Tag Archive | Boston Red Sox

2015 MLB Hot Stove Preview: Boston Red Sox

By Brett Malamud

MLB free agency is upon us. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll preview teams around the Major Leagues, and give you a look at what to expect. We started off with the New York Yankees, so it makes sense that our next team is the Boston Red Sox.

Losses

The Red Sox only lose Craig Breslow and Rich Hill this offseason.

Infield

The infield is basically set. Dustin Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts, Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval are lined up across the diamond. Blake Swihart will be behind the plate next season after he made a nice impact during his rookie season. If Hanley Ramirez plays first base, as is being reported by multiple outlets, it’ll block 25-year old Travis Shaw who finished off a stellar rookie season. There is the possibility that the Sox trade Ramirez and/or Sandoval, but right now, neither player’s value is high so I’m not sure that dealing either right now is best for the team. I’d look to sign some backups to accompany Brock Holt. David Ortiz will enter what should be his final season, so maybe the Sox sign a player that will eventually fill that role.

Outfield

There aren’t many holes in the outfield either. Jackie Bradley Jr., Rusney Castillo and Mookie Betts will be in the outfield this upcoming season, with appearances by Brock Holt. So now what? Well the Red Sox do have room to back these players up, and have been linked to former Yankees outfielder Chris Young. Signing Young would be a good move for the Sox, and would bring them added depth.

Pitching

This is where the focus of the offseason should be for Boston. They will be in the market for the top arms out there. That is no secret. Other than their 2013 World Series title, Boston has experienced three last-place finishes in the last four seasons. It all starts with the pitching. Dave Dombrowski acquired David Price back when he was with the Detroit Tigers. What makes you think he wouldn’t want to get him again? They won’t have to surrender a draft pick to get him, which makes Price the most likely offseason free agent to turn contract talks into a bidding war. Zack Greinke, Jordan Zimmerman and Johnny Cueto are other candidates to sign with Boston, and would turn the Red Sox from zeros to heroes. There are always trade opportunities too. The Sox talked to the Cleveland Indians over the summer regarding Carlos Carrasco, and so there could be an avenue there. There is also the possibility that was raised in my Yankees preview, that the Washington Nationals could look to deal Stephen Strasburg. The Red Sox have six prospects in the MLB.com Top 100 Minor Leaguers list, and a group of starters that could be dealt for better arms. In the bullpen, I’m looking for the Red Sox to do what they do best, and race the Yankees in gaining assets. They’ve already done that in trading for closer Craig Kimbrel, and may have overpaid for him. My feeling is that he’s only going to be in there when the team is up by three or less, and they haven’t been in that situation lately. But while I would’ve tried to build up the rest of the team first, Kimbrel is a great addition to Boston. Now the Sox need to build up the rest of their pitching staff this offseason.

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Craig Kimbrel will be a big addition to the Boston Red Sox (Via BR)


Brett Malamud is an English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

2015 Major League Baseball Predictions

With 40 days until Opening Day, take a look at our season predictions:

(*) = 1st Wild Card Team
(**) = 2nd Wild Card Team

American League East:

Place Brett Malamud’s Pick Alex Horowitz’s Pick
1 Boston Red Sox Boston Red Sox
2 Toronto Blue Jays Baltimore Orioles
3 New York Yankees Toronto Blue Jays
4 Tampa Bay Rays Tampa Bay Rays
5 Baltimore Orioles New York Yankees

 

American League Central:

Place Brett Malamud’s Pick Alex Horowitz’s Pick
1 Cleveland Indians Cleveland Indians
2 Detroit Tigers* Kansas City Royals**
3 Kansas City Royals Chicago White Sox
4 Chicago White Sox Detroit Tigers
5 Minnesota Twins Minnesota Twins

 

American League West:

Place Brett Malamud’s Pick Alex Horowitz’s Pick
1 Seattle Mariners Seattle Mariners
2 Oakland Athletics** Los Angeles Angels*
3 Los Angeles Angels Houston Astros
4 Houston Astros Oakland Athletics
5 Texas Rangers Texas Rangers

 

National League East:

