Podsednik grateful for chance with Sox

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Podsednik grateful for chance with Sox

BOSTON There were times last season and early this season, Scott Podsednik thought of calling it a career.

There were thoughts, Podsednik said Friday afternoon, standing in front of his locker in the Red Sox clubhouse before the start of the three-game series against the Rays.

Getting back into shape and ready to play is one thing, but getting an opportunity for some organization is another thing. So I started to wonder if that would ever happen again.

The decision to stick with it paid off this week for Podsednik, who turned 36 in March. After starting the season with the Phillies, the Sox purchased his services on May 12 and promoted him from Triple-A Pawtucket May 22.

He entered the game that night as a pinch-hitter and the next day made his first big league start Sept. 9, 2010. He was limited by injuries to just 34 games and 157 plate appearances last season with four minor league teams, two each with the Phillies and Blue Jays. The long wait, he said, made him more appreciative.

I worked extremely hard this winter getting myself in the proper shape I needed to be in so I feel gratified that the work I put in is paying off, he said. So my bodys healthy. Im ready to go and help the club.

With seven big league teams in 11 seasons, Podsednik, a third-round pick of the Rangers in 1994, has a career average of .280, with 42 home runs, 301 RBI, playing all three outfield positions.

In his first start with the Sox, Wednesday afternoon in Baltimore, he went 2-for-3 with a home run as the Sox won, 6-5. He was the first Sox player to hit a home run and a sacrifice fly in his first start since Jerry Casale on April 15, 1959.

It was a feeling of accomplishment, he said of his thoughts as he rounded the bases. My careers been up and down with injuries, different teams, so it was a good feeling to get in and make an impact.

We have a good group of guys here. What I wanted to do was come in and fit in and gel with what they've got working here.

Podsednik is batting ninth, starting in center field Friday against the Rays.

You got the wall in left, youve got some tricky angles out there, he said of the Fenway outfield. But you go out there and when it's hit you go get it.

Im excited. With the injuries last year pushing me out of the league, its nice to put a big league uniform on again and to do it here in Boston with the caliber of the organization like theBoston Red Sox, its going to be exciting.

Red Sox trade Shaw, prospects for reliever Thornburg

Red Sox trade Shaw, prospects for reliever Thornburg

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Red Sox got the bullpen help they were seeking Tuesday, but it came at a steep price.
     
The Sox obtained righthanded reliever Tyler Thornburg from the Milwaukee Brewers, but it cost them infielder Travis Shaw, highly regarded shortstop prospect Mauricio Dubon and pitching prospect Josh Pennington, according to an industry source.

In Thornburg, 28, the Red Sox get a hard-throwing reliever whom they control for the next three seasons. He became the Brewers' closer after the trade deadline last year and recorded 13 saves while posting a 2.15 ERA and avergaing 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings.
    
He will serve as the Red Sox' primary set-up option to get to closer Craig Kimbrel.
     
One potential issue for Thornburg is that he's dealt with some elbow issues in the recent past. As recently as 2014, it was thought that he might require Tommy John surgery, but he instead underwent PRP (platelt rich plasma) treatment and has remained healthy.

Given that the last set-up reliever obtained by Dombrowski, Carson Smith, underwent Tommy John surgery last season, Thornburg's injury history raises a caution flag.

In dealing Shaw, the Red Sox are now expecting Pablo Sandoval to be their primary third baseman -- at least in the near term.

Sandoval missed all but a few games in 2016 with a shoulder injury and his conditioning has been an issue since signing with the Red Sox two years ago.

The Red Sox have Brock Holt to help out at third in 2017, with both Yoan Moncada and Rafael Devers waiting in the wings.

Dubon is the second top prospect to be dealt by Dombrowski in the last 13 months. He included Javier Guerra in a package with three other prospects to obtain Kimbrel in November of 2015.

Dubon posted a .912 OPS in half a season at Portland last year and recently played in the Arizona Fall League. He has limited power, but strong athleticism and makes good contact.

Pennington is 20, a hard-throwing (94-98 mph) righthander who could profile either as a late-inning weapon or a starter. He's years away from the big leagues and has already undergone Tommy John surgery.

The Boston Herald was the first to report that the teams had made a trade. Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com was the first to report the details.

New photo surfaces of noticeably thinner Pablo Sandoval

New photo surfaces of noticeably thinner Pablo Sandoval

When it comes to Pablo Sandoval and his weight, a picture is worth a thousand words.

During spring training it wasn’t a good thing. Sandoval made headlines when a number of photos revealed significant weight gain for the Red Sox third baseman.

But the last two images have been more positive for Sandoval.

In October, a noticeably thinner Sandoval was photographed at an FC Barcelona game.

On Monday, Dan Roche of WBZ tweeted a more recent picture of the new-look Sandoval.

Sandoval, 30, is entering the third season of a five-year, $95 million contract. In his lone full season in Boston, 2015, Sandoval hit .245/.292/.366 with 10 homers and 47 RBI.