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News & Analysis

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Kansas City Royals

Red Sox's Eric Hosmer is back in familiar surroundings in K.C.

August 5, 2022, 10:26 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

When Eric Hosmer steps into the batting cage at his home in suburban Miami in the offseason, a frequent guest is fellow Miamian J.D. Martinez. They no longer have to wait until the offseason to hit together after Hosmer was acquired by the Boston Red Sox in a trade-deadline deal on Tuesday.

Hosmer and Martinez likely will be hitting back-to-back on Friday as the Red Sox play the second game of a four-game road series against the Kansas City Royals.

The Royals will send Zack Greinke (3-6, 4.41 ERA) to the mound against the Red Sox's Josh Winckowski (4-5, 5.00).

Hosmer went 0-for-3 with a walk in his Red Sox debut on Thursday as the Royals took the first game of the series, 7-4. Salvador Perez hit a controversial three-run home run to cap Kansas City's four-run seventh inning.

Hosmer, 32, and Martinez, 34, played against each other a lot as kids.

"We grew up close to each other. I always watched J.D. at Flanagan (High School in Pembroke Pines, Fla.)," Hosmer said Thursday prior to his first appearance in Kansas City since the last game of the 2017 season, the last of seven years he spent with the Royals. "In the offseason we definitely hook up a lot."

Hosmer followed Martinez in Boston's lineup Thursday, something manager Alex Cora said would be a common occurrence moving forward.

"He'll play pretty regularly at first base," Cora said of Hosmer, who batted in the sixth slot. "It really doesn't matter where he hits, he'll be OK. He and J.D. will be back-to-back most of the time."

Royals manager Mike Matheny was well aware of Hosmer's history in Kansas City.

"I know how much Hosmer has meant to this organization," he said. "Some of the greatest memories a lot of Royals fans have, he's been right in the middle of them."

Matheny is focused on his young players establishing a positive trajectory as Hosmer and his teammates did early in the last decade. And he expects it to start now.

"We're thinking about winning today," he said. "That's always going to be the conversation as to what we have to do today to win with whoever is here. It's a difficult process losing players who are part of your family for a long time. That takes a little while to unpack. But it does create an opportunity for some young players.

"When they were brought onto the scene in Toronto, I said I'd like to have all of them. The opportunity presents itself where they have to opportunity to play. It's all about what we have to do to each day to put a winning product on the field."

The Royals are extremely young after several veterans were traded away at the deadline. One of the few veterans remaining is Greinke, who is in his second stint with the Royals.

Greinke, who owns a 2-5 record and a 5.09 ERA in nine career appearances (eight starts) against the Red Sox, has won his last three decisions at home. In his past four starts in Kansas City, Greinke has allowed just two runs in 22 innings.

Winckowski will be facing the Royals for the first time in his career. The 24-year-old rookie won his latest start, when he gave up two runs in five innings against the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday, after losing each of his four prior outings. He pitched to a 6.75 ERA during the skid.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Boston Red Sox

Reports: Red Sox DFA Jackie Bradley Jr.

August 4, 2022, 2:47 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox designated outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. for assignment on Thursday, multiple outlets reported.

The decision clears room on the roster for newly acquired first baseman Eric Hosmer. Bradley, in his second stint in Boston, has played nine of his 10 seasons with the Red Sox.

The club has seven days to trade him or waive him.

Bradley, 32, is batting .210 with three home runs and 29 RBIs in 91 games this season. The Red Sox reacquired him from Milwaukee in the December trade that sent outfielder Hunter Renfroe to the Brewers.

Bradley is a career .228 hitter with 107 homers and 69 stolen bases. He made the AL All-Star team in 2016 and was a Gold Glove winner in 2018. He was the ALCS MVP for the Red Sox in 2018, when he hit two homers and drove in nine runs against the Houston Astros.

Bradley got squeezed out of an outfield slot with the emergence of Jarren Duran and the acquisition of Tommy Pham at the trade deadline. Enrique Hernandez is also nearing a return from the injured list.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Kansas City Royals

Blue Jays acquire Whit Merrifield, Mitch White

August 2, 2022, 10:58 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays acquired two-time All-Star Whit Merrifield from the Kansas City Royals and right-hander Mitch White from the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.

To the Royals, the Blue Jays are sending prospect Samad Taylor and right-hander Max Castillo. The Royals assigned Taylor to Triple-A Omaha and added Castillo to their 40-man roster and optioned him to Omaha.

