Reyes still competing, battle could go to the wire


Reyes still competing, battle could go to the wire

By Sean McAdam

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- His status in limbo for much of the spring, lefty reliever Dennys Reyes had his contract purchased by the Red Sox, bringing him a step closer to making the Opening Day 25-man roster, but still, without any firm guarantees.

Reyes had an opt-out clause in his original minor league deal, allowing him to pursue other opportunities if he wasn't added to the 40-man roster by Friday. At the Red Sox' behest, Reyes agreed to push back that "out'' another 24 hours, and by mid-afternoon Saturday, the move paid off when he was added to the team's roster.

However, the Red Sox emphasized, that merely meant that Reyes would remain in competition -- with fellow lefty Hideki Okajima and righthanders Matt Albers and Alfredo Aceves -- for the final two spots in the seven-man bullpen.

"They haven't said to anybody (that they've won) the two spots they need to fill in,'' said Reyes. "I'm still competing.''

"I know a lot of people think we're playing games here and the bullpen is decided,'' said one Red Sox official. "Trust me -- we're not. We're still trying to decide (who's going to make it).''

Francona said weeks ago that the club could go down to the final day of camp -- or theoretically, beyond -- before finalizing its final roster.

By forgoing his own opt-out clause and deciding, for now, to remain with the Red Sox, Reyes didn't forfeit much, said a person with knowledge of the situation. If the Red Sox designate him for assignment, he is out of options and if claimed, must be placed on a major league roster. On the other hand, if he should clear waivers, he would still receive his full major league salary (900,000) while at Pawtucket.

"The season hasn't started yet," cautioned Terry Francona. "We still have some guys in camp and he's one of them. We still have decisions to make. We like his movement, his track record and his ability to compete.''

The Sox, Francona said, are sifting through a number of factors, including "depth in the organization, how we set up our team, not being redundant...just have ourselves set up as good as we can.''

Albers is out of options; Okajima and Aceves have options. But although Aceves has pitched well, the Sox might be better off optioning him to Pawtucket, where he could stretch out as a starter and be ready to step in if the Sox lose someone in the rotation to injury or ineffectiveness.

Then there is the matter of whether the Sox need to have two lefties. Francona won't use either in the late innings for matchup purposes because Daniel Bard is tough on both lefties and righties.

Being out of options may work to Albers' advantage. If the Sox can't find a suitable deal for him, they may opt to keep him and worry about roster consequences down the road.

By now, Reyes is accustomed to late-spring indecision, having played for 10 different teams over his 14 major league seasons. Waiting until the final few days to learn of his fate is hardly anything new.

"A lot of times...a lot of times,'' said Reyes. "The last time was in 2004 with Kansas City. It went to the last day, after the game, they decided to keep me. It's tough. The last four or five days gets tougher. You get used to being around the guys and getting to know everybody. It is hard.

"But at the same time, this is a business. And as a business, you have to take it and see what comes out of it. You think about (the uncertainty) a few times during the day. If you start thinking like that, you're done. You put that in your head, then when you come out to pitch, instead of thinking about the (hitter) you have in front of you...that's the one who's going to hurt you, not (the process), because you don't have control over that.''

Reyes allowed a three-run homer to Toronto catcher J.P. Arencibia Friday night and knows that, this late in camp, every at-bat is scrutinzed.

"You think about that,'' he admitted. "Everything that goes wrong, you know that it's going to hurt. But you realize it was a good pitch. It was a low pitch. You have to give him credit. He put up a hell of an at-bat against me. He got me. That's the way it is. You need to show them consistency. And if that means I have to come in tomorrow and go 1-2-3, I will try to do that.

"But you try not to think the bad stuff. As a reliever, you need to have a short memory with the bad outings that you have.''

Even though he is guaranteed nothing, Reyes has made it quite -- in words and action -- that he wishes to remain with the Sox.

