McAdam: Sox and Cubs complete the deal at last

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McAdam: Sox and Cubs complete the deal at last

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It was the deal that wasn't, the compensation agreement that seemed to go unresolved forever.

Finally, Tuesday morning, the Chicago Cubs and Red Sox addressed the matter of compensating the Sox for allowing former general manager Theo Epstein to leave and become president of baseball operations of the Cubs with a year remaining on his Boston contract.

Months and months of negotiations ultimately yielded the Sox 26-year-old Chris Carpenter -- not to be confused with the St. Louis Cardinals' Chris Carpenter -- who figures to compete for a bullpen spot in 2012, though he won't necessarily begin the season on the team's major-league roster.

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington described Carpenter as a "power arm" whom the Sox have scouted extensively since college, including a stint last year when he pitched in the Arizona Fall League.

"We're really happy to have him," said Cherington. "He's a young power-arm reliever who we think has a chance to be a really good big-league pitcher."

The arrangement took just over four months to settle. When Epstein left the Red Sox in mid-October, it was with the understanding that the teams would settle the compensation issue in relatively quick fashion.

Twice, commissioner Bud Selig threatened to step in before ultimately allowing the teams to settle the matter -- with some input from the commissioner's office.

"I think it took this long because it was a unique circumstance," said Cherington. "We talk to teams all the time about trades and it's players-for-players and it's pretty easy to assign value and figure out what's fair and not fair. In this case, it was just tougher because it involves not just an executive but a friend.

"But we're glad it's done. I think both sides handled it professionally and now that it's the start of spring training, can move forward."

The Sox had originally asked for high-end, established major-leaguers such as pitcher Matt Garza or shortstop Starlin Castro. The Cubs rejected both out of hand and the talks dragged on.

At one point, both teams submitted briefs, each arguing their respective cases. The Sox had hoped that Selig would award them a player of significance to serve as a disincentive for executives with existing contracts to jump teams, but the Cubs argued that Epstein had only one year remaining on his deal and was likely poised to leave the Red Sox when the contract expired.

A baseball industry source recently labeled the Red Sox as "highly frustrated" that Selig wouldn't step in and rule in their favor.

Incredibly, the Cubs and Red Sox are not done doing business. As part of the deal, each team will exchanges players to be named later.

"You want to continue to keep asking questions for a couple more weeks, right?" joked Cherington. "I'd expect that we'll get that resolved by the end of spring training."

Cherington explained that MLB now dictates that a player can't go from one team to another, regardless of circumstance, without something -- in the form of money or player -- to the other team. He pointed to the recent compensation deal between the Chicago White Sox and Miami Marlins last fall.

In that swap, after manager Ozzie Guillen left the White Sox to go to Miami, the White Sox got two prospects from the Marlins, but the White Sox included another prospect to make the deal equitable.

All three Patriots QBs will travel to preseason finale vs. Giants

All three Patriots QBs will travel to preseason finale vs. Giants

FOXBORO - While there’s no official word yet on how the playing time will be divided among the Patriots quarterbacks, all three will travel to New Jersey for the preseason finale against the Giants on Thursday night.

There has been plenty of speculation about how much playing time Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett would get, and if Brady would even travel with the team. 

Brady will begin serving his four-game Deflategate suspension on Saturday at 4 p.m. so the game provides his last opportunity to play before he returns to the Patriots before he returns for preparations for the Week 5 matchup in Cleveland on Oct. 9. 

Brady said Tuesday that he hoped to play Thursday night.

More to come….

 

Sounds like Moncada will join Red Sox on Thursday

Sounds like Moncada will join Red Sox on Thursday

BOSTON - Without saying so directly, John Farrell broadly hinted that the Red Sox appear ready to call up Yoan Moncada as rosters expand from the current 25-man limit Thursday.

Farrell first noted that the Red Sox "need better production'' at third base, where both Travis Shaw and Aaron Hill have struggled mightily at the position.

Moncada, a natural second baseman, was shifted to third base earlier this month at Double A Portland. Moncada has a slash line of .285/.388/.547 with 11 homers and 27 RBI in 44 games.

Asked specifically about the chances of a call-up for Moncada, Farrell said: "We've talked about Yoan. And not just as a pinch-runner. It's an exciting young player, an extremely talented guy. There's all positive reviews and evaluations of him.

