David Ortiz Will Not Waive Trade Clause

Take one Red Sox veteran off the trade block. David Ortiz has said he will not consent to a trade if the Red Sox try to deal him before the July 31st trade deadline, according to SI.com:

“No chance,” Ortiz said, according to The Boston Globe. “This is the team I’ll be with the rest of my career.”

“I couldn’t do that to my family. I couldn’t just go to another team and fit in after all of these years. I want to be here.”

I appreciate David’s loyalty, and I’ve been a huge fan of Papi’s through the years, but whatDavid Ortiz good would a trade do for the team? Probably nothing. It looks like Father Time has finally caught up to him – he’s currently hitting at a .229 clip, which would be a career low for him if he doesn’t improve significantly. That begs the question: Who would take Ortiz, even if he was on the market? Right now, the only team that would take Ortiz are teams that are young and could use a veteran presence to help them develop, or possibly teams looking for a leader to take them over the top. The latter seems less likely, though, as he wouldn’t do much for them in terms of production with the way he’s been performing this season.

The other question is: What could we get in return? I don’t think we would get a lot, unless some team overpays for his reputation. That seems unlikely. Maybe we could a prospect or 2, but I don’t think teams would clear out their farm system or trade their star guy to get Ortiz at the moment with David on pace for career lows in average (.229), on base percentage (.313), and slugging (.408).

His best option would be retirement after this season. Don’t shoot me, Sox fans, but the hard truth of it is that Father Time has finally caught up to Big Papi. As I mentioned above, I’m a huge fan of his. I love what he did for us in helping the Sox win 3 rings, and I’ll always remember when he went on NESN and dropped the F-bomb after the Marathon bombings a couple of years ago, but I think it’s about time to let go. Maybe if he announced it soon, he’ll get a mini-farewell tour like a Derek Jeter or Mariano Rivera. At least it would fill seats up in a crummy season.

What About Bryce Brentz?

BRYCE BRENTZ

Going 9-for-25 in Spring Training and 8-for-26 in the big leagues last year as a September call-up, Bryce Brentz showed plenty of promise while he was up with the Boston Red Sox in 2014, but will be given little opportunity this season.
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Slated to start off 2015 in AAA Pawtucket, Brentz likely will not be given much of a shot to crack a spot on the Red Sox Opening Day Roster because the outfield is so crowded as it is. As of now, the team already needs to trade an outfielder before Opening Day (most likely Allen Craig) and send their starting center fielder for the bulk of last season down tobryce brentz the Minors (Jackie Bradley Jr.).

Away from all of the competition, Brentz will be able to prove why he deserves to play in the big leagues— if he is able to stay healthy this season. These past two years, he has been limited to just 145 Minor League games, including rehab, but he has shown off excellent power.
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Power is the reason why the Red Sox drafted Brentz in the first place and, given that he has smacked 29 home runs in his last 145 MiLB contests, his power is still a serious threat and could help the Red Sox out down the road this season.

Against lefties is where Bryce Brentz thrives. The former high school football linebacker dominates lefties and blasted eight home runs in 73 at-bats against southpaws for the Paw Sox last season. Historically speaking, he has always hit significantly better off of lefties, making him a viable option as a platoon player. After all, he did collect four hits in seven at-bats off of lefties in the big leagues last season.
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If Brentz is able to show off his power and stay healthy in a full season not only should he be able to blast 30 home runs for the Paw Sox next season, but he should find himself in consideration for a job as a platoon player. Since Boston is filled with talented outfielders, if he is not given a shot in Boston, there would be other teams interested in his services.

Had the Red Sox not signed Hanley Ramirez, his chances of cracking the roster would be better since Daniel Nava, who would have been the starting outfielder, struggles greatly against southpaws— he has hit just .159 off them last year.