Place Brett Malamud’s Pick Alex Horowitz’s Pick
1 Washington Nationals Washington Nationals
2 New York Mets New York Mets**
3 Miami Marlins Miami Marlins
4 Atlanta Braves Atlanta Braves
5 Philadelphia Phillies Philadelphia Phillies

 

National League Central:

Place Brett Malamud’s Pick Alex Horowitz’s Pick
1 St. Louis Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals
2 Pittsburgh Pirates* Pittsburgh Pirates*
3 Chicago Cubs Chicago Cubs
4 Milwaukee Brewers Cincinnati Reds
5 Cincinnati Reds Milwaukee Brewers

 

National League West:

Place Brett Malamud’s Pick Alex Horowitz’s Pick
1 San Diego Padres San Francisco Giants
2 San Francisco Giants** San Diego Padres
3 Los Angeles Dodgers Los Angeles Dodgers
4 Arizona Diamondbacks Arizona Diamondbacks
5 Colorado Rockies Colorado Rockies
With some added big bats, the Red Sox are ready to head back to October baseball (Via WBZ-TV

With some added big bats, the Red Sox are ready to head back to October baseball (Via WBZ-TV

Playoffs:

Game Brett Malamud’s Pick Alex Horowitz’s Pick
ALCS Red Sox defeat Mariners Red Sox defeat Indians
NLCS Nationals defeat Cardinals Cardinals defeat Nationals
World Series Nationals defeat Red Sox Cardinals defeat Red Sox

 

Sox Open Their Wallets, Sign Hanley and Panda

By Brett Malamud

The Red Sox broke the bank on Monday when multiple news outlets reported that the team came to terms with shortstop Hanley Ramirez on a four-year, $88 million deal with a fifth year option for an additional $22 million. Ramirez now heads back to the team that drafted him, before Boston traded him and four other players to the Marlins for a three player package highlighted by pitcher Josh Beckett.

The Red Sox inked a pair of left side infielders (Via AP)

The Red Sox inked a pair of left side infielders (Via AP)

Earlier in the offseason, it was reported that the 30-year-old Ramirez would be the Red Sox’s backup plan, had they failed to sign third baseman Pablo Sandoval. However, Monday afternoon brought an important announcement from Sandoval’s agent.

The man they call the Kung Fu Panda is expected to ink a deal with the Red Sox worth at least $90 million over five years. Sandoval’s agent informed the San Francisco Giants that the switch hitting slugger had chosen to play for Boston. Sandoval was believed to have been choosing between San Francisco, Boston, and the San Diego Padres.

Ramirez isn’t expected to play shortstop for Boston due to the presence of the 22-year-old Xander Bogaerts. The Red Sox wouldn’t replace Bogaerts, would they? It would be more likely to see Sandoval at third and Ramirez in the outfield. With six other potential outfielders, the signing could lead to the Red Sox dealing one of their current outfielders in a trade. Many will speculate that the odd man out will be the recently acquired outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, simply because of his value. Cespedes will be a free agent at the end of the 2015 season, so he seems like a likely candidate. At the end of the day, the Red Sox improved and that’s what matters most to the fans of Boston. They’re sure to make some noise this season.


Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

MLB Staff Picks

The smell of peanuts and cracker jacks is in the air. After 152 days since the Red Sox walked off the field as champions, baseball is back. Our picks are in for this year’s fall classic. Here they are:

Writer

Pick

Brett Malamud

 I’m taking the Yankees over the Dodgers. Both teams have proven this offseason that they want to win now. The Yankees unloaded after missing the playoffs by opening their checkbook and spending close to $500 million. The additions of Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann, and Masahiro Tanaka immediately make the Yankees a legitimate threat. But don’t think they’re the only team spending the big bucks. The Dodgers passed the Yankees for the MLB’s highest payroll, ending the Yankees 15 year streak, by spending $235 million this season. All and all I’d say Derek Jeter better start spreading the news that his final season will end with a ticker tape parade down the Canyon of Heroes.

