McAdam's Winter Meetings chat transcript


McAdam's Winter Meetings chat transcript

Red Sox Insider Sean McAdam stopped by earlier this afternoon to discuss all things Winter Meetings -- including a whole lot on new Sox acquisition Mike Napoli. What follows is the transcript of his hour-long live chat. He'll be back for another one tomorrow at noon.

Sean McAdam: Good afternoon, folks, coming to you life from the winter meetings in Nashville. We're about ready to take your questions, so get them ready

SM: Er, make that LIVE from the winter meetings. You get the idea...

CSNNE: Let's get this thing going! Sean's fresh off of filing his Mike Napoli story (you can read it here: http:ow.lyfMqxi) so fire away!

Is Napoli really worth 39M over 3 years? I'm sure Napoli will have spot starts at DH and maybe even Catcher, but will 1B be his primary position?
by dk 3 hours ago

SM: First, the position. Yes, Napoli will play mostly first base. But he gives the Sox a nice option as a third catcher, or someone who can DH against some tough lefties to give Ortiz a break. As for the money, yes it seems like an overpay. But I'd be more concerned about the Red Sox going too long on a deal than for paying too much. A three-year commitment for someone who just turned 31 isn't going to saddle them in the future.

Do you expect the Red Sox come out of Nashville with at least one other signingtrade before Friday?
by chris h. 3 hours ago

SM: Impossible to tell, Chris. The Napoli thing came together late last night and this morning, so things can happen quickly. Often, when a few moves get made, it creates momentum for others to happen. And rememebr: even if things don't get done this week, the foundation is often laid, with deals getting competed in the next week or so.

Hi sean are the redsox still in on swisher and cody ross
by jeff 3 hours ago

SM: Yes. Haven't ruled either out. The issue with Ross is length, I think. He wants at least three years and the Sox, with young outfielders coming (Brentz, Bradley) don't want to commit longer than two. With Swisher, I think he thuoght his marked was going to be a lot better and is having to re-adjust his expectations.

If the Sox sign Swisher, are they out on Cody Ross?
by 3 hours ago

SM: Yes, only need one of those.

Anyone know any details of Napoli & Hamilton's relationship? Am I crazy to think they might be going after both of them?
by chris simoneau 3 hours ago

SM: I just can't see Hamilton in Boston. I know Larry Lucchino said the Sox were "in'' on Hamilton in a SiriusXM interview Sunday night, but I think he meant that in the loosest sense. The same could probably be said of another dozen or so free agents. If Hamilton's market bottoms out -- to say, three years -- then the Sox will be real players. Otherwise, I don't think so.

How much can Napoli improve at 1B defensively? And is Swisher a more likely addition instead of Cody Ross, due to Swisher's ability to play 1B?
by kcarbs 3 hours ago

SM: Napoli is adequate at first -- no more, no less. Don't expect Adrian Gonzalez, but the Sox know that going in. Swisher is more versatile than Ross, but I don't see that as a big difference-maker in choosing between the two.

Looks like 1B is solved. The sox still need a 3 or 4 for the rotation. Any ideas who that could be?
by 2 hours ago

SM: One option would be to see if the White Sox are interested in Saltalamacchia in exchange for Gavin Floyd. The White Sox need catching and it would save them about 5 million in salary. I like that option. Other free agent possibilities include Liriano, Marcum, Lohse. etc

would you now trade Salty or Lavarnway? Which one could get more and which one would the Sox most liketo keep?
by adam 2 hours ago

SM: I would think they'll now deal Saltalamacchia. Saltalamacchia probably has more value because he's shown he can hit for power on the big league level. I think the Sox believe, long-term, Lavarnway's ceiling is higher.

How indepth have conversations been between The Red Sox and Royals re a trade of Lester for Myers or Hosmer?
by tiger 3 hours ago

SM: Not very deep. My understanding is that the Royals were calling around. They also talked to Tampa about Shields and inquired about Dickey with the Mets. It's clear they're looking for a front-line starter. I don't think the Sox were ever seriously engaged on the Myers-Lester talk.

are the Sox taking a different team building approach? Havent heard of many pitchers toed to the Sox? What are they thinking with starting pitching?
by pete 2 hours ago

SM: The thought is, their best chance to compete is to have bounce-back seasons from their top two guys -- Lester and Buchholz -- and will get a healthy John Lackey back. Plus, Doubront will have the benefit of a full season's experience underneath him. It's a gamble, admittedly, because if Lester and Buchholz DON'T revert to form, it could be a long year. They'll add one significant starter through trade or free agency before the winter is over.

Are any of the owners (including Larry) at the meetings besides Ben?
by tiger 2 hours ago

SM: Usually, they're not. Lucchino did his radio interview with SiriusXM by phone. It's rare for either Henry, Werner or Lucchino to attend. It's mostly GMs and their staffs.