Red Sox Acquire Anthony Varvaro

anthony varvaro

This trade directly relates to the compensation the Boston Red Sox received for Theo Esptein, meaning it could make-or-break that deal from a few years ago.
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In a low-key but smart move, the Boston Red Sox dealt Aaron Kurcz to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for Anthony Varvaro who was designated for assignment on Monday.anthony varvaro

The reason why this relates to Theo Epstein is simple. Along with Jair Bogaerts, twin of Xander, the Boston Red Sox sent Epstein to Chicago and received Chris Carpenter (not that Chris Carpenter) in addition to Aaron Kurcz who was the Player To Be Named Later.
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In his time in Boston, Carpenter surrendered six earned runs in six innings back in 2012 and proved ineffective for the Paw Sox in 2013, making him of little use to the big league club. Although Kurcz failed to progress past AA thanks to an injury which sidelined him for the entire 2013 season, Kurcz posted a 2.14 ERA in 34 outings while striking out 54 men in 42 innings of work for the Portland Sea Dogs.
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In exchange, the Boston Red Sox received a proven pitcher who has been effective in the big leagues these past two seasons. In that time frame, Anthony Varvaro posted a 2.74 ERA in 123 games totaling 128 frames and struck out 93 men and walked just 38. To put it this way, the Red Sox traded for a proven reliever and gave up someone who could become a proven reliever.

Without a doubt, Varvaro will find his way into the Red Sox bullpen next season— most likely as a middle reliever. Set to earn $515k next season, he will be a cheap and effective player for the Red Sox, but unfortunately he is not a lefty. The Boston Red Sox could still use a left-handed pitcher but for now, fans should be happy that they picked up an effective middle reliever for such a low price.
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Middlebrooks Gone, Red Sox Get Ryan Hanigan

ryan hanigan

In need of a backup catcher, the Boston Red Sox were able to kill two birds with one stone.
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First of all, Will Middlebrooks posed a bit of a problem for the club. He hit .254 in his first 169 big league games and smacked 32 home runs, making it clear that he was going to be one of the best power hitting third baseman in the game.

In 63 games in 2014, Middlebrooks hit just two home runs in 63 games with a dismal .256 OBP, putting his future with the Red Sox organization in peril.

Also, the Red Sox needed a backup catcher and were able to get one by trading Will Middlebrooks to the San Diego Padres. In return, the Boston Red Sox will obtain catcher Ryan Hanigan who the Padres will get in the Wil Myers deal when it is all said and done.ryan hanigan

Hanigan, who never has and most likely never will play in a big league game for the San Diego Padres, spent 2014 as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays and hit .218 with a .318 OBP in 84 games and clipped five home runs. It was a down year for Hanigan and the Red Sox will bank on him being better than he was this past season.
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Plate discipline has always been a big part of Hanigan’s game. He has walked 220 times and struck out on just 198 in his career, showing his knowledge of the strike zone. As a result, Hanigan puts a lot of balls in play and is good for a few sacrifice hits a season.

Defensively, Hanigan has thrown out 38% of attempted base stealers in his career and lead the league gunning down 48% in 2012 and 45% in 2013.
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Typically, Hanigan serves his team as a platoon catcher, playing more than a backup but less than a starter. Expect Red Sox rookie catcher Christian Vazquez to catch at around 60%-67% of the time next season while Hanigan will see around 33%-40% of the reps if all goes well.

Now that the Red Sox have Hanigan who is signed for the next two years, trading Blake Swihart is a definite possibility. Although many people may not want to trade him, the return would be rather large and could set the Red Sox up for a championship next season.
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The 34-year-old Hanigan is a graduate of Andover High School in Andover, Massachusetts. Welcome back Ryan Hanigan, welcome back.

