Valentine, Ross, Matsuzaka contemplate future

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Valentine, Ross, Matsuzaka contemplate future

NEW YORK -- In the wake of yet another one-sided loss, their eighth in a row, ending the season on a perfectly awful and fitting note, some Red Sox contemplated the potential end of their time in a Red Sox uniform.
Embattled manager Bobby Valentine, who will almost certainly be fired within 48 hours of the team's 14-2 season-ending loss to the New York Yankees, was asked what his plans were for Thursday.
"My plans right now are to wake up and have a long bike ride, Valentine said.
Season-ending meetings with general manager Ben Cherington and ownership are expected to be held Thursday at Fenway, at which time Valentine should officially learn his fate.
Asked about his uncertain job status for next year -- he has a year remaining at approximately 2.5 million -- Valentine responded: "My life will be fine.''
Valentine seemed to sense that the end was near. He took the lineup card out to home plate before the game -- a task usually given to a coach -- and as the players filed off the field at the end of the game, Valentine stood on the steps in the visitor's dugout, as if taking in the scene one last time.
Outfielder Cody Ross, who is eligible for free agency, would very much like to return to the Sox. Before Wednesday's game, Cherington said getting an extension done with Ross will be one of his off-season priorities.
"Were trying to get on the same page, Ross said of the preliminary contract negotiations. I love Boston. I love playing here. I love the park. I love the fans. I love the city. Its a perfect place for me.
Indeed, the right-handed hitting Ross hit particularly well at Fenway Park, which seems tailored for his flyball, pull swing. Ross finished with 22 homers, third-best on the team, and 81 RBI, second in that category.
Finally, there was Daisuke Matsuzaka, who made what was probably his final appearance for the Sox. Six years after signing a six-year 52 million dollar deal -- to say nothing of another 51 million the Sox shelled out in a posting fee -- Matsuzaka was battered in 2 13 innings, allowing five runs on six hits.
He finished this season -- shortened as he recovered from last summer's Tommy John surgery -- at 1-7.
Matsuzaka expressed regret that he wasn't at full strength in coming back from surgery.
"I wasn't able to perform to my expectations after the first two years,'' said Matsuzaka, "and I'm really disappointed and very apologetic that I wasn't able to perform to my expectations.''

Report: Chapman, Yanks reach agreement on five-year, $86 million deal

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Report: Chapman, Yanks reach agreement on five-year, $86 million deal

OXON HILL, Md. - Aroldis Chapman found a spot in a most familiar bullpen - a very rich spot, too.

The hard-throwing closer reached agreement to return to the New York Yankees on Wednesday night with the highest-priced contract ever for a relief pitcher, an $86 million deal for five years.

A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that the contract was pending a physical. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet complete.

Once it's done, the 28-year-old lefty whose fastballs routinely top 100 mph would shatter the previous richest contract for a reliever - that was the $62 million, four-year deal Mark Melancon signed with San Francisco just a couple days ago during the winter meetings.

Chapman was acquired by New York from the Cincinnati Reds last offseason, then missed the first 29 games of the season due to a domestic violence suspension from Major League Baseball. The Cuban was traded to the Chicago Cubs in late July and helped them win the World Series, becoming a free agent when it was over.

Chapman went 4-1 with 36 saves and a 1.55 ERA in a combined 59 games for the Yankees and Cubs. He struggled some in the postseason as the Cubs beat Cleveland for their first championship since 1908.

With the Yankees this season, Chapman teamed with Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances in one of the most dominant bullpens in baseball history. Miller was later traded to Cleveland, but Betances is still with New York.

Earlier this week, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team was interested in both Chapman and fellow free agent closer Kenley Jansen. The Yankees had already made one deal at these meetings, signing slugger Matt Holliday, before paying a lot more to bring Chapman back to the Bronx.

Fox Sports first reported the agreement.

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu are back together.

The two Cuban natives were teammates in 2012 when they played for Cienfuegos in Cuba, and now they'll be in the same dugout once again — this time in Chicago.

"To get the opportunity to play with him right now in the United States, it's an honor for me," Moncada said through a translator on a conference call Wednesday. "I'm thrilled with that."

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