"When that major league experience is going to initiate, time will tell that. But in terms of playing the position of third base [in the big leagues], that conversation has been had.''

Previously, the Red Sox had resisted bringing Moncada to the big leagues, worried that he wouldn't be in the lineup often enough to continue his development. The Sox didn't want him to miss out on additional experience in the minors by playing only part-time in the majors.

But now that the minor league seasons are about to end -- Portland finishes Labor Day -- there's nothing in the minors for Moncada to miss.

"This is a different scenario than if it were July or early August,'' said Farrell. "The minor league season ends [soon], so is there benefit to him just being here? The answer to that is yes. Do you weigh playing 'X' number of games per week versus what he could be doing at Portland or Pawtucket? Well, that goes away [with the minor league regular seasons end].

"So, again, by all accounts, there's nothing but positives that could come out of experience here -- if that were to happen.''

 Moncada's promotion would be similar to the one experience by Xander Bogaerts in 2013, who was brought up in the final week of August 2013 and remained with the club all the way through the end of the team's World Series run that fall, taking playing time from struggling third baseman Will Middlebrooks.

 "For those who have been around this team for a number of years,'' said Farrell, "teams that have had success have always had an injection of young players late in the season that have helped carry the team through the postseason. I think Yoan would be in a similar category to when Pedey [Dustin Pedroia], when Jake [Jacoby Ellsbury] came into the picture. And Andrew (Benintendi) is already here, so I wouldn't separate [Moncada] out from that at all.

"In fact, he's a direct comparison [to those cases].’’

Farrell agreed that the arrival of a young, highly-touted player can inject some energy into a team in the throes of a pennant race.

"Absolutely, there is,'' said Farrell. "You've got a newness element. You've got, likely, above-average speed. You've got athleticism. You've got the unknown across the field on how does a given [opposing] team attack a given guy.

"In the cases we've talked about, it has been beneficial to us for the young player to come up. They find a way to contribute in a meaningful role. 

Without saying that [Moncada's promotion] is a definite, there's a lot [of positives]going for it.''

Farrell also acknowledged that the Sox have already held internal discussions about how Moncada would be utilized, given that the switch-hitter has been far more productive from the left side of the plate.

"We've talked about what's strong side, how do you look to best ease him in, so to speak,'' said Farrell. "We thought that with Benintendi, how do we best ease him in. Well, he blew the doors off of that one [with his early success]. So, if it happens, and if begins here soon, you'll all be aware.''

Farrell said the reports of Moncada's transition to third base have been encouraging despite three errors in his first nine games there.

"He's shown good range, an above-average arm,'' said Farrell. "Where there will be ongoing work and continued development, just as there was at second base, is the ball hit straight at him. That's just pure technique and fundamental positioning with hands and feet.

"But as far as range to his glove side, moving to third base, that seemingly has not been that big of a challenge for him.''

Wednesday's Red Sox-Rays lineups: Wright, Sox try to salvage 3-3 homestand

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Wednesday's Red Sox-Rays lineups: Wright, Sox try to salvage 3-3 homestand

The Red Sox try to end their short homestand at 3-3 and take two of three from the last-place Tampa Bay Rays in the series finale this afternoon at Fenway Park.

Steven Wright (13-6, 3.18 ERA), who allowed five first-inning runs to the Kansas Royals in his last start - his first since coming off the disabled list - is on the mound for the Red Sox. Left-hander Drew Smyly (6-11, 4.80) starts for the Rays.

The Red Sox begin a nine-game road trip to Oakland, San Diego and Toronto on Friday night. 

The lineups:

RAYS

Logan Forsythe 2B

Kevin Kiermaier 2B

Evan Longoria 3B

Brad Miller DH

Nick Franklin RF

Logan Morrison 1B

Tim Beckham SS

Corey Dickerson LF

Bobby Wilson C

Drew Smyly LHP

 

RED SOX

Dustin Pedroia 2B

Xander Bogaerts SS

David Ortiz DH

Mookie Betts RF

Hanley Ramirez 1B

Sandy Leon C

Chris Young LF

Aaron Hill 3B

Jackie Bradley Jr. CF