Yoenis Cespedes Poised For Big 2015 Season

cespedesWhen the Boston Red Sox traded their ace, Jon Lester, it was apparent they would not get an equally talented return. Although this ended up being true, Boston came as close as they could obtaining a valuable piece in Yoenis Cespedes. This slugger is in a great situation for a tremendous 2015 season.

cespedes spray chartThe Cuban defector will be playing half his games at Fenway Park which will give him a power surge. At O.co Coliseum, which was his home field in Oakland, left field is 330 feet away while left-center is 367 feet away. At Fenway Park, left field is just 310 feet away — and 37 feet high. Trajectory is not a problem for the righty as he has hit at least a few deep fly balls this year which would have been gone at Fenway Park. Instead, those balls were fly outs.
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The Red Sox lineup also gives Cespedes an advantage because he is surrounded by talent. Hitting near both Mike Napoli and David Ortiz will pay dividends for Cespedes next year because it will be tough to pitch around him. Pitchers will need to pitch to Cespedes and not intentionally walk him or throw garbage because of how potent other hitters in the lineup are. Since he is an aggressive hitter, receiving strikes to hit will help Cespedes go yard even more often.

Do not forget either that Yoenis Cespedes is entering the peak of his career. Next year, he will be 29, an age at which many Major League Baseball players peak. For Cespedes, this means he will be even better than in years past.
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As far as the number of at-bats it takes him to pop a homer, the number comes out to roughly 23.5 at-bats per bomb. According to Baseball Reference, this means that he clubs 29 homers for every 162 games he plays. Now this number should be up based off of a number of factors which will lead to some big results in 2015.

In 2015, expect Cespedes to hit 30 homeruns for the Boston Red Sox in a full and healthy season. His slash line should be around .270/.310/.500 if all goes well since Fenway Park is ideal for him to smack plenty of homeruns and doubles.

On defense, the wall out in left will be beneficial to Cespedes. If runners dare test his cannon arm, he will get plenty of assists and lead all of baseball once again in this category.
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2015 looks to be a big year for Yoenis Cespedes. It will be his first and possibly last full year with the Boston Red Sox. Next year for Cespedes seems like it could be Jason Bay-esque in the power department at least. Even if Boston fails to lock him up long term, they will get good use out of the Cuban slugger making it almost worth trading an ace — keyword almost.

The Tommy Layne Hype Is Premature

Tommy LayneThe Boston Red Sox have fallen in love with left-handed relief pitcher Tommy Layne since he’s joined the team. The hype he’s getting is justified considering his All-Star season down in Pawtucket and his deceptive delivery. To show you what I mean, here’s a video of Layne pitching in the Triple-A All-Star Game.

http://www.milb.com/multimedia/vpp.jsp?content_id=34587875&sid=milb
As you should be able to see, Layne hides the ball behind him until the last second. This makes it more difficult for hitters to determine which pitch is being thrown, and, obviously, gives batters a tougher time making proper adjustments to put a good swing on the ball.

He passes the eye test with relative ease and his traditional stats aren’t too shabby, either. Through just seven and 1/3 innings this season in the majors, the southpaw has compiled a stellar 1.23 ERA. Now, this is certainly too small of a sample size to pass proper evaluation on, but as Sabermetrics have taught us, minor-league numbers are an effective tool to project future performance, as well.

So, Tommy’s 1.50 ERA and 2.74 FIP in 48 innings of work in Triple-A Pawtucket this year have substance to them, yet only in proper context. It’s imperative to look at the 29-year-old’s unsustainable .244 BABIP, 0.19 HR/9, and 86.4 LOB% with Pawtucket (Note: MLB average is a .296 BABIP, 0.88 HR/9, 73.0 LOB%), and realize he was the recipient of quite a bit of luck. Unless Layne has fairy godparents there’s no way he’ll be able to continue to perform at such a high-level with those numbers.

I feel, rather, the Tommy Layne with the mediocre peripherals and non-MLB-worthy ERA — which we’ve seen frequently in his professional baseball career — has a much better chance of surfacing than the one we’ve witnessed throughout 2014.

However, baseball is a game of mysteries, and, truthfully, anything can happen. Pitchers can (and do all the time) hone their craft to improve whatever aspect of their game they lack with proper coaching and a willingness to adjust.

So, no, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Layne flourish, but it would be very unconventional for him to do so with such poor and untenable statistics. He could be a gem for Boston, and fulfill a glaring projected need in ’15. Nonetheless, it’ll be interesting to see how Layne performs the rest of the season.