Sam Breiter

 As an extremely optimistic Mets fan with nothing but the highest expectations, I’m always going to take my team. So along with my Mets, I’m taking the rival Yankees. The Mets have young talent in there rotation, and a growing lineup. They may make a huge move by the deadline, and Zach Wheeler will suprise people this year. Yankees, because they spent money this offseason and are clearly doing anything to win a year after missing the playoffs

Dan Lagnado

 In the NL I’ll take the Dodgers and in the AL I’ll take Detroit. Dodgers win a six game series behind Kershaw and Greinke who each win two games

Josh Halilej

 Tigers over Cardinals. Lots of solid pitching between the two of them. I think Justin Verlander comes back big this year and comes out as the Tigers’ #1 with Rick Porcello having an awesome year too finishing ahead of Max Scherzer in the pitching rotation. The Cards are going to need Yadier Molina to manage the pitching staff well, but they just don’t have the overall offensive firepower that Detroit does with the addition of Ian Kinsler. Watch out for the Rangers though if they can have someone aside from Yu Darvish step up in their rotation.

Seth Schuster

 Red Sox over Dodgers. Only a little bit of bias plays into this one…Both are great teams with amazing young talent. With the recent resurgence of John Lackey, John Lester, a healthy Clay Buchholz, and a young and very talented Xander Bogaerts, the Red Sox will be the 2014 World Series Champions. With the leadership of David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, and Mike Napoli, look for the Sox to make a push for the repeat.

Ben Ozur

 Rays vs Dodgers. There’s no explanation for why the Rays are good every year, but the undeniable fact is that they are. However nobody is on the Dodgers level in terms of overall talent. Despite multiple holes including infield depth and major league ready pitchers in the minors, their superstar talent everywhere else will cover that up.

Ryan Gillman

 Dodgers over Tigers. The Dodgers are armed with a wealth of talent and the largest payroll in history. Anything less than a championship would be a disappointment.

Sam  Iryami

 Nationals vs Tigers. Nationals win. The Nationals have the best pitching rotation in baseball with the front four being Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, and Doug Fister. Pitching wins games. Although the Tigers have a great all around team, the team is full of veterans. However, they are definitely a contender for the World Series because of their many stars such as Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera, Ian Kinsler, and Max Scherzer. Both teams have unbelievable pitching and hitting, but I have the Nationals taking home the trophy in this one.

Zach Pokorny

 Dodgers vs Angels, but I’d pick the Angels because Mike Trout is amazing
Derek Jeter has one last season in his hall of fame career and will make the most of it (Via Sabo News)

Derek Jeter has one last season in his hall of fame career and will make the most of it (Via Sabo News)

We hope everyone enjoys Opening Day and stays locked in to Dabuzzza here and on our twitter page this MLB season. We know we will.

2014 MLB Predictions

By Dan Lagnado

National League

East: Washington Nationals

Coming off a disappointing season in which the Nats were 10 games behind the first place Braves, I expect a bounce back season and 95+ wins from the Nationals. An improved starting rotation with the addition of Doug Fister and a lineup without a weakness, the Nats and first year manager Matt Williams can make a run in the playoffs.

Central: St. Louis Cardinals

Last year’s National League champions continue their regular season success led by a batch of young starters. The loss of Carlos Beltran is minimized by the arrival of Jhonny Peralta and the Cardinals have a good chance to defend their title.

West: Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers simply have too much firepower to not win this division. They won the division by 11 games last season and there is no reason for them not to repeat unless the team is decimated by injury.

Clayton Kershaw hopes to lead the Dodgers deep into the playoffs this year (Via USA Today)

Clayton Kershaw hopes to lead the Dodgers deep into the playoffs this year (Via USA Today)

Wild Card 1: Cincinnati Reds

The NL Central is one of the most competitive divisions in baseball with three teams making the playoffs last year. I think the Reds jump up a spot from WC 2 to WC 1 in the upcoming season behind the strength of Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips. Another reason for the improvement is that Pittsburgh’s dream run last year does not have the same impact this time around and they drop off enough for the Reds to overtake them down the stretch.

Wild Card 2: San Francisco Giants

In a bounce back year the Giants will finish second in their division and take the second Wild Card position. The starting rotation will return to its former glory and the addition of Tim Hudson will add stability to a rotation that already contains Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Madison Bumgarner.

American League

East: Boston Red Sox

This was not an easy decision but in the end I have to stay with the defending champions. A solid pitching rotation returns intact and the playoff experience will help this team retain their division title.

