Red Sox notebook: Team not leaning toward dealing Ellsbury

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Red Sox notebook: Team not leaning toward dealing Ellsbury

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- If they so chose, the Red Sox could have one of the most in-demand players on the winter trade market by shopping outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury.
For now, they seem disinclined to deal him, in part because his value is down after a season in which he missed most of the first half with a shoulder separation, then posted a disappointing second-half when he did play.
Ellsbury is eligible for free agency after 2013, but it seems highly unlikely that a contract extension will get worked out. Instead, the Sox think the best thing to do is hold onto Ellsbury and hope to be the beneficiary of another standout season -- like the one he had in 2011 -- as he nears free agency.
The outfielder made just over 8 million last year and will undoubtedly get a bump in pay through the arbitration process.
"We're going to obviously have a discussion about his contract upcoming,'' said agent Scott Boras. "We have to negotiate for the coming year. I think that's going to be up to the Red Sox and Ben (Cherington), when they let me know what they want to do and I haven't had that discussion.''
One more piece of the coaching staff puzzle was pieced together with the announcement that Gary Tuck will return for his seventh year as bullpen coachcatching instructor.
Tuck had an option to return and decided to exercise it.
Tuck clashed with Bobby Valentine last year, but has a good relationship with new manager John Farrell. Farrell, in fact, attempted to hire Tuck as his bench coach when he went to Toronto two years ago.
"I think John felt that having at least one person back from the 2012 staff was important,'' said Cherington. "Aside from his skill as a catching instructor and being a smart baseball guy, he's got a lot of insight into our players from (2012) and no one else on the staff is going to have that.''
Meanwhile, not long after it was reported by ESPNBoston that the Sox would interview Tino Martinez for the position of hitting coach, Martinez accepted the same position with the Miami Marlins.
"We're going to start interviews this weekend,'' said Cherington. "Those will unfold over the course of early next week. I assume there'll be a handful of candidates.''
A number of potential free agent targets could be taken off the table Friday, the deadline for free agents to accept or decline the qualifying offers from their 2012 teams.
If a player accepts, he immediately becomes signed by his former team.
"We'll keep an eye on those,'' said Cherington. "I don't think there will be too many surprises with the decisions. But we'll keep an eye on them and react accordingly.''
Among the players in whom the Sox have interested who were given qualifying offers: New York's Nick Swisher; Washington's Adam LaRoche and New York's Huroki Kuroda.
Swisher and LaRoche are almost certain to decline. Kuroda could possibly accept, since he enjoyed pitching in New York, is willing to take a one-year deal and would see a raise from 10 million last year to the standard 13.3 million qualifying offer figure. The Sox plan another overhaul of the medical staff, although it's likely to be more of a re-organization than anything else.
The team has already confirmed that rehab coordinator Mike Reinold will not return for 2013.
"What we're trying to do is finish off a restructuring that began last winter,'' said Cherington, "and get to a system that captures appropriately the different specialties within the medical realm -- certainly physician, trainer, therapist, strength coach. There are different modalities there involved in building a system that balances those effectively and doing it in a way that players have people who fully have their best interest in mind and are at the top of their profession.''

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez elected to Hall of Fame

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez elected to Hall of Fame

NEW YORK - Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were elected to baseball's Hall of Fame on Wednesday, earning the honor as Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero fell just short.

Steroids-tainted stars Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were passed over for the fifth straight year by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. But they received significantly more votes this time and could be in position to gain election in coming years.

Bagwell, on the ballot for the seventh time after falling 15 votes short last year, received 381 of 442 votes for 86.2 percent. Players needed 75 percent, which came to 332 votes this year.

In his 10th and final year of eligibility, Raines was on 380 ballots (86 percent). Rodriguez received 336 votes (76 percent) to join Johnny Bench in 1989 as the only catchers elected on the first ballot.

Hoffman was five votes shy and Guerrero 15 short.

Edgar Martinez was next at 58.6 percent, followed by Clemens at 54.1 percent, Bonds at 53.8 percent, Mike Mussina at 51.8 percent, Curt Schilling at 45 percent, Lee Smith at 34.2 percent and Manny Ramirez at 23.8 percent.

Players will be inducted July 30 during ceremonies at Cooperstown along with former Commissioner Bud Selig and retired Kansas City and Atlanta Braves executive John Schuerholz, both elected last month by a veterans committee.

Bagwell was a four-time All-Star who spent his entire career with Houston, finishing with a .297 batting average, 401 homers and 1,401 RBIs.

Raines, fifth in career stolen bases, was a seven-time All-Star and the 1986 NL batting champion. He spent 13 of 23 big league seasons with the Montreal Expos, who left Canada to become the Washington Nationals for the 2005 season, and joins Andre Dawson and Gary Carter as the only players to enter the Hall representing the Expos.

Raines hit .294 with a .385 on-base percentage, playing during a time when Rickey Henderson was the sport's dominant speedster.

Rodriguez, a 14-time All-Star who hit .296 with 311 homers and 1,332 RBIs, was never disciplined for PEDs but former Texas teammate Jose Canseco alleged in a 2005 book that he injected the catcher with steroids. Asked whether he was on the list of players who allegedly tested positive for steroids during baseball's 2003 survey, Rodriguez said in 2009: "Only God knows."

Bonds, a seven-time MVP who holds the season and career home run records, received 36.2 percent in his initial appearance, in 2013, and jumped from 44.3 percent last year. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, rose from 45.2 percent last year.

Bonds was indicted on charges he lied to a grand jury in 2003 when he denied using PEDs, but a jury failed to reach a verdict on three counts he made false statements and convicted him on one obstruction of justice count, finding he gave an evasive answer. The conviction was overturned appeal in 2015.

Clemens was acquitted on one count of obstruction of Congress, three counts of making false statements to Congress and two counts of perjury, all stemming from his denials of drug use.

A 12-time All-Star on the ballot for the first time, Ramirez was twice suspended for violating baseball's drug agreement. He helped the Boston Red Sox win World Series titles in 2004 and `07, the first for the franchise since 1918, and hit .312 with 555 home runs and 1,831 RBIs in 19 big league seasons.

Several notable players will join them in the competition for votes in upcoming years: Chipper Jones in 2018, Mariano Rivera and Roy Halladay in 2019, and Derek Jeter in 2020.

Sam Travis among nine non-roster invitees added to Red Sox spring training roster

Sam Travis among nine non-roster invitees added to Red Sox spring training roster

The Red Sox have invited nine non-roster players to spring training, the team announced Wednesday. The team now has a total of 15 non-roster invitees. 

Added Wednesday to the spring training roster were outfielder/infielder Allen Craig, third baseman Rafael Devers, first baseman Sam Travis, catcher Jordan Procyshen, outfielders Brian Bogusevic and Rusney Castillo, and right-handed pitchers Kyle Kendrick, Chandler Shepherd and Ben Taylor.

In addition to 39 players on the 40-man roster, the Sox have the following breakdown of non-roster invitees: 

Pitchers: Kyle Kendrick, Edgar Olmos, Chandler Shepherd, Ben Taylor, Marcus Walden
 
Catchers: Dan Butler, Jake DePew, Jordan Procyshen
 
Infielders: Rafael Devers, Matt Dominguez, Sam Travis
 
Outfielders: Brian Bogusevic, Rusney Castillo, Allen Craig, Junior Lake