermission. Only a Subban shoulder save kept it from being 3-0 at the end of the first, and that was something the B’s never seemed to rebound from.

HONORABLE MENTION: Austin Czarnik scored the B’s only goal off a nice play from Ryan Spooner driving toward the net, and continues to put together another strong training camp after doing the same thing last season. Czarnik finished with the goal, three shots on net and six shot attempts in 17:38 of ice time, and battled back from a rough start to go 6-for-12 in the face-off circle while centering an extremely young line with Sean Kuraly and Zach Senyshyn. While Czarnik might not have been a big name when talking about an open roster spot with the Bruins a couple of weeks ago, he’s pushed toward making himself a part the conversation with his heart-filled, high effort energetic performances for the Black and Gold.

BY THE NUMBERS: 4-for-16 was the final tally for Ryan Spooner in the face-off circle as he continues to be a work-in-progress on the draw.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “Maybe I was a little bit shocked first going out there. The speed of the game is noticeably faster, but I think as time went on I got more comfortable out there. Hopefully I can build off that moving forward.” – Bruins rookie D-man Matt Grzelcyk on his first NHL preseason game being a bit of a big wakeup call.  

Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox lose, but 'celebrate anyway'

Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox lose, but 'celebrate anyway'

NEW YORK - Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 5-3 loss in New York.

 

QUOTES:

"I feel pretty good. Let's put it this way: Where we are now, I wouldn't want to play us going into the playoffs." - Red Sox principal owner John Henry

"I wanted to celebrate on that field so bad, but it is what it is. We end up being the first place team in the American League, and we're going to celebrate anyway." - David Ortiz, after the Red Sox lose on a walkoff, but clinch the division anyway.

“I’ll still be trying to hit the next four games, but if it just happens to be my last one (homer of his career), it’ll be pretty special." - Mark Teixeira, who's retiring Sunday and hit the walk-off grand slam.

 

NOTES:

* Joe Kelly became the first Red Sox pitcher to allow a walkoff grand slam since Julian Tavarez in 2006.

* Craig Kimbrel failed to record an out -- in 28 pitches -- marking the third time in 410 career appearances that that happened.

* Koji Uehara posted his 14th straight scoreless appearance.

* Brad Ziegler hasn't allowed an earned run in his last 19 appearances.

* Dustin Pedroia has scored five runs and knocked in seven in his last five games.

* Mookie Betts posted his major league-leading 66th multi-hit game.

* Clay Buchholz has a 2.63 ERA in his last seven starts.

* The one hit allowed by Buchholz marks the fewest hits allowed by him in a non-injury-shortened game since his no-hitter in 2007.

* The win marked only the second time the Red Sox have clinched the A.L. East away from home. The other time was in Cleveland in 1998.

 

STARS:

1) Mark Teixeira

The first baseman is going out in style. In the final week of his career, he hit his second game-winning homer of the week, with Wednesday's being a walk-off grand slam.

2) Clay Buchholz

Buchholz was brilliant, allowing three baserunners -- an infield hit and two walks -- in six shutout innings.

3) Mookie Betts

Betts delivered what appeared to be the game's biggest blow -- a two-run chopped double in the eighth to break open a scoreless tie.