Red Sox' deal with Miller likely to be modified


Red Sox' deal with Miller likely to be modified

By Sean McAdam

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Andrew Miller's unique contractual clause, in which the pitcher would see his 2012 option increase if he is claimed on waivers by another organization, is under review by both the commissioner's office and the Major League Baseball Players Association, and is likely to be modified in the coming days, multiple industry sources said.

Miller is out of options. After being non-tendered last November, he re-signed a minor-league deal which would pay him 1.2 million if he were to make it to Boston's big-league roster. Fearful that he would be lost to another team in the event he was returned to the minors, the Sox came up with a creative clause, which would serve to increase his option for 2012 to 3 million, thereby providing a disincentive for teams interested in claiming him.

The commissioner's office was the first to raise some objections as to whether the deal was in compliance with the collective barganing agreement. Subsequently, the Players Association became involved to represent Miller's interests.

A source with knowledge of the process indicated Wednesday that a "reolution'' to the contract could be reached by the end of the week.

Miller is likely to begin the season at Pawtucket. The issue of his contract would not come into play unless and until he had his minor-league deal purchased, but a source said both sides -- i.e., the union and MLB -- wanted to get the contract issue resolved beforehand.

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Boston pitchers strike out 14, but Red Sox still fall to Rays, 7-3

Boston pitchers strike out 14, but Red Sox still fall to Rays, 7-3

The appearance of Tampa Bay Rays lefty Ryan Yarbrough almost got the Boston Red Sox back in their spring training exhibition game. The Sox managed to score all three of their runs against the 25-year-old in their 7-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida on Sunday.

But the Rays, who scored runs in five different innings, managed to widen their lead in the eighth inning by beating up on Sox lefty Luis Isla, a 24-year-old who spent last season with Portland and Pawtucket. In the eighth, Rays' Joe McCarthy homered and Luke Maile managed an RBI single, which cappped off the scoring in the contest. Sox starter Hector Velazquez allowed three hits and an earned run in his two innnings. The 28-year-old, who spent 2016 in the Mexican League, still managed to amass four strikeouts.

"I was a little nervous at the start, being in the United States for the first time and playing for a big league club for the first time," Velazquez told through an interpreter. "But once I got the first out, all the nerves went away, and I was able to bear down."

Despite allowing two homers, Boston pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts.

With the exception of the Sox' inning against Yarbrough, Boston's veterans and prospects struggled mighltily against the Rays pitching staff. Chris Archer started for Tampa, and set the tone in the first two innings, where he threw two strikeouts, one walk and allowed one hit and no runs. Andrew Benintendi (0-for-3), Sam Travis (0-for-2) and Bryce Brentz (0-for-3) went hitless on the day. Travis, however, reached base on balls.

"I felt good. I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish," Archer said, via the Red Sox' team website. "Just out there having fun, it was really fun to be out there in the spectrum with the umpire, the fans, the batter. It was fun."

Marco Hernandez's triple got the Sox' eighth-inning off to a strong start, and singles from Matt Dominguez, Deven Marrero, Rusney Castillo and Cole Sturgeon followed. The Sox' eighth inning scoring ended after Castillo got thrown out by left fielder McCarthy at third. Six Red Sox finished with one-hit outings, including Brock Holt and Blake Swihart.

The Sox will next host the St. Louis Cardinals in Fort Myers on Monday at 1:05 p.m. ET.