Source: Red Sox interested in signing Ordonez

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Source: Red Sox interested in signing Ordonez

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- For years, dating as far back to Adrian Gonzalez's time with the Texas Rangers, general manager Theo Epstein had his eye on the sweet-swinging first baseman.

Sunday, he finally landed him, albeit without a contract extension -- yet.

And now, Epstein might be going back to the future again.

After the 2003 season, when the Sox were close to obtaining Alex Rodriguez from the Texas Rangers, their plan was to turn around and deal off incumbent shortstop Nomar Garciaparra. The Sox had a contingency deal in place with the Chicago White Sox that would have sent Garciaparra to the White Sox in exchange for a package that included Magglio Ordonez.

Seven years later, their interest in Ordonez hasn't diminished apparently.

A baseball source said the Sox are interested in the free agent outfielder as an answer to their left field vacancy. The Sox would like a righthanded bat to play left, to help balance out a lineup that, especially in the aftermath of the Gonzalez deal, leans lefthanded. Jacoby Ellsbury, J.D. Drew and David Ortiz are also lefthanded, giving the Sox as many as four lefties in the top six in the batting order.

Ordonez, who turns 37 next month, missed half of last season with the Tigers because of an ankle injury. The Tigers have shown an interest in bringing him back and the Phillies are another team which has talked about him.

In 84 games last year, Ordonez posted a .303.378474 line with an OPS of .852.

Just as importantly, he mashed lefthanded pitching last season, with a .371.457.714 line. Essentially, Ordonez would give the Sox what Victor Martinez gave them last year against lefties.

Ordonez could play left field and also take some DH at-bats from Ortiz against lefties. Ortiz struggled miserably against lefties last year.

It's unknown what kind of money Ordonez might be seeking, but he's coming off a mammoth conract with the Tigers that paid him 75 million over five years.

The Tigers declined to pick up a 15 million option for 2011, and because of the ankle injury, Ordonez failed to meet at-bat and games started requirements that would have vested his 2011 option.

Getting a deal done may come down to whether Ordonez and agent Scott
Boras are willing to lower his demands considerably as Ordonez gets into
his late 30s.

With the presence of Mike Cameron and the presence of Ryan Kalish, the Sox might be comfortable with Ordonez being spotted in the lineup.

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

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer.  And…

US ambassador to Japan?

Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.

The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons. 

Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, according to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. 

Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California. 

 

Sandoval: I got lazy after signing big contract with Red Sox

Sandoval: I got lazy after signing big contract with Red Sox

The Pablo Sandoval redemption tour is underway as the former World Series MVP tries to revive his career after two disastrous seasons with the Red Sox organization.

In an interview with ESPN Deportes, he admits to being “complacent” during his first two seasons in Boston after signing a five-year, $95 million deal. 

"My career had fallen into an abyss because I was so complacent with things that I had already accomplished," Sandoval said. "I did not work hard in order to achieve more and to remain at the level of the player that I am and that I can be."

After dealing Travis Shaw to the Brewers, Sandoval is expected to be the Red Sox primary third baseman in 2017.

"I am not taking anything for granted," he said. "I am here to work hard. I'm not thinking about the position or not. I am starting from scratch, and I am here to show what I can do on the field."

The 30-year-old says he’s following a “really strict routine” this offseason, and it shows. In a recent photo, Sandoval appears noticeably thinner. Sandoval says his wife giving birth to “Baby Panda” has served as inspiration.

"Watching 'Baby Panda' grow up and that he gets the opportunity to see his father play in the majors for seven, eight more years, to get back to the success I had, that's my motivation every day," Sandoval said. "The people that I surround myself with now and my family, they are the key to my success. This has been a life lesson."