Posted Under: Friday's Featured Fan, State of the Organization
Major League News:
Big moves are happening in Boston this off-season. Adding to their coaching staff, the Red Sox selected Greg Colbrunn as their new hitting coach. Behind Colbrunn, the Sox promoted Minor League Coordinator, Victor Rodriguez as the assistant hitting coach. Rodriguez has been with the organization for 19 seasons, but this will be his first season on the Major League staff.
On Dec. 1, the Red Sox non-tendered veteran Ryan Sweeney along with relievers Scott Atchison and Rich Hill. All three are now free agents.
The Red Sox agreed to a three year, $39 million contract with former Rangers catcher Mike Napoli. Pending a physical, it looks like the Sox will move Napoli to first base because of their depth at the plate with Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Ryan Lavarnway and David Ross, who was acquired early this off season. Napoli will be a great fit at Fenway Park where he has hit .307 with 9 homeruns and 20 RBIs in 75 at-bats.
Boston filled the hole in right field with veteran agent Shane Victorino. The switch hitter signed a three-year deal worth $39 million. This brings question to Jacoby Ellsbury’s future with the Red Sox. The 2011 All-Star and Comeback Player of the Year has one year left in his contract. Rumors of trading Ellsbury occurred when the Red Sox met with free agent Josh Hamilton, however, GM Ben Cherington made clear that he was not motivated to trade Ellsbury.
“We are expecting Jacoby to have a really good year in 2013 and be a huge part of what we’re doing,” said Cherington.
The Red Sox also agreed to a two-year deal with right handed starting pitcher, Ryan Dempster. Dempster spent the early part of the 2012 season with the Cubs and was traded to the Rangers in July. While he posted a strong 2.25 ERA in Chicago, he fell short in Texas with a 5.09 ERA.
Boston announced a one-year, $9.5 million deal with shortstop Stephen Drew. Drew suffered an ankle injury last season in Oakland, however, Drew says that is ankle “is doing tremendous.”
After Christmas, the Sox and the Pirates agreed to a six-player trade sending Mark Melancon, Stolmy Pimentel, Ivan De Jesus and Jerry Sands to Pittsburgh in exchange for right-handed closer Joel Hanrahan and infielder Brock Holt. Andrew Bailey, who missed most of the 2012 season because of a thumb injury, has been moved to a set up man.
With these big moves, Boston hopes to return to the postseason after three dramatic and disappointing years.