Cubs, Sox still apart on compensation for Epstein

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Cubs, Sox still apart on compensation for Epstein

Despite reports that a deal to finalize Theo Epstein joining the Cubs is imminent, a source with knowledge of the ongoing talks said late Thursday afternoon that "nothing" has been agreed upon in compensation talks between the two team, throwing into question the possibility Epstein could be introduced as Chicago's new president of Baseball Operations at a Friday press conference.

Friday is an off day in the World Series and could offer the Cubs a brief window to make such an announcement. Commissioner Bud Selig does not allow teams to announce major news once the World Series begins except on off days, and even then only with his expressed permission.

It's expected the Red Sox will end up with two prospects in exchange for allowing Epstein to leave with a year remaining on his contract. But while the teams have narrowed the focus of the players who could be sent to Boston as compensation, they have yet to agree on one name, much less two.

Multiple reports have Padres general manager Jed Hoyer and his assistant, Jason McLeod -- both former members of the Red Sox' Baseball Ops department --joining Epstein in the Cubs' front office once a deal is agreed upon between Boston and Chicago. Hoyer is expected to be named Cubs' GM. Another Boston Baseball Ops graduate, Josh Byrnes, reportedly will replace Hoyer as GM in San Diego.

Betts and Bradley Jr. combine for seven RBI, Red Sox roll to 9-2 win

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Betts and Bradley Jr. combine for seven RBI, Red Sox roll to 9-2 win

The Boston Red Sox put up six runs in the first inning and coasted to a 9-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.

Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. led the way for the Red Sox with four and three RBI respectfully. Both outfielders had two-run home runs in the Sox’ big first inning.

Knuckleballer Steven Wright gave up one earned run in four innings, his ERA for the spring is now 0.68.

The Red Sox are back in action again on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m when Rick Porcello makes his final spring training start against the Minnesota Twins.

Hernandez has chance at Red Sox opening day roster after Rutledge injury

Hernandez has chance at Red Sox opening day roster after Rutledge injury

Infielder Marco Hernandez may make the Red Sox roster after all.

Fellow infielder Josh Rutledge, the presumptive 25th man on the Red Sox, suffered a left hamstring strain on Tuesday against the Pirates, according to reporters in Florida, including Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald.

If Rutledge isn’t ready for opening day, Hernandez, a left-handed hitter, may have his crack. 

The question is whether the Sox would be comfortable without a right-handed bat to complement both Pablo Sandoval and Mitch Moreland on the corners. Rutledge was going to give the Sox that right-handed look they sought. (When Hanley Ramirez's shoulder will be healthy enough to play first base is unclear, but isn't expected to be too long.)

Neither Rutledge nor Hernandez has played first base in the majors or minors.

A big-league rookie last year, Hernandez has done decently against lefties at the upper levels of the minors, hitting .328 vs. them at Triple-A Pawtucket last season in 67 at-bats. He hit .315 in 54 at-bats at Pawtucket, with a .318 average against them that season in 88 at-bats for Double-A Portland.

Rutledge is a Rule 5 draft pick who has to remain on the major league 25-man roster the whole season or the Sox risk losing him. Placement on the disabled list doesn’t affect his status unless he’s on the disabled list for a very lengthy time.

An alternative option is Steve Selsky, who has first-base experience, but he's already been optioned.