To the Dodgers, the Blue Jays are sending minor league pitching prospects Nick Frasso and Moises Brito. The Blue Jays also get minor league infielder Alex De Jesus in the deal.

Merrifield, 33, has spent all seven years of his major league career in Kansas City. He's a career .286 hitter despite batting a career-low .240 in 95 games this season. Merrifield was an All-Star in 2019 and 2021.

Merrifield had been unvaccinated with the Royals, something that will need to change given Canada's health requirements against COVID-19.

White, 27, had been something of a revelation for the pitching-rich Dodgers this season. He is 1-2 with a 3.70 ERA in 15 appearances, including a career-high 10 starts. He's 3-5 with a 3.58 ERA in 38 career games (14 starts) since being taken in the second round of the 2016 draft.

Taylor, 24, is an infielder/outfielder who's batting .258 with nine home runs and 45 RBIs in Triple-A Buffalo this season.

Castillo, 23, made nine appearances (two starts) and had a 3.05 ERA for the Blue Jays this season.

Brito, 20, is 2-4 with a 1.86 ERA in 12 games (two starts) for the Blue Jays in the Dominican Summer League.

Frasso, 23, sports a 0.74 ERA without a decision in 10 total games (all starts) in Class-A and High-A. The Jays selected him in the fourth round of the 2020 draft.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Minnesota Twins at San Diego Padres

Reports: Red Sox acquire 1B Eric Hosmer from Padres

August 2, 2022, 6:44 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox are acquiring first baseman Eric Hosmer from the San Diego Padres, multiple outlets reported.

Earlier Tuesday, Hosmer reportedly turned down a trade to the Washington Nationals in the deal to bring star outfielder Juan Soto and first baseman Josh Bell to San Diego.

Hosmer, 32, is batting .272 with eight homers and 40 RBIs in 90 games this season.

The four-time Gold Glove winner is a career .277 hitter with 196 home runs and 875 RBIs in 1,644 games with the Kansas City Royals (2011-17) and Padres. He won a World Series in 2015 and made the All-Star team in 2016 with the Royals.

Hosmer is owed $39 million over the 2023 through 2025 seasons. It was not immediately clear how much of that salary the Padres will cover in the deal, although San Diego was reportedly set to pick up all $39 million of the remaining three years of the contract.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at San Francisco Giants

Royals trade Emmanuel Rivera to D-backs for Luke Weaver

August 2, 2022, 12:40 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Diamondbacks traded right-handed pitcher Luke Weaver to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for third baseman Emmanuel Rivera on Monday.

Weaver, 28, made 12 appearances (one start) for the Diamondbacks this season and went 1-1 with a 7.71 ERA. In his three-plus seasons in Arizona, he went 9-19 with a 4.72 ERA.

The former first-round draft pick was selected by the Cardinals back in 2014 with the 27th overall pick. He spent the first three seasons of his career in St. Louis.

Rivera, 26, was in his second season with the Royals and is hitting .237 with six home runs and 22 RBIs in 2022.

In addition to trading Weaver, the D-backs also recalled right-handed pitcher Taylor Widener from Triple-A Reno and activated him for Monday night's game against the Cleveland Guardians.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox

Red Sox send Christian Vazquez to Astros; acquire Reese McGuire, Tommy Pham

August 1, 2022, 11:45 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox made a flurry of deals Monday evening, reportedly dealing away starting catcher Christian Vazquez while adding catcher Reese McGuire and outfielder Tommy Pham in an effort to keep pace in the American League wild-card race.

The Red Sox dealt Vazquez to the Houston Astros, with reports of the move arising less than two hours before the teams were scheduled to open a three-game series against each other in Houston.

Vazquez, 31, took batting practice with Boston before learning of the trade. Reporters circled around him in foul territory, where he said "It's a business" before a Red Sox employee ushered him away.

It was not yet reported what Houston would be sending Boston to land Vazquez, who spent all eight seasons of his major league career with the Red Sox. He was one of the few players remaining from Boston's 2014 World Series roster.

Vazquez is batting .282 this season with eight home runs and 42 RBIs across 84 games.

It was the Astros' second big acquisition of the afternoon, coming hours after they landed first baseman/outfielder Trey Mancini from the Baltimore Orioles.

