Surprised, excited Iglesias makes big-league debut

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Surprised, excited Iglesias makes big-league debut

By Maureen Mullen and Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- It was quite a day for Jose Iglesias, the phenom shortstop from Cuba whom the Red Sox signed as an international free agent less than two years ago.

With Marco Scutaro (oblique strain) placed on the disabled list, the Sox recalled Iglesias from Pawtucket. And he made his major-league debut on his first day, playing the ninth inning as a defensive replacement for Jed Lowrie in Boston's 9-5 win over the Twins.

I though the timing was good, said manager Terry Francona. Let him get out there, let him get some nerves out of the way and let him be part of what were doing. It worked out well.

Scutaro tried to ease those nerves by playing a prank on Iglesias just before he was put into the game. He hid the youngsters glove behind the camera man.

Iglesias could do nothing but laugh afterwards, and said he enjoyed the moment.

For me, its a huge thrill and an honor to be playing here, said Iglesias. Especially at such a young age.

Iglesias arrival in the big leagues is ahead of schedule. Yamaico Navarro, who appeared in 20 games for the Red Sox last season, would have gotten the call but was placed on the DL last week with an oblique strain.

We talked to Iglesias a little bit this morning, Francona said before the game. I think we all think hes got a really bright future here. I dont think right now is his time to be starting at shortstop . . . Let him learn the atmosphere, whats expected of him. Hopefully itll be real good for his development.

While his primary position is shortstop, Francona said Iglesias could play other positions as well.

I think so. I hope so, he said. I know he played third in the Arizona Fall League. His hands are good enough to be anywhere and his instincts. Infield coach Tim Bogar will get him out there and move him around a little bit. The one thing you dont want to do is put him in a situation where hes uncomfortable. I think hed probably be okay anywhere.

Iglesias was surprised when he got the call Saturday night from Pawtucket manager Arnie Beyeler that he was going to Boston.

It wasnt something that I was expecting, he said. I just got a call after the game from Arnie . . . and they gave me the news. So it came as a shock.

Although his English is very good, Iglesias spoke through Eddie Romero, the teams assistant director of Latin American operations, with the media.

Very glad, very appreciative of being given the opportunity to help out this team here in Boston, he said.

Its obviously a very special day for me but even more so being Mothers Day. I get to share it with a lot of Moms out there. But its a tremendous thrill for me to be here and well see what happens.

Iglesias tried to call his mother in Cuba before the game to tell her the news, but was unable to get through. He expected to see his wife, his infant son and his father, all of whom are in Pawtucket, after the game.

A defensive whiz, he was hitting .253 (22-for-87) with four RBI, 17 strikeouts, and two walks, for Pawtucket when he was called up.

Mike Cameron greeted Iglesias, saying Hey, caballito little horse. Iglesias is familiar with his teammates from being in the organization for almost two seasons and being in spring training for two years.

Its like a family here, he said. Ive been around and I know most of these guys pretty well through spring training. So theres no level of discomfort here. I feel very comfortable with all the guys in the clubhouse.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

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

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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.

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu are back together.

The two Cuban natives were teammates in 2012 when they played for Cienfuegos in Cuba, and now they'll be in the same dugout once again — this time in Chicago.

"To get the opportunity to play with him right now in the United States, it's an honor for me," Moncada said through a translator on a conference call Wednesday. "I'm thrilled with that."

Click here for the complete story on CSNChicago.com