Central: Detroit Tigers

Even with injuries to Jose Iglesias, the Tigers are still the team to beat in the AL Central. Miguel Cabrera is coming back healthy and new acquisition Ian Kinsler will provide a big boost at second base. Joe Nathan will provide a boost at the back of the bullpen and Justin Verlander should be back healthy.

West: Texas Rangers

The arrival of Prince Fielder and Alex Rios and the first full season of Jurikson Profar will key the Rangers to a division title. Yu Darvish looks to follow up a dominant year and cement himself as one of the best pitchers in baseball. In a competitive division that goes down the wire, the Rangers will edge out the division.

Wild Card 1: Oakland Athletics

The A’s continue their recent success by locking up another playoff birth, this time by Wild Card. Despite injuries to the starting rotation, Oakland does have enough young pitching to get them through the season effectively.

Wild Card 2: Los Angeles Angels

The Angels’ power bats finally get it together and make it into the postseason. Mike Trout once again will be one of the best in the league and Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols finally get it together in the American League to carry the Angels to success.

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Dan Lagnado is studying communications, law economics and government at American University. He’s a fan of both the Mets and Jets and has been writing about sports for four years. You can follow him on twitter at @dlag1995

Reaction to the Ellsbury Signing

By Sam Breiter

If you did not get the chance to hear yet, Jacoby Ellsbury signed a multi million-dollar contract last night. No, he won’t go for a second straight title with the Boston Red Sox, but rather he has decided to sign with their number one rival. Yes, Ellsbury is a member of the Evil Empire and will be wearing pinstripes next year, and with the money he now making, I think he will survive shaving off his beard. Ellsbury over the next seven years will be making $153-million and will be making well over $20-million per season. This was after he denied Boston’s $14.1-million qualifying offer, so he obviously made a good financial choice. So the question lies, was he worth the deal? Ellsbury, who is now 30 years old, will be playing in the Bronx most likely until he is 37. Ellsbury is known for his quickness, great fielding ability, and contact at the plate. Although, his power, and on base percentage has been inconsistent. Some people may call Ellsbury a five-tool player, but besides 2011, he has never really been known for hitting the long ball. Ellsbury, who has been playing for seven seasons, has found himself getting substantial injuries in two seasons. In 2013, Ellsbury was healthy for much of the season, and had a batting average of .298, with 52 stolen bases.

With the help of his agent Scott Boras, Jacoby Ellsbury joined the Evil Empire, and signed a seven year deal with the Yankees (Via Red Sox Nation)

With the help of his agent Scott Boras, Jacoby Ellsbury joined the Evil Empire, and signed a seven year deal with the Yankees (Via Sox Nation)

Even though he has proved to still have potential to be an MVP candidate, I don’t not believe this was a smart contract. By the middle of his contract, it’s doubtful Ellsbury will be able to steal 50 plus bases, as he does so well. Additionally, he has proven to be an injury threat, and it just isn’t worth it to pay a guy $20 million in a season who has battled injuries, and is running out of his prime. The Yankees signed Ellsbury to make a statement, they wanted to prove to the fan that we have money, and we will spend it. They already made a statement signing McCann to his overpriced deal, and it is no surprise that Ellsbury got equal treatment. Congratulations Yankees, you have achieved what you have always done best, spending money for current talent. In four years from now when Ellsbury is 34, batting .270, and stealing 15 bases at most, all were going to hear about is what a terrible deal this was. These big $100 million dollar deals for veteran stars always ends in terrible fashion especially when they come from another team. Don’t forget A.J Burnett, and Carl Pavano, and Alex Rodriguez. The Yankees have a history of these disastrous contracts, and Ellsbury will soon be added to this list.

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Sam Breiter is a high school senior at Plainview- Old Bethpage JFK High School. Sam is looking to major in sports management, with a minor in communications next year.  He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite teams are the Mets, Giants, and Knicks. You can follow him on twitter at @baseballbreiter

