Scutaro, Crawford come up short key moments


Scutaro, Crawford come up short key moments

By Sean McAdam Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam

BALTIMORE -- In a season-ending loss -- especially one so dramatic -- there are bound to be those who get the lion's share of the blame.

In the crushing 4-3 defeat for the Red Sox Wednesday night, Carl Crawford and Marco Scutaro were front-and-center.

Scutaro made a critical baserunning error in the bottom of the eighth inning that cost the Red Sox what would have been a vital insurance run.

With one out in the eighth and Scutaro on first base, Crawford sliced a double to left-center. Scutaro took off from first and rounded second.

As the ball got by left fielder Nolan Reimold and center fielder Adam Jones raced to retrieve the ball near the warning track, Scutaro inexplicably stopped between second and third and for an instant, appeared to head back to second.

He quickly reversed field again and was waived home by third-base coach Tim Bogar. But the reversal on the basepaths cost Scutaro valuable time and he was thrown out at the plate.

"When Reimold dove for the ball," recounted Scutaro, "the ball kind of went underneath and I couldn't see the ball at all. So I heard the crowd cheering and I didn't know if it was our fans or their fans, so I didn't know if he made the play or not.

"I just had a bad read and I should have, I guess, just kept going. If he would have caught the ball, it was probably going to be a double play. What can I say? Things happen."

"He thought it got caught," said Terry Francona. "At that point, it's probably human nature for him to stop, but there was nowhere for him to go. It was unfortunate."

As Scutaro came back to the dugout, he wasn't thinking about the significance of the out or how costly it might be. After all, the Red Sox had the lead with six outs to go.

"I'm not thinking about the fallout," he said. "I'm thinking about getting the outs. We had the lead and we were in a pretty good situation with Jonathan Papelbon coming in to pitch the ninth."

In the ninth, after back-to-back doubles by Chris Davis and Nolan Reimold tied the score, the Orioles had the potential winning run on second in Reimold with Robert Andino at the plate.

Andino hit a sinking liner to left that Crawford came in on. He made a diving attempt for the ball, but couldn't glove it. With two outs and Reimold running on the play, Crawford's throw to the plate was too late.

It would have hardly been a routine catch for Crawford, but it's one superb outfielders can make.

"I thought I had a play on it," said Crawford, "but it was a tough play and unfortunately I couldn't make it. It was low so I knew I had to slide and get up under it and I wasn't able to. I definitely had to try to make a sliding catch."

From the dugout, Francona had his fingers crossed.

"I hoped he had a chance," said Francona of Crawford. "He gave it his best shot. It didn't work."

The ending was not what Crawford envisioned when he signed his landmark seven-year, 142 million deal last December.

"It's very disappointing because we had high expectations," he said, "and we didn't live up to them."

"It's pretty sad," concluded Scutaro. "We battled the whole year. We fight and we fight and we came up short by one game. It feels pretty bad. You start thinking back to all the games we should have won earlier in the season, or in the middle of the season, or whatever.

"You know what, man? That's baseball. You can do nothing about it now."

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

Need a reminder all prospects don’t hit? Happy anniversary, Andy Marte trade

Need a reminder all prospects don’t hit? Happy anniversary, Andy Marte trade

In a week that has seen the Red Sox trade arguably the best prospect in baseball, Thursday can serve as a reminder that not all prospects -- even the great ones -- end up hitting. 

Eleven years ago today, the Red Sox traded Edgar Renteria to the Braves, and in eating some of the veteran shortstop’s contract, got Atlanta to give them third baseman Andy Marte. 

Andy freaking Marte. Those stupid, stupid Braves.

If you were a baseball fan at the time, you were flummoxed at the notion that the Braves, who were a factory for developing good, young players, would trade the No. 9 prospect in all of baseball from 2005, according to Baseball America. At 22 years old, he was coming off seasons that saw him hit 23 homers in Double-A and 20 in Triple-A. 

“There’s nothing not to like about Andy Marte. He’s and outstanding defender with a chance to be an impact player offensively,” an opposing Double-A manager said of him, per Baseball America. 

Some of the other guys in the top 10 that year? Joe Mauer, Felix Hernandez and Scott Kazmir. Sitting one spot behind Marte on the list? Hanley Ramirez. 

And when the Red Sox got Marte, he immediately shot up to No. 1 on the Baseball America’s list of Boston’s prospects. Look at the rest of this list. Hell, there’s a combined 10 All-Star nods between Nos. 2 and 3 alone, and that’s not to mention the American League MVP sitting at No. 5. 

So what did Marte do for the Red Sox? Well, he got them Coco Crisp. After Theo Epstein returned from his hiatus, he shipped Marte, the recently acquired Guillermo Mota (dude got traded three times in six months), Kelly Shoppach, a player to be named later and cash for Crisp, Josh Bard and David Riske. 

Crisp didn’t exactly rip it up in Boston, but Epstein’s (and then-Braves general manager John Schuerholz’) foresight to trade Marte proved wise. Marte spent six seasons in Cleveland, seemingly given every chance to break out, but never played more than 81 games. He was designated for assignment in 2009 and cleared waivers, allowing him to stay with the organization as a Triple-A player. The next season was his final one in Cleveland, and he left a six-season stint in with the organization having averaged just 50 games, three homers and 16 RBI at the Major League level. 

Marte would bounce around a bit in the Pittsburgh and Angels organizations, but he didn’t make it back up to the bigs until 2014 on a July 31 callup with the Diamondbacks. He’s now playing in Korea. 

Great prospects often become great players, and the Red Sox’ roster is proof of that. Strikeout concerns aside, there’s not much to suggest Yoan Moncada won’t be an absolute stud. Fans looking for silver lining to losing a top-tier prospect (other than the fact that you could Chris Sale for the guy), can look back 11 years and hope for the best. A lot of people were wrong about Andy Marte.

Report: Chapman, Yanks reach agreement on five-year, $86 million deal


Report: Chapman, Yanks reach agreement on five-year, $86 million deal

OXON HILL, Md. - Aroldis Chapman found a spot in a most familiar bullpen - a very rich spot, too.

The hard-throwing closer reached agreement to return to the New York Yankees on Wednesday night with the highest-priced contract ever for a relief pitcher, an $86 million deal for five years.

A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that the contract was pending a physical. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet complete.

Once it's done, the 28-year-old lefty whose fastballs routinely top 100 mph would shatter the previous richest contract for a reliever - that was the $62 million, four-year deal Mark Melancon signed with San Francisco just a couple days ago during the winter meetings.

Chapman was acquired by New York from the Cincinnati Reds last offseason, then missed the first 29 games of the season due to a domestic violence suspension from Major League Baseball. The Cuban was traded to the Chicago Cubs in late July and helped them win the World Series, becoming a free agent when it was over.

Chapman went 4-1 with 36 saves and a 1.55 ERA in a combined 59 games for the Yankees and Cubs. He struggled some in the postseason as the Cubs beat Cleveland for their first championship since 1908.

With the Yankees this season, Chapman teamed with Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances in one of the most dominant bullpens in baseball history. Miller was later traded to Cleveland, but Betances is still with New York.

Earlier this week, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team was interested in both Chapman and fellow free agent closer Kenley Jansen. The Yankees had already made one deal at these meetings, signing slugger Matt Holliday, before paying a lot more to bring Chapman back to the Bronx.

Fox Sports first reported the agreement.