Valentine: Lester 'looked great,' team 'playing it by ear' with Crawford

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Valentine: Lester 'looked great,' team 'playing it by ear' with Crawford

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Despite manager Bobby Valentine's decision to lift outfielder Carl Crawford from a tie game out of fear for his left (throwing) elbow in the late innings, the manager said he's not likely to use Crawford in the DH spot while David Ortiz is on the disabled list. "I don't think that it's time,'' said Valentine. "We've got to get Carl playing and into the swing of things. I mean, it's not like there wasn't a thought of it. We thought it and negated it.'' Crawford was hitting seventh in the Red Sox batting order again for a second straight night, with Pedro Ciriaco serving as the DH in the second spot against Texas lefty starter Derek Holland. "I think Pedro offers a little something offensively that I like in there,'' said Valentine of Ciriaco's role as temporary DH. "With Carl DHing, that means Pedro wouldn't.'' As for how to handle Crawford in the outfield, Valentine acknowledged that the Sox were ''playing it by ear. This is all a learning experience. We'll just learn as we go. But I'm just trying to do the smart thing and not put anybody in a position to fail, but putting people in a position to succeed. This isn't a test.''

-- Jon Lester, set to start the middle game of the upcoming series at Yankee Stadium, had what Valentine termed "a long throwing session,'' Wednesday at The Ballpark. "He said he felt great and to me, he looked great,'' said Valentine. Lester had the worst start of his major league career Sunday, allowing 11 runs in just four innings. He's allowed 21 runs in his last 12 13 innings, covering three starts. "He just wanted to get a feel for what the hitters were seeing (off him),'' said Valentine. "I talked to the hitters and they said they saw great stuff. It wasn't like they saw anything that made them thinkthat (Lester) should change anything.''
-- Daisuke Matsuzaka (trapezeus muscle) also threw a bullpen session and according to Valentine, "threw the best that he's thrown in a long time.''

Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Facing a 1 p.m. Friday deadline to avoid arbitration, the Red Sox reportedly agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million deal with center field Jackie Bradley Jr., and also avoided hearings with six other players.

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, utilityman Brock Holt, pitchers Joe Kelly, Robbie Ross Jr., Tyler Thornburgh and catcher Sandy Leon also agreed to one-year deals.

Terms of the deals were not announced.

It leaves left-handers Fernando Abad and Drew Pomeranz as the only arbitration-eligible Red Sox without a deal.  

Report: Bradley Jr. avoids arbitration, agrees to 1-year, $3.6M deal with Red Sox

Report: Bradley Jr. avoids arbitration, agrees to 1-year, $3.6M deal with Red Sox

Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley avoided arbitration and agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million deal with the team, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported.

Bradley, who turns 27 April 19, had his best season in 2016, hitting .267 with 26 homers and a league-best 29-game hitting streak. He also won his first Gold Glove. A Scott Boras client, Bradley isn’t eligible for free agency until 2020. 
 
Friday at 1 p.m. was the deadline to reach deals to avoid arbitration. 

Other arbitration-eligible Red Sox are infielders Xander Bogaerts and Brock Holt, left-handers Drew Pomeranz and Fernando Abad, right-handers Joe Kelly, Robbie Ross and Tyler Thornburg and catcher Sandy Leon.