Report: Red Sox acquire Marlon Byrd

734786.jpg

Report: Red Sox acquire Marlon Byrd

BOSTON -- Seeking to add to their depleted outfield depth, the Red Sox Saturday obtained Marlon Byrd from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for pitcher Michael Bowden and a player to be named later.

The Cubs are also responsible for "most'' of Byrd's 6.5 million salary this season.

The Sox currently have two starting outfielders -- Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury -- on the disabled list and may soon have a third. Jason Repko injured his left shoulder banging into the center field wall Friday and suffered what manager Bobby Valentine termed a "slight separation.''

When asked if Repko had been placed on the disabled list, Valentine said: "No...not today.''

Byrd, 34, was off to a miserable start with the Cubs, with just three hits in 43 at-bats for a lowly .070 batting average.

Several scouts Saturday labeled Byrd "average'' defensively. He's capable of playing all three outfield spots, including center.

A veteran of 11 seasons, he's played with Philadelphia, Washington and Texas in addition to the Cubs. As recently as 2010, he was an everyday player for the Cubs when he .293 with 12 homers and 66 RBI.

Bowden, a native of Illinois, gets another chance after being designated for assignment by the Red Sox last weekend. He was out of options this spring, and as a result, made the team when the season began. He made two appearances, covering three appearances, and allowed a run.

But when the Sox needed to free up a roster spot last weekend, he was designated to make room on the 40-man roster for the addition of Repko.

A first-round pick of the Red Sox in 2005, Bowden will be reunited with Theo Epstein, the Cubs president of baseball operations who drafted Bowden in Boston as the Sox' GM.

Two more Pastrnak goals pull him into tie for NHL lead with Crosby

Two more Pastrnak goals pull him into tie for NHL lead with Crosby

BOSTON – While the loss to the Avalanche on Thursday night was a monumental dud, it put another dazzling display on the hockey resume of David Pastrnak. 

The 20-year-old star right winger scored two more goals in the 4-2 loss at TD Garden and nearly brought the Bruins back into the game by himself before another defensive breakdown at the end of the second period doomed them. 

Instead, Pastrnak had to settle with being the proud owner of 18 goals scored in 23 games that places him in a tie with NHL superstar Sidney Crosby for the NHL lead in goals. 

The goals also showed his wide range of lethal offensive skills. On the first score, he just broke away from the Avalanche defense and managed to bury a second-effort breakaway chance after a nice Tim Schaller stretch pass off the boards. The second goal was a straight one-timer bomb from the high slot off a slick setup pass from Brad Marchand in the corner, and it had the Bruins right back into the mix after a dreadful first period. 

It wasn’t enough when the B’s defense faltered again toward the end of the second period, but it was enough for everybody to be singing Pastrnak’s praises once again following the loss. 

“He’s a game changer. The momentum is going the other way, and he has the ability to break away on any given shift and score a big goal for us. He did that tonight,” said Torey Krug. “We can’t just keep relying on the same guys to score goals. We’ve got to come up with secondary offense, and I know every other guy wants to do that. 

“Now it’s about showing that on the ice and making sure we’re doing the work and getting better and proving to ourselves. But Pasta [David Pastrnak] has been great for us so far, and we’re obviously lucky to have him.”

The 18 goals barely two months into the season are not too shabby for a kid, in his third NHL season, who just now coming into his own. He’s nearly halfway to 40 before Christmas. For Pastrnak, however, it’s about the team result and he wasn’t overly satisfied with his two goals in a losing effort. 

“I’ve said before the season that our goal is to make the playoffs and to have that experience and have the chance to win the Stanley Cup. I’m still focusing on that,” said Pastrnak, who has yet to experience the Stanley Cup playoffs in his two-plus seasons with the Black and Gold. “We have zero points from tonight’s game and we have to move on. I think our game gets better in the second and third periods, you know, and we have to regroup and get ready for Saturday’s game.”

The Bruins will undoubtedly regroup and once again count on another Pastrnak offensive explosion to help lead the way in what’s become a truly spectacular season for the youngster. 

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer.  And…

US ambassador to Japan?

Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.

The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons. 

Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, according to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. 

Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California.