Report: Red Sox contact Crawford and Werth

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Report: Red Sox contact Crawford and Werth

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

According to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, the Red Sox had a front-office contingent in Houston Wednesday, meeting with representatives of free-agent outfielder Carl Crawford, and will meet with outfielder Jayson Werth and his agent, Scott Boras, Thursday in Chicago.

This continues a trend for the Sox in the last several years. In the week prior to the 2008 Winter Meetings, general manager Theo Epstein and manager Terry Francona met with Mark Teixeira in what wound up being an unsuccessful effort to land the free agent first baseman. Last year, the Sox visited John Lackey before the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis and wound up signing the right-hander.

Crawford, 29, and Werth, who will turn 32 next May, are the other top two outfielders on the free-agent market, and the Sox, in need of outfield help, are nterested.

Crawford just completed his ninth season in Tampa Bay and is coming off a career year. He hit .307 with a .356 on-base percentage and a .495 slugging percentage, and set career highs in triples with 13, home runs with 19, RBI with 90, and runs scored with 110.

In his career, the left-handed-hitting Crawford has a .296 average with 592 RBI and 104 HR. He's also stolen 409 bases, with a career high of 60 (in 2009), has swiped 50 or more in five seasons.

He's a strong defensive left fielder and it's thought the Red Sox would leave him there and play Jacoby Ellsbury in center. Crawford has been a top-of-the-order hitter in Tampa but has expressed interest in moving to the middle of the order. The Red Sox, who have already lost Victor Martinez and are expected to lose Adrian Beltre to free agency, would probably bat third or fifth in Boston.

Crawford is expected to receive the longest contract of any position player in this year's free-agent market, with some forecasting a deal that could be as long as seven or eight years.

The Rays, who have said they're cutting payroll this offseason, have zero hope of retaining him. The Angels have been regarded as the favorites to sign Crawford; in fact, L.A. outfielder Torii Hunter has already reached out to Crawford. Los Angeles, coming off a rare losing season, has signaled a willingness to spend freely this winter in an attempt to close the gap between themselves and the defending league champion Rangers in the A.L. West.

Werth batted .296 for the Phillies last year with 27 home runs and 85 RBI, along with an OBP of .388 and a slugging percentage of .532. He's hit 87 home runs in the last three seasons and, as a right-handed power hitter, would fill a glaring need for the Red Sox, many of whose biggest hitters (David Ortiz, Jacoby Ellsbury, J.D. Drew) are left-handed.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Cardinals pull away late for 7-2 victory over Red Sox

Cardinals pull away late for 7-2 victory over Red Sox

The Cardinals broke open a close game with four runs in the last two innings against Red Sox relief prospect Chandler Shepherd and went on to a 7-2 exhibition victory over Boston yesterday at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers.

Red Sox-Cardinals box score

The loss dropped the Sox to 1-3 for the exhibition season.

Boston had jumped on top, 1-0, on an RBI single by Mitch Moreland in the bottom of the first, but St. Louis countered with two runs in the second and one in the third, all against starter Brian Johnson. It remained 3-1 until the Cards touched Shepherd for two runs in the eighth and two in the ninth. The Red Sox added their final run in the bottom of the ninth when catcher Jordan Procyshen, who spent last season at Single-A Salem, hit a sacrifice fly.

Moreland, Xander Bogaerts and Chris Young each had two hits for the Red Sox. who also got scoreless relief from Teddy Stankiewicz, Noe Ramirez, Robby Scott, Kyle Martin and Brandon Workman. It was Bogaerts' last game before leaving to compete for The Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic.

The Sox host the Yankees on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m.

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia is no stranger to injuries. That's a big reason why he's no longer a stranger to the sometimes peculiar practices of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

In an interview on WEEI's "Bradfo Show," Pedroia told Rob Bradford that he's been taking cues from the five-time Super Bowl-winning QB to help extend his playing career and make his body healthier and more durable.

“I understand what he does and know what he does. I think it’s awesome,” Pedroia told Bradford. “There’s a reason why he’s successful at his age (39), and he looks better now than he did when he first came to the league. You have to be smarter as you get older and learn different styles -- the way to train and the way you take care of your body to be able to perform and stay on the field. It doesn’t matter what sport you’re playing. He’s definitely got that figured out.”

Pedroia, of course, played the entire 2013 World Series-winning season with a torn ligament in his thumb. He's battled through various other lower body and hand injuries over the past few seasons, as well. But in 2016, he had his best season in recent memory, posting his highest OPS since 2011, as WEEI notes.

Part of that is with his own take on the Brady approach -- which focuses more on pliability and resistance training than extensive, heavy weight lifting -- and a healthier overall lifestyle, something Brady is notoriously infamous for having.

"There’s tons of ways to take care of your body. It’s not just get in the weight room and throw weights around,” Pedroia explained. “As you get older, the human body can’t take the pounding if you’re going in there and power lifting. When you’re younger, you can handle some of that. But as you get older, you got to be smarter. Sometimes less is more -- whether that’s weight or reps or whatever. You’ve just got to be smart. And eating wise, that’s a big part of recovery. If you put the right foods in your body, you’ll heal faster if you’re injured or recover faster. It’s like a car, man. Put bad gas in, bro. It’s not going to be the same as good gas.”

He hopes the approach can, at the very least, keep him moving for quite some time.

“I plan on living until I’m 100," he said. "So we’re not even halfway home."