Sox lose prospects Fields, Pressly in Rule 5 Draft; acquire three

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Sox lose prospects Fields, Pressly in Rule 5 Draft; acquire three

NASHVILLE -- As an organization, the Red Sox were busy in the Rule 5 draft Thursday morning. Whether the activity will translate into anything meaningful remains to be seen.

With their own pick in the first round, seventh overall, the Sox selected second baseman Jeff Kobernus from the Washington Nationals, then dealt him to the Detroit Tigers for outfielder Justin Henry.

The trade was pre-arranged before the start of the draft. Because the Sox had a high pick, but no room on their 40-man roster -- they're at 38 currently, but will soon add Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino once they take physicals and officially sign contracts -- the Sox took a player on the Tigers' behalf.

They then swapped him for Henry, who doesn't need to be placed on the 40-man roster.

In the minor league phase of the draft, Boston then selected two pitchers: righthander Jonathan Bachanov from the Chicago White Sox organization and Jack McGeary from the Nationals.

McGeary is from West Roxbury and attended Roxbury Latin. McGeary signed with the Nationals for 1.8 million and attended Stanford before undergoing Tommy John surgery.

"We're hoping he bounces back,'' said director of pro scout Jared Porter. "He's a good kid, good makeup. Why not? He's a lefty with good command. His fastball gets up to 91 mph. His secondary stuff is still a work in progress, but he can spin a breaking ball. He's got a good delivery and good makeup.''

Bachanov was a supplemental pick of the Los Angeles Angels in 2007, when Eddie Bane -- hired earlier this fall by the Sox -- was the scouting director of the Angels.

"Eddie likes him, so that's one of the reasons we took him,'' said Porter. "He's got a big fastball but needs to continue to improve his strike-throwing. He was up to 96 mph when we saw him, but he's got to improve his (command)."

The Sox also lost two pitchers in the first handful of picks, with righthanded reliever Josh Fields selected by Houston with the first selection overall. Not long after the Sox lost righty Ryan Pressly to the Minnesota Twins.

Fields, who was part of the deal in which the Sox obtained Erik Bedard from Seattle at the trade deadline in 2011, posted good numbers in Portland and Pawtucket, allowing just 48 hits in 75 23 innings in the last two seasons while compiling an ERA of 2.26.

At the end of last season, some in the organization thought Fields would compete for a bullpen spot in Boston next spring, but the Red Sox couldn't find a way to protect him on the 40-man roster.

Pressly, a high school pick in the 11th round of the 2007 draft, pitched at Portland last year (2.93 ERA), but opened some eyes in the Arizona Fall League two months ago.

"He's always had a good arm," said Porter. "He's got good stuff -- good fastball, good curveball -- and had a good (showing in the) Fall League."

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Among the reactions to the news that Bobby Valentine was possibly being considered to be the US amassador to Japan in President Donald Trump’s administration was this beauty from Kevin Youkilis. 

Valentine famously called out Youkilis early in his stormy tenure as Red Sox manager in 2012. Remember? "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Bobby V said of Youk at the time. 

The Red Sox traded Youkilis to the White Sox for two not-future Hall of Famers, outfielder Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart, later that season.

Youkilis, now Tom Brady’s brother-in-law by the way, had a 21-game stint playing in Japan in 2014 before retiring from baseball. 

 

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. 

When asked by the New York Daily News if he's being considered for the post, Valentine responded: "I haven't been contacted by anyone on Trump's team." 

Would he be interested?

"I don't like to deal in hypotheticals," Valentine told the Daily News.

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, sources told 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.