Lind-to-Sox rumors shot down; will Farrell bring Butterfield?

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Lind-to-Sox rumors shot down; will Farrell bring Butterfield?

Quick hits from Day One of the John Farrell Era:

Reports surfaced -- presumably out of Toronto -- soon after Farrell's hiring that first baseman Adam Lind would be heading to Boston as part of this transaction. (Because MLB prohibits the swap of players for non-players, the Blue Jays will have to send a player back to Boston in exchange for Mike Aviles.) The notion it would be Lind, a one-time cornerstone of the Jays franchise who hit 84 home runs from 2009-11, seemed a stretch; he's certainly been a huge disappointment in Toronto in recent years, but he's still only 29 and has far more value than the bag-of-balls-type player who's usually included in this type of deal.

Sure enough, the Lind-to-Boston-as-part-of-the-Farrell-compensation-deal reports were shot down hours later. Still, it's possible the Sox have an interest in a reclamation project such as Lind, especially since they're in the market for a first baseman. Something to keep an eye on in the days ahead.

Something else to keep an eye on: The possible migration of Brian Butterfield from Canada to New England with Farrell. Butterfield -- a Maine nativeresident (and a huge Patriots fan, by the way) -- has been a coach with the Jays since 2002 and, despite losing out to Farrell for the managerial job in 2010, served as Farrell's third-base coachinfield instructor for the last two seasons. He's very highly regarded in baseball circles, and his contract in Toronto is up.

Last year's third-base coach with the Sox, Jerry Royster, was one of the few coaches that Bobby Valentine was allowed to hire, so the chances of his returning are nil. The Sox could certainly do worse than hiring Butterfield for the job.

The remainder of the coaching staff remains in flux. Royster and Valentine's pitching coach, Randy Niemann, are certainly gone, and hitting instructor Dave Magadan has already left for Texas. That leaves bench coach Tim Bogar, first-base coach Alex Ochoa and bullpen coach Gary Tuck, all of whom are highly regarded in the organization.

Remember, even Terry Francona wasn't allowed to hire all his coaches; management usually had a say in the composition of the coaching staff. It's possible that those three will be assigned to Farrell's staff . . . though, since he's worked with Bogar and Tuck, he may not mind.

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.

Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.

Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.  

Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.  

Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
 

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.

Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014. 

Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners. 

Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014. 

Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.