The Red Sox filled the hole at catcher by acquiring McGuire from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for left-handed relief pitcher Jake Diekman.

McGuire, 27, was in his first season in Chicago after starting his MLB career with the Toronto Blue Jays for four seasons. McGuire was batting .225 with nine doubles and 10 RBIs across 53 games for the White Sox. He's a lifetime .241 hitter with nine home runs, 34 doubles and 36 RBIs.

Diekman, 35, was in his first season with the Red Sox after a lengthy career with five previous clubs. In 44 appearances out of the bullpen this year, Diekman was 5-1 with one save, a 4.23 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 38 1/3 innings.

Multiple reports also said the Red Sox landed Pham from the Cincinnati Reds for a player to be named later. The New York Mets were said to be the other team in contention for the 34-year-old Pham.

Pham spent five-plus years with the St. Louis Cardinals, parts of two seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays and two with the San Diego Padres before joining the Reds. He is batting .238 this season with 11 home runs, 11 doubles, 39 RBIs and 42 walks across 91 games.

The Red Sox entered Monday's play 51-52, in last place in the AL East but not completely out of the wild-card race.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Seattle Mariners

Royals trade for Mariners LHP Anthony Misiewicz

August 1, 2022, 7:07 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Mariners sent left-hander Anthony Misiewicz to the Kansas City Royals on Monday in exchange for cash considerations.

The Mariners designated Misiewicz for assignment Sunday.

Misiewicz, 27, went 0-1 with a 4.61 ERA in 17 appearances for the Mariners this season. He debuted in 2020 and is 5-8 with a 4.48 ERA in 104 career relief appearances, all with the Mariners.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox

Red Sox 2B Trevor Story has hairline fracture in wrist

July 30, 2022, 9:40 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Boston Red Sox second baseman Trevor Story was diagnosed Saturday with a hairline fracture in his right wrist and the club plans to reassess the injury in 10-14 days.

Story, 29, was hit by a pitch from the Tampa Bay Rays' Corey Kluber on July 12, although initial X-rays were negative. A visit to a hand specialist led to the discovery of the hairline fracture.

After signing a six-year, $140 million deal with the Red Sox this past offseason, Story has career lows with a .221 batting average and a .713 OPS. He has 15 home runs and 58 RBIs in 81 games for Boston.

A two-time All-Star in six seasons with the Colorado Rockies, Story is a career .267 hitter with an .848 OPS and has 173 home runs with 508 RBIs in 826 games.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Kansas City Royals at New York Yankees

Yankees' Aaron Judge hits 40th homer of season

July 30, 2022, 1:59 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Judge belted his major-league-leading 40th home run of the season on Thursday, joining an exclusive club of New York Yankees who have reached that milestone by the end of July.

Judge hit a two-run shot against the Kansas City Royals' Kris Bubic in the third inning at New York.

Only Babe Ruth, who had 41 homers before August in 1928, and Roger Maris, who had 40 by the end of July in 1961, previously accomplished the feat for the Yankees.

The record for home runs prior to August is 45, shared by the Oakland Athletics' Mark McGwire (1998) and the San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds (2001).

Bonds was the fastest to the 40-homer mark, getting there in 89 games in 2001. Judge was playing in the Yankees' 101 first game of the season.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Cleveland Guardians at Kansas City Royals

Royals activate star C Salvador Perez from IL

July 29, 2022, 11:20 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Royals activated star catcher Salvador Perez from the injured list prior to Friday night's game against the New York Yankees.

Perez is batting third and serving as the designated hitter on Friday at Yankee Stadium.

Perez last played June 21 and underwent surgery on his left thumb on June 24. His initially recovery projection was eight weeks but he beat that timetable by three weeks.

"At that point, I think we take whatever we think our preconceived idea was of how long it should take and throw it out the window," Kansas City manager Mike Matheny told reporters prior to Friday's game.

Perez, a seven-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove winner, is the face of the franchise.

Perez, 32, reached the majors with Kansas City in 2011. He was World Series MVP in 2015 when the Royals beat the New York Mets to win the crown.

"He's the heart and soul of our club," Matheny said. "We're really fortunate to have him back.

"We're talking about a guy who controls a clubhouse. We need that from some of your veteran players. Guy who goes about his business how you want to be emulated from everybody. Also, the fact that he's really good."

Perez tied for the major league lead with 48 homers in 2021 and led the majors with 121 RBIs. Both were career-best outputs.

