Red Sox, Ortiz reach last-minute settlement

560386.jpg

Red Sox, Ortiz reach last-minute settlement

The Red Sox' decade-long record of avoiding salary arbitration hearings with their players is in intact -- barely.

Hours before the Red Sox were set to go to their first hearing since 2002 (when they beat pitcher Rolando Arrojo), the Red Sox settled with designated hitter David Ortiz Monday morning.

Ortiz and the Sox agreed to a one-year deal worth 14.575 million, the exact midpoint between their two filings. Ortiz had requested 16.5 million, with the Sox countering at 12.65 million, a gulf of nearly 4 million.

The Red Sox' filing surprised some, given that it provided Ortiz, who had the fourth-highest OPS in the American League last year, with a modest 150,000 raise. (Given that Ortiz earned 150,000 in incentives on top of his 12.5 million base salary in 2011, the argument could be made that the Sox weren't offering a raise of any sort.)

Had the case gone to a hearing, a panel of arbitrators would have been forced to choose either one figure or the other, with no room for compromise.

Most settlements, like the one reached Monday, use the mid-point of the two salaries as a settlement figure.

It's unknown what the settlement does to the Red Sox' budget process. Had the Sox gone to the hearing and lost, the nearly 4 million gap between their filing and Ortiz's would have been substantial. Thanks to the settlement, the increase is less than 2 million more, likely giving them at least some flexibility as they continue to search for more starting pitching.

Boston is nominally still involved with free agent Roy Oswalt, for instance, though the two sides have been unable to close a deal.

The Sox had nine players eligible for salary arbitration this off-season, the highest number for the franchise in a number of years. The club avoided hearings in all nine.

Brown earns spot on NBA's all-rookie second team

Brown earns spot on NBA's all-rookie second team

BOSTON – Drafted with the third overall pick by a playoff team like the Boston Celtics, the expectations for Jaylen Brown were limited as best. 

But the 6-foot-7 rookie showed steady improvement throughout the season, and his hard work was rewarded on Monday with a spot on the NBA’s all-rookie second team. 

Joining Brown on the second team were Denver’s Jamal Murray, Phoenix forward Marquese Chriss, Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram and Dallas’s Yogi Ferrell. 

The first team consisted of Milwaukee’s Malcolm Brogdon and Philadelphia’s Dario Saric who were the only two unanimous selections to the first unit. They were joined by Sixers big man Joel Embiid, Sacramento’s Buddy Hield and New York center Willy Hernangomez. 

Brogdon, Saric and Embiid are the three finalists for the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award which will be announced tonight during the league’s NBA Awards show at 9 p.m. tonight on TNT.

Brown appeared in 78 games for the Celtics with 20 starts, averaging 6.6 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.

Blakely: Bradley not letting trade rumors get to him

Blakely: Bradley not letting trade rumors get to him

WALTHAM, Mass. – No matter what Mother Nature is doing weather-wise, Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley has been around the NBA long enough to know that the potential to be traded is always in season.

This summer has been no different, with Bradley being among the Boston players whose name has been included in several rumored trades.

“I try not to worry about it too much because it’s out of my control at the end of the day,” Bradley said after his basketball camp at Brandeis University with additional camps in Trinadad having been completed with additional ones this summer in Tacoma, Washington and Vancouver.

Bradley is entering the final year of the 4-year, $32 million deal he signed in 2014.

And make no mistake about it.

Bradley is going to get paid a lot, whether it’s by the Celtics or another team.

His steady improvement from one year to the next has been a constant for the 26-year-old who last season was named to the NBA’s all-Defensive first team.

But he knows the Celtics’ brass well enough that if they see a chance to significantly upgrade the roster, they won’t hesitate to trade anyone, himself included.

“I don’t worry about it,” Bradley said. “I know that was the case and I get traded, the Celtics are going to do what’s best for them and I’m going to have to do what’s best for me if I’m put in a different situation.

He added, “our job is to play basketball, not worry about trades. I just try to focus on that.”

Having been in the NBA for seven years, Bradley acknowledged it does get easier to put the trade speculation in perspective over time.

“It’s part of the business, man,” he said. “You just to accept and understand that your name is going to be thrown in trade talk. You can get traded at any time. You just have to be prepared and focus on just being the best player that you can be.”

That approach has been critical to Bradley’s steady improvement as an NBA player who began his career as someone who was charged with playing elite defense, into one of the better two-way talents in the league.

Last season, Bradley averaged a career-high 16.3 points per game along with 6.1 rebounds which was also a career-high.

This season, Bradley has a long list of areas he wants to improve upon, with finishing at the rim near the top of the list.

Looking at his track record, you can count on that area of his game showing noticeable improvement.

And whether it’ll manifest itself while he’s a Celtic, remains to be seen.

“It doesn’t matter if you get traded or where you end up,” Bradley said. “If you’re prepared to be in any situation you’ll be fine.”