Sean...two questions. 1) Are there any teams that are being super aggressive (either as buyers or sellers) that have surprised you so far? 2) Is there a player out there that you could see being dangled out for trade that not many people have talked about?
by max 2 hours ago

SM: The team everyone is talking about is KC. They're eager to get a front-line starter and, as reported earlier, will mmove a top prospect or two to get one. Dayton Moore is kind of on the hot seat to show progress and he knows it. As for a surprise player, that's tough to say. We've already heard that some big names (Mauer, for instance) are NOT going to be dealt.

any chance the sox will sign shaun marcum or annibal sanchez
by david 3 hours ago

SM: I'd say the chances are far better on Marcum, because the length and money won't be nearly as great. There's talk that Sanchez is looking for six years and don't think the Sox want to -- nor should they -- want to commit for that long. In my mind, Sanchez is a pretty good No. 3. I can't see giving him that kind of deal.

Since they are pursuing Swisher or Ross ,does this mean that they have given up on Kalish?
by doug from woburn 2 hours ago

SM: No. It means that they can't yet count on him to play every day. Remember, he could still get a lot of ABs in left in some sort of platoon with Gomes. And he could be the primary backup to Ellsbury in CF.

How about taking a flyer on a young arm like McCarthy as long as he is healthy.
by Chonor0713 2 hours ago

SM: I"m sure that's a consideration, though he's not as young (29) as you might think. The problem has always been health for him, especially after he was struck in the head by that line drive last summer. But he remains an option for a back-end spot. They like him.

Saw Buster Olney wrote that trading David Price within 13 months almost a certainty. Could Bogaerts with some other prospects andor Salty pry him from Tampa?
by sahdbostonsports 2 hours ago

SM: I would think that it would take Bogaerts and AT LEAST one other top prospect, plus more, to get Price. And I'm not sure the Rays want to move him within the division and then have to face him five times a year. I'd say that's a real long shot.

Sean, with the Sox planning on using Morales as a stater this season and the surplus of LH starters do you see them packaging one of them with Salty in a move a get someone to fill another position of need?
by jay 2 hours ago

SM: I'm not sure Morales is definitely slotted as a starter. I know that Farrell said Saturday that they intend to have him come to spring training to start, but that's really about preparation. And it's easier to have someone prepare to start then have them scale back and pitch in relief than it is to do it the other way around. Could Morales be part of a deal? Sure. But I think they'd like to keep him because of that versatility.

Would the Red Sox sign Bourn or Victorino to play CF, with the intent on trading Ellsbury for SP because he most likely will go to free agency?
by joed 2 hours ago

SM: No, Bourn is not on their radar. Victorino is because he's far cheaper and can play RF for the next two years. They're not looking at moving Ellsbury -- for now at least, though I think they should.

Sean, with the Sox planning on using Morales as a stater this season and the surplus of LH starters do you see them packaging one of them with Salty in a move a get someone to fill another position of need?
by jay 2 hours ago

SM: I'm not sure Morales is definitely slotted as a starter. I know that Farrell said Saturday that they intend to have him come to spring training to start, but that's really about preparation. And it's easier to have someone prepare to start then have them scale back and pitch in relief than it is to do it the other way around. Could Morales be part of a deal? Sure. But I think they'd like to keep him because of that versatility.

how does the bullpen shake out? a lot guys that are young but out of options.
by jay 2 hours ago

SM: I would imagine that Bailey will close, with Tazawa as the primary set-up man, to be augmented by Bard if he can get straightened out. Then, you have Miller as a middle innings lefty, Breslow as a late-inning lefty, Aceves as the long man and possibly Hill and Atchison -- if they're re-signed -- for depth

What are the odds that De La Rosa or Webster make the roster in the upcoming year?
by ultrahip 2 hours ago

SM: De La Rosa I would say almost certainly. I think it's possible that you could see Webster later in the year, but he hasn't pitched above Double A yet and will need some time in Pawtucket first.

Would Vernon Wells be a good fit with the redsox?
by beef8it 2 hours ago

SM: Nope. Still owed huge money for next two years, with steadily declining performance. Only way that works is a big deal in which the Sox get something they want from Angels and are forced to take Wells and his money as part of the trade. Don't see it.

Do the Red Sox have any interest in Brian Wilson?
by jon 2 hours ago

CSNNE: Let's take 3 more questions...

SM: Some, but they will have lots of competition from others (Dodgers, Giants). Don't see it happening.

Sox lineup getting too righthanded, do you see Swisher a better option than Ross?
by mike 2 hours ago

SM: Funny, the last two years, everyone worried that they were too lefthanded. I still think Ross is a better fit because he'll take fewer years and less money. They still have Ortiz, Ellsbury and perhaps Kalish from the left side.

