Pedroia (thumb) out of the lineup vs. Oakland


Pedroia (thumb) out of the lineup vs. Oakland

OAKLAND -- Dustin Pedroia is out of the lineup in the road trip finale, advised by the training staff to not swing a bat, having jammed his thumb in Tuesday night's walkoff loss to Oakland.

The soreness is in a different area than the spot that has bothered Pedroia since early May and forced him to miss a week's worth of action earlier this season.

"It's pretty frustrating," said Pedroia, who's expected to be examined Thursday when the Sox return from the West Coast. "It was fine during the game (Tuesday night), and then I was sore after the game and today Im pretty sore. Maybe its from when I dove for that ball in right field. I dont know what happened.

"I just think he needs these two days (Wednesday and the day off that follows)," said Bobby Valentine. "And so does he. He's a little stiff here and there."

With Pedroia sidelined, Nick Punto is playing second, with Mauro Gomez at third for the first time in the big leagues.

Gomez was signed as a third baseman, but hasn't played much there above Single A, where he made 39 errors in 71 games. And with sinkerballer
Aaron Cook pitching for the Red Sox, Gomez is likely to get plenty of action at an unfamiliar position.

"It is what it is," shrugged Valentine. "What are we going to do?"

Will Middlebrooks is not an option for Wednesday. He's missed three games now with a strained left hamstring, suffered Sunday in Seattle.

"Will felt better, a little better than yesterday," said Valentine.

The Sox are still hopeful that they can avoid placing Middlebrooks on the DL.

Valentine has to hope that Wednesday's makeshift lineup can do better. Over the first six games of the trip, the Sox have scored just 12 runs -- and five of those came in one game.

In the five other games, the Red Sox have scored two runs or fewer.

"I think we're ready to break out," said Valentine. "The bad news is we haven't hit. The good news is we will."

Report: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees reach deal for $86M, 5 years


Report: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees reach deal for $86M, 5 years

OXON HILL, Md. - Aroldis Chapman found a spot in a most familiar bullpen - a very rich spot, too.

The hard-throwing closer reached agreement to return to the New York Yankees on Wednesday night with the highest-priced contract ever for a relief pitcher, an $86 million deal for five years.

A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that the contract was pending a physical. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet complete.

Once it's done, the 28-year-old lefty whose fastballs routinely top 100 mph would shatter the previous richest contract for a reliever - that was the $62 million, four-year deal Mark Melancon signed with San Francisco just a couple days ago during the winter meetings.

Chapman was acquired by New York from the Cincinnati Reds last offseason, then missed the first 29 games of the season due to a domestic violence suspension from Major League Baseball. The Cuban was traded to the Chicago Cubs in late July and helped them win the World Series, becoming a free agent when it was over.

Chapman went 4-1 with 36 saves and a 1.55 ERA in a combined 59 games for the Yankees and Cubs. He struggled some in the postseason as the Cubs beat Cleveland for their first championship since 1908.

With the Yankees this season, Chapman teamed with Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances in one of the most dominant bullpens in baseball history. Miller was later traded to Cleveland, but Betances is still with New York.

Earlier this week, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team was interested in both Chapman and fellow free agent closer Kenley Jansen. The Yankees had already made one deal at these meetings, signing slugger Matt Holliday, before paying a lot more to bring Chapman back to the Bronx.

Fox Sports first reported the agreement.

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu are back together.

The two Cuban natives were teammates in 2012 when they played for Cienfuegos in Cuba, and now they'll be in the same dugout once again — this time in Chicago.

"To get the opportunity to play with him right now in the United States, it's an honor for me," Moncada said through a translator on a conference call Wednesday. "I'm thrilled with that."

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