"They have unbelievable talent,'' said Reyes. "It seems like everybody gets along together. Tito, the pitching coach, the whole coaching staff -- they've been great to me and everybody else. I think this is a great organization to be part of. I'm really proud of it and I'm going to try to do my best to win a spot.''

Sean McAdam can be reached at Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

WORLD SERIES: Kluber, Perez, Indians beat Cubs 6-0 in Game 1


WORLD SERIES: Kluber, Perez, Indians beat Cubs 6-0 in Game 1

CLEVELAND - Corey Kluber got the Cleveland Indians off to a striking start and Roberto Perez put away Chicago in the Cubs' first World Series game since 1945.

Kluber dominated into the seventh inning, Perez homered twice and the Indians beat the Cubs 6-0 in the opener Tuesday night. AL Championship Series MVP Andrew Miller escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the seventh and got out of trouble in the eighth, preserving a three-run lead.

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Dombrowski, Red Sox making adjustments in wake of recent departures


Dombrowski, Red Sox making adjustments in wake of recent departures

In recent days and weeks, the Red Sox have lost their general manager, their vice president of amateur and international scouting, an assistant director of amateur scouting, a member of their analytics department and their mental skills coach.

But Dave Dombrowski, the team's president of baseball operations, insists that the team is not in danger of "brain drain.''

"No, not at all,'' said president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski in a conference call with reporters. "We've lost some good people, but it's also a situation where we have a lot of good people and I think when you have a good organization, if you're winning and you expose people to situations, (a certain amount of exodus) happens. I think the other part of it is that we're more than capable of filling some of those roles from an internal perspective. We've got some quality people and I think the thing that's great about it is, it allows people to grow.''

Dombrowski announced that, in the wake of the departure of Amiel Sawdaye, the former VP of amateur and international scouting who left Monday to become assistant GM of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Sox were promoting Eddie Romero, formerly the vice president of international scouting, to the position of senior vice president/ assistant GM.

Romero, the son of former Red Sox utility infielder Eddie Romero Sr. will help Dombrowski in personnel matters and player development, while Brian O'Halloran, who has the same title as Romero, will continue to handle administrative matters including salary arbitration and contactual negotiations.

After the departure of Mike Hazen, who left to become GM of the Diamondbacks last week, Dombrowski interviewed Sawdaye and Romero as Hazen's potential replacements before determining that neither had the necessary experience yet to become a major league GM.

Dombrowski said there would be additional internal promotions and adjustments to announce in the coming weeks. He added that senior advisors Frank Wren and Allard Baird, each former general managers, would see their responsibilities increase when it comes to conducting trade talks with other organizations.

Sawdaye's departure is one of several this off-season for the front office. Earlier this month, Steve Sanders, who had been the team's assistant director of amateur scouting, left to become director of amateur scouting for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Also, Tom Tippett, a longtime member of the team's statistical analysis staff, will leave soon too pursue other opportunities. The team recently informed mental skills coach Bob Tewksbury that his contact would not be renewed, according to the Boston Globe.

Dombrowski indicated that Laz Gutierrez would be promoted to take the place of Tewksbury.

In other news, Dombrowski revealed that the entire coaching staff -- hitting coach Chili Davis; assistant hitting coach Victor Rodriguez; first base coach Ruben Amaro Jr.; third base coach Brian Butterfield; bullpen coach Dana LeVangie; pitching coach Carl Willis; and bench coach Torey Lovullo -- had all agreed to return for 2017.

That, of course, is subject to change since Lovullo is believed to be a target of Hazen for Arizona's managerial vacancy.

Dombrowski said the Diamondbacks had yet to request permission to speak with Lovullo, though that may happen soon now that Hazen has hired Sawdaye to fill out his front office.

When Hazen was hired by the Diamondbacks, he was limited to hiring just one member of the Red Sox' Baseball Operations staff. But, Dombrowski added, that limit didn't apply to uniformed staff members such as Lovullo, who would be leaving for a promotion.