Red Sox notebook: Team looking for outfielders, coaches


Red Sox notebook: Team looking for outfielders, coaches

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- The Red Sox are in the market for two starting outfielders. Fortunately for them, there's a glut of them on the free agent and trade markets.
"I would say if there's an area of the free agent market that is probably a little bit deeper, it's probably the outfield,'' said Red Sox GM Ben Cherington. "We've talked to a lot of the agents for those guys. It's probably still a little bit of a feeling period.''
One possibility is Cody Ross, who enjoyed a solid season for the Red Sox last year, with a team-high 81 RBI and a 1.010 OPS against lefthanded pitching.
Ross is seeing what's available to him on the market, though the Red Sox remain on his radar.
B.J. Upton is a free agent and his brother, Justin, may be available through trade.
B.J. may command a nine-figure salary, which is more than the Sox would be ready to commit to a player who has been an inconsistent performer.
Two years ago, the Red Sox got deep into trade talks with the Arizona Diamondbacks over Justin, who is signed through 2015. Upton is due 38.5 million over the next three seasons and has a tantalizing mix of power and speed.
However, landing Upton would probably take two of the team's top three or four prospects and the Sox would seem unlikely to sacrifice that much of their future.
Boston has already made its interest in free agent Torii Hunter known, but Hunter, 37, is said to be most interested in going somewhere where he can compete for a World Series right away, something the Red Sox can't offer.
Meanwhile, the New York Mets bought out former Red Sox outfielder Jason Bay Wednesday, and Bay will probably be forced to sign a minor league deal with a major league invite.
"I'm certainly surprised that it didn't go better for him in New York,'' said Cherington. "He was a great player for a long time. I don't know the particulars of why it didn't work out. But I have a lot of respect for him and hopefully he'll find a good situation.''
Asked if the Sox would consider Bay as an option, Cherington said: "We haven't talked about it yet.''

Cherington confirmed that the Sox are considering hiring two hitting coaches for the 2013 season, a topic first broached earlier by manager John Farrell.
The approach is a trend in the game with, among others, the Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers going with two hitting instructors.
"We are considering a two-man system,'' said Cherington. "I think it depends on who the first guy is and then if the right complement's there, it's something we'd consider. There are pros and cons of both approaches. It's a big job and trying to give appropriate attention to all 13 position players. It requires a lot of time so (splitting the job) is something we're considering.
"They ought to complement each other, certainly. I think there ought to be some philosophical alignment, but perhaps a different personality, or perhaps a different background. I don't think it makes any sense to look for a clone. So, we'll see.''
Cherington said the Sox were still awaiting permission on some candidates, but "it's fair to say we'll get (the interview) process started this weekend.''

Cherington hinted that Gary Tuck, who has served as the team's bullpen coach since 2007, could come back to the same role. Tuck has an option in his contract to return.
"We're working on the bullpen coach and hopefully we'll have something there soon,'' said Cherington. "(Tuck) is someone we've talked to.''

The GM added that the Sox are considering a number of candidates for the position of first base coach, including some who were internal.
"I know John (Farrell) would like to speak some people internally,'' said Cherington. "I wouldn't rule out someone outside the organization, but there are some people (within) that he'd like to talk to.''
A baseball source said that both Pawtucket manager Arnie Beyeler, who's managed at Pawtucket the last two seasons, and minor league field coordinator of instruction, David Howard, are under consideration for the first base coaching spot.

Pedroia leads Red Sox to 11th win in a row, 3-2 over Rays in 10


Pedroia leads Red Sox to 11th win in a row, 3-2 over Rays in 10

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Dustin Pedroia used nifty baserunning to score from first base on David Ortiz's double in the 10th inning and the AL East-leading Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Sunday for their 11th consecutive win.

Pedroia singled off Eddie Gamboa (0-1) to start the inning. The relay throw on Ortiz's hit to right center beat Pedroia to plate but he avoided Luke Maile's first tag. Pedroia's momentum carried him past the plate and when he went back to touch it, Maile was charged with an error when the ball dropped out his glove on another tag try.

Pedroia hit a solo homer and Mookie Betts extended his hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI single for the Red Sox, who secured at least an AL wild-card spot Saturday night. Boston's magic number to clinch the division title dropped to two.

Joe Kelly (4-0) went 2 2/3 scoreless innings for the win.

Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out a career-high 13 in 5 1/3 innings. The left-hander and Heath Hembree combined to strikeout 11 consecutive batters to establish a major league-record. The New York Mets held the previous mark when Tom Seaver struck out 10 in a row against San Diego on Apr. 22, 1970.

Boston also set a club record by striking out 21 through nine. Kelly added two more in the 10th.

There was a moment of silence before the game for Miami pitcher Jose Fernandez, who was killed in a boating accident early Sunday. Fernandez played high school baseball in nearby Tampa, Florida after defecting from Cuba.

The Rays planned to honor Ortiz before his final game at Tropicana Field but canceled the ceremony at Ortiz's request after Fernandez's death. He had three hits in five at-bats and moved past Frank Thomas for 107th place on the career list with 2,469 hits.

Ortiz has 35 homers and 90 RBIs at Tropicana Field, which is the most of any visiting player. Alex Rodriguez is next with 30 homers and 73 RBIs.


Rays 3B Evan Longoria and RHP Chris Archer informally presented Ortiz with an oil painting of his 500th home run, which he hit at Tropicana Field last season. Ortiz was also given 34 special handmade Diamond Crown Maximus cigars and $5,000 donations in his name to the Miracle League of St. Petersburg, Florida and the University of South Florida Latino scholarship program.


Red Sox: Ortiz will play at Yankee Stadium for the final time during a three-game series against New York that starts Tuesday night. "Playing baseball in New York is something that is very special," Ortiz said. LHP David Price (17-8) will start for the Red Sox Tuesday night.

Rays: LHP Drew Smyly (7-11) will face White Sox RHP James Shields (3-11) Monday night in the first of four games in Chicago.

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