Don’t Hate, Appreciate, Reggie: Comparing Mr. October and Señor Octubre

By Seth Schuster

The Boston Red Sox are World Series Champions once again, thanks to the contributions of “Big Papi” David Ortiz. Ortiz, fresh off of winning his third World Series Championship as a member of the Red Sox, was soon bestowed with an honor that had eluded him twice before – World Series MVP. Ortiz lost out on the honor in 2004 to Manny Ramirez, and in 2007 to Mike Lowell, but there was no doubt as to who was taking home the hardware this October. This time, Ortiz not only had a World Series worthy of discussion for the award, but also as one of the best postseason hitters of all time. His name now graces lists full of great postseason hitters, most notably Reggie Jackson, also known as “Mr. October.” Papi hit a stellar .688 this World Series featuring two homeruns, six RBIs, with a slugging percentage of 1.188, an OBP of .760, while only striking out once in 16 at-bats. This added to his nearly incomparable career World Series resume of a .455 batting average, a .576 OBP, and a .795 slugging percentage. He has 14 RBIs in 14 World Series contests.

David Ortiz certainly has a case to be compared to Reggie Jackson. (Via AP)

David Ortiz certainly has a case to be compared to Reggie Jackson. (Via AP)

Reggie Jackson, “Mr. October,” won five World Series rings over the course of his career, batting .357, with a .457 OBP, and a .755 slugging percentage. Jackson also had 10 homers and 24 RBIs in his World Series career. Jackson’s numbers, compared to Ortiz’s statistics are very close, but fall slightly short of the mark when discussing World Series competition. The only edge Reggie seems to have is the power numbers, where his homerun totals edges Papi by seven and his RBI total bests Ortiz’s by 10. Jackson, however, played in one more WS than Ortiz (Jackson tore his hamstring in the 1972 ALCS, and subsequently did not play in that year’s Series).

Now it’s important to remember that although Ortiz’s numbers may best Jackson’s in the World Series, the moniker “Mr. October” was earned due to Reggie’s spectacular play throughout the entire month.

Reggie hit .278 in his postseason career, tallying 18 homeruns and 48 RBIs in 77 appearances.

Papi is a .295 hitter in his postseason career with 17 homers and 60 RBIs in 82 games.

Ortiz has one less total homerun, and has played five more postseason games, he has 12 more RBI’s than Jackson does on his resume. Jackson hit an average of 0.6 RBIs per game in his postseason career, and even with the added five games his RBI total, would still only be 51, still nine less than Ortiz’s current total. Now, let’s play devil’s advocate for just a minute here. We shouldn’t dub Ortiz “Mr. October” just yet. Although his stats are extraordinary, Ortiz’s name has been linked to Performance Enhancing Drugs in the past.

In 2009, reports surfaced about a failed MLB drug test in 2003. The source was never able to provide any evidence of the failed test, and more importantly, it never reported the drug that Ortiz had allegedly tested positive for. Ortiz, the character guy he his, brushed off the allegations and continued to do the talking with his bat – especially in the postseason. After a name is linked to PEDs, however, it is hard to make that connection disappear even if Ortiz never actually broke any rules. The mere allegation will always linger and serve as a backdrop. The PED link will most likely stay with Ortiz quietly for the rest of his baseball career, whether the rumors are true or not. The connection will most likely be a deciding factor in whether Papi, arguably the greatest Designated Hitter of all time, is enshrined in the baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown somewhere down the road. The only other Designated Hitter who has ever received HOF considerations is Frank Thomas, whose numbers aren’t even comparable to David’s. Could Papi’s postseason statistics drive him up to Cooperstown? It’s might, but we’re not sure. What we do know, however, is that Ortiz “Lives for this,” and it is evident that he does, the man thrives on the crisp October air. The decision on Ortiz’s HOF fate could come down to two deciding factors -PEDs, and postseason play.

He certainly has the numbers to support his case. He certainly has the numbers to be called “Mr. October,” but out of courtesy to Mr. Jackson who said it was “Silly” to call Ortiz “Mr. October.” Let’s call “Big Papi” David Ortiz, “Señor Octubre.” Maybe someday we will call Ortiz “Cooperstown.” He certainly has the numbers to do it. And the numbers never lie.

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Seth Schuster is a student at Blind Brook High School in Westchester, New York. He is an avid sports fan, who knows it all when it comes to the Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, New England Patriots, and Boston Bruins. Yup, that’s right – a Boston sports fan living in New York! Seth’s favorite all-time athletes include David Ortiz, Tom Brady, and Paul Pierce. Follow Seth on Twitter for all your Boston Sports updates at @redsoxseth