Source: Cubs-Red Sox deal for Matsuzaka not imminent

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Source: Cubs-Red Sox deal for Matsuzaka not imminent

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

The Red Sox and Chicago Cubs may have discussed the names of Daisuke Matsuzaka and Cub outfielder Kosuke Fukudome, but pursuing a deal involving the two Japanese players does not seem like a priority for either team right now.

A Cubs source said Wednesday that in recently completed organizational meetings, Matsuzaka's name did not surface. Nor was Matsuzaka mentioned when Cubs officials discussed possible bad contracts they might be willing to assume under the right circumstances. Matsuzaka, who had an injury-plagued, largely uneven season (9-6, 4.69 in 25 starts), has two years and approximately 19 million on his landmark six-year deal with the Red Sox following an expensive posting process in 2006.

Matsuzaka's deal includes a rarely granted perk among Red Sox contracts: A full no-trade clause, meaning he has the right to negate any deal the Sox propose.

This is not the first time Fukudome's name has been linked to the Red Sox. Last June after injuries struck outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron, the Cubs called and offered Fukudome, whom they were shopping to multiple teams. Fukudome is due 13.5 million in 2011, the final year of his deal with the Cubs.

Fukodome, who'll turn 34 at the end of April 2011, batted .263 in 130 games last year with 13 homers and 44 RBI. He had a .371 on-base percentage for a .439 slugging percentage, giving him an .809 OPS.

The Sox are universally expected to bid for both top free-agent outfielders on the market, Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth. It's possible that Fukudome might interest them as a fallback proposition. He could conceivably be paired with Cameron in a left-field platoon should Werth and Crawford sign elsewhere, though that would be an expensive proposition for the Sox. If such a deal were to be made without the Cubs agreeing to take back some of Fukudome's salary, the platoon of Fukudome and Cameron would cost the Red Sox 21 million.

It's unclear how willing -- the pitcher's no-trade clause notwithstanding -- the Sox are in dealing Matsuzaka. The rotation is otherwise set with Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Josh Beckett and John Lackey, and they could plug Felix Dubront into the fifth spot to give them a second left-hander, to say nothing of the considerable savings in salary.

It has been speculated that if Matsuzaka were to waive his no-trade, it would likely be to a West Coast team in a market with a signifcant Japanese population. A West Coast team would also bring Matsuzaka 3,000 miles closer to his native country, making return flights home at least somewhat more convenient.

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

Brian Johnson: 'Awesome feeling' after five-hitter vs. Mariners

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Brian Johnson: 'Awesome feeling' after five-hitter vs. Mariners

BOSTON - Brian Johnson had quite a turnaround in his second time on Fenway Park's mound.

Johnson pitched a five-hitter in his first big league appearance at Fenway, and the Boston Red Sox stretched their winning streak to a season-high six games with a 6-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.

The 26-year-old left-hander became the first Red Sox pitcher to throw a shutout in his first Fenway start since Pedro Martinez on April 11, 1998. In Johnson's first start in Fenway - his fourth as a professional - he sustained a season-ending facial fracture when he hit by a line drive while pitching for Class A Lowell in 2012.

"The last time I walked off the mound here was 2012 and I made two pitches," Johnson said. "Today I went nine innings. Today was pretty cool."

Johnson left Triple-A for a little over a month last season to get treatment for an anxiety issue.

"Obviously with some stuff that I've been gone through in my career, it's an awesome feeling" he said.

But despite the stellar outing, Johnson was optioned back to Triple-A after the game.

"That's the reality of the game," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We had a chance to congratulate him and yet option him back to Pawtucket, with David Price coming here Monday."

Brought up from the minors for the start, Johnson (2-0) gave up five singles, struck out eight and walked none. His only previous big league starts were at Houston on July 21, 2015, and at Toronto on April 18 this year.

Johnson was helped by a semi-leaping catch by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. at the wall in the sixth, Bradley's diving grab of Nelson Cruz's sinking liner in the ninth and Bradley's game-ending running catch of Kyle Seager's drive.

Xander Bogaerts' RBI single triggered a three-run first inning and Bradley hit a two-run homer in the sixth

Shut out for the second straight day, Seattle has lost seven of eight.

"Their guy threw the ball over the plate. He threw strikes," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "I won't take anything away from what he did, but we're not swinging the bat very well."

Rob Whalen (0-1) gave up five runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in his Mariners' debut, his first big league start since Aug. 23 for Atlanta. He is Seattle's 12th starting pitcher, the most in the major leagues.

Andrew Benintendi and Sandy Leon also had RBI singles in the first, when the Red Sox had two batters hit by pitches, two walks and two runners thrown out on the bases - Dustin Pedroia at third for the first out and Hanley Ramirez at the plate for the last.

Johnson beats Mariners 6-0 for Red Sox' 6th straight win

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Johnson beats Mariners 6-0 for Red Sox' 6th straight win

BOSTON - Brian Johnson pitched a five-hitter in his first big league appearance at Fenway Park, and the Boston Red Sox stretched their winning streak to a season-high six games with a 6-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.

Brought up from Triple-A Pawtucket, Johnson (2-0) gave up five singles, struck out eight and walked none. The 26-year-old left-hander's only previous big league starts were at Houston on July 21, 2015, and at Toronto on April 18 this year.

Johnson became the first Red Sox pitcher to throw a shutout in his first Fenway start since Pedro Martinez on April 11, 1998. In Johnson's first start in Fenway - his fourth as a professional - he sustained a season-ending facial fracture when he hit by a line drive while pitching for Class A Lowell in 2012.

Johnson was helped by a semi-leaping catch by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. at the wall in the sixth, Bradley's diving grab of Nelson Cruz's sinking liner in the ninth and Bradley's game-ending running catch of Kyle Seager's drive.

Xander Bogaerts' RBI single triggered a three-run first inning and Bradley hit a two-run homer in the sixth

Shut out for the second straight day, Seattle has lost seven of eight.

Rob Whalen (0-1) gave up five runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in his Mariners' debut, his first big league start since Aug. 23 for Atlanta. He is Seattle's 12th starting pitcher, the most in the major leagues.

Andrew Benintendi and Sandy Leon also had RBI singles in the first, when the Red Sox had two batters hit by pitches, two walks and two runners thrown out on the bases - Dustin Pedroia at third for the first out and Hanley Ramirez at the plate for the last.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: RHPs Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez, both on the DL with right shoulder inflammation, threw bullpen sessions. Hernandez said he "felt really good."... LHP James Paxton (strained forearm) is set to come off the DL and pitch at home Wednesday.

Red Sox: Pedroia was back at second base after getting Friday off to rest his sore left knee and not play on a wet field. He was hit by a pitch on the right forearm his first time up and went 1 for 3. ... 3B Pablo Sandoval, on the DL with a sprained right knee, was expected to play nine innings Saturday night in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket. Manager John Farrell didn't rule out that he could be activated next week.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Christian Bergman (1-2, 6.30 ERA) gave up 10 runs and 14 hits over four innings in a 10-1 loss Tuesday at Washington.

Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (3-4, 4.35) has gone at least six innings in eight of nine starts.