Are the Sox going to get anything out of Lackey this season? I cannot see them trading him as his contract is still too high, unless they are willing to eat most of the salary....
by trentonkid 2 hours ago

SM: He can't be traded until teams see him as healthy. If he pitches the way he did a few years ago, there will be some value and he can be moved. I think the Sox believe he can win 14 or so games, and with some support, I think he can, too.

CSNNE: Thanks for joining us everyone! Sean will be right back here at Noon tomorrow and Wednesday to answer all of your questions...and don't forget to watch a SPECIAL EDITION of The Baseball Show TONIGHT & TOMORROW from 8:30-10pm on Comcast SportsNet.

SM: That will do it for today, folks. Sorry we couldn't get to more. Well be back tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday at noon Eastern. Thanks again.

Are Red Sox entering spring training with fewer questions than ever?

Are Red Sox entering spring training with fewer questions than ever?

BOSTON -- Every year it seems like there are major issues or question marks to start spring training where the answers are up in the air.

In 2015, the Red Sox lacked an ace, had Hanley Ramirez moving to left field and Pablo Sandoval coming to town.

In 2016, Ramirez was moving back to the infield, but at a new position, and his bat was in question. Sandoval was coming off a year where he couldn’t hit his weight (he hit .245 and he last weighed in at 255 pounds). How would the starting rotation look after David Price?

This year, there seem to be three questions, but in a way, they’ve already been answered.

How will the Red Sox make up for David Ortiz’s absence?

Well, for one, the Red Sox have three Cy Young-caliber starting pitchers (Price, Chris Sale and Rick Porcello) in their rotation.

And two, Hanley Ramirez is coming off a career year with his highest career output in RBI (111) and second-highest home run total (30). And while Mitch Moreland isn’t the greatest hitter, he’s good for 20 or more home runs. Plus, it seems he’s holding a spot for a certain Red Sox prospect who’s bouncing back well from an injury.


Will Sandoval earn the starting third base job back?

The weight loss is a good sign, not only for the physical reasons, but it shows he’s mentally committed to being better.

However, that doesn’t guarantee he gets his job back.

“I’m not going to say [third base] resolved itself,” John Farrell told, “but you know Panda’s done a very good job of committing to get himself in better shape and we’re looking forward to seeing that play to in spring training.”

Even if Panda can’t put it all together, Farrell told reporters before Thursday’s BBWAA dinner, both Brock Holt and Josh Rutledge would be competing for the job as well.

Holt as plan B -- in the infield? Who wouldn’t take that?

Who’s going to start at catcher?

Sandy Leon, Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart each have their pros an cons.

Leon did it all last year, but went from hitting .383 in his first 39 games to .242 in his last 39.

Vazquez has Ivan Rodriguez-esque abilities behind the plate, but couldn’t keep the staff under control last year and cannot hit.

Swihart, who turns 25 April 3, is the youngest of the three, has the most potential at the plate, but is far and away the worst of the three defensively at the most important defensive position -- excluding pitcher -- on the field.

They all have their drawbacks, but they’ve all shown at some point why they can be the Red Sox starting catcher in the present and future.

Everywhere else, the Red Sox seem to be in a comfortable position as pitchers and catchers reporting to camp draws ever nearer.

“I think the fact that we’ve got veteran players that have done a great job in staying healthy [and] young players that are getting more establishing in their return, we’re in a pretty good place in terms of the overall status of our position player group,” Farrell told

And it seems some players are confident in the team’s options as they ready for camp.

“We’re looking good in a lot of areas,” shortstop Xander Bogaerts told “Especially the pitching staff, [since] we just got Chris Sale one of the best in the game.”

“Pablo’s definitely going to bounce back, especially with the weight he’s lost."

Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner


Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

BOSTON -- “I didn’t feel that love after I made a pitching change in the sixth inning,” Terry Francona said after a 45-second standing ovation from Boston fans upon receiving the MLB Manager of the Year award from the BBWAA Thursday.

It’s without question the love for Francona runs deep in the city. Why wouldn’t it? He was the leader in breaking the 86-year old curse, and wound up winning another World Series title for Boston three years later.

Actually, he was more of a co-leader, working alongside the same person who won the MLB Executive of the Year honors from the BBWAA for 2016.

Theo Epstein -- who received an ovation 17 seconds shorter than Francona, but who’s counting -- reminisced about the Red Sox ownership group that took a chance on a young kid who wasn’t necessarily the ideal candidate to take over as GM of a team, but now that’s helped him build the Chicago Cubs into a winning franchise and establish a great working environment.

This October marks 13 years since the ’04 championship, 10 years since ’07 and six years since the pair left Boston. Without question they’ve left their mark on the city and forever changed Red Sox baseball.

And while the fans showed their undying gratitude for Francona with an ovation almost as long as his acceptance speech, the Indians manager recognized the favor the current Red Sox brass has done for him.

“I’d like to thank Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox for getting Chris Sale the hell out of the Central Division,” Francona said.