But this season, he's hitting .211 with 11 home runs and 34 RBIs in 57 games. He has struck out 65 times and drawn just nine walks.

Kansas City optioned infielder Emmanuel Rivera to Triple-A Omaha in a corresponding move. Rivera, 26, is batting .232 with six homers and 22 RBIs in 63 games with the Royals.

Also, shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. (right hamstring) wasn't in the starting lineup for the fifth straight game. The 22-year-old rookie is batting .258 with 14 homers and 51 RBIs in 91 games.

--Field Level Media

MLB: All Star-Red Carpet Show

Yankees add Andrew Benintendi to active roster

July 28, 2022, 6:31 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees added new acquisition Andrew Benintendi to the active roster Thursday, hours ahead of the opener of a four-game series against his former team, the Kansas City Royals.

It's unclear if Benintendi will make his Yankees debut Thursday night in New York.

The Yankees optioned outfielder Tim Locastro to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to clear room for Benintendi on the 25-man roster.

Benintendi, acquired Wednesday night for three minor league pitching prospects, will wear No. 18 for the Yankees. He wore No. 16 since 2017 but that jersey number, belonging to Whitey Ford, is retired by the Yankees.

Benintendi batted .320 with three homers and 39 RBIs in 93 games for Kansas City this season, and he has an AL-best 34 multi-hit games. When he makes his debut, he likely will appear in left field, where he started 88 times for the Royals in 2022.

Benintendi, 28, flew to New York with the Royals.

Benintendi also agreed to get vaccinated against COVID-19, per reports, something he hadn't done prior to being put on the trade block. There's speculation that the Yankees would not have made the deal otherwise. The Yankees got their entire roster vaxxed in April to meet Canadian requirements to play in Toronto.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox

Reports: Red Sox signing INF/OF Danny Santana

July 28, 2022, 5:13 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox are signing free agent utility player Danny Santana to a minor league contract, multiple outlets reported Thursday.

Santana, 31, was suspended by Major League Baseball for the first 80 games this season for violating the policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

Santana played in 38 games for the Red Sox last season, batting .181 with five home runs and 14 RBIs, starting games at first base, designated hitter, left field and center field.

He is a career .255/.296/.413 hitter with 47 homers, 202 RBIs and 75 stolen bases in 547 games for the Minnesota Twins (2014-17), Atlanta Braves (2017-18), Texas Rangers (2019-20) and Red Sox.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Kansas City Royals

Yankees acquire LF Andrew Benintendi from Royals

July 28, 2022, 3:37 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees, smarting from getting swept by the rival New York Mets, made a move to bolster their lineup Wednesday night.

Outfielder Andrew Benintendi is headed to the Bronx from the Kansas City Royals for three minor league pitchers.

The Royals received right-handers Chandler Champlain and Beck Way and left-hander T.J. Sikkema in return. None of them have played above Class-A in the minors.

Benintendi, 28, made his first All-Star team this year. He is hitting .320 with three homers, 39 RBIs, a .387 on-base percentage and a .398 slugging percentage through 93 games. The Cincinnati native is due to be a free agent after the season.

He figures to take over as the starting left fielder for the Yankees, who have started seven players at that position this year. Joey Gallo, who has made the most starts at that spot, 40, is hitting .161 with 12 homers. Aaron Hicks, who has started in left 30 times, is batting .243 with six homers.

New York center fielder Aaron Judge said of playing next to Benintendi, "I think he's going to fit right in."

Benintendi broke into the majors in 2016 with the Red Sox and was part of Boston's 2018 World Series championship team. He was dealt to the Royals in February 2021, and last year he earned his first Gold Glove.

In 712 career games, Benintendi has a .280/.352/.432 batting line with 71 homers and 372 RBIs.

After losing 6-3 and 3-2 to the Mets this week, the Yankees are 2-5 since the All-Star break and 10-12 in July. It's been a significant dropoff for a club that was on pace to match the record of the legendary 1927 Yankees for much of the season's first half.

Champlain, 23, was a ninth-round draft pick out of the University of Southern California last year. In his first pro season this year, he was 2-5 with a 4.30 ERA in 16 games (15 starts) for Class-A Tampa.

Sikkema, 24, was 1-1 with a 2.48 ERA in 11 games (10 starts) for Class-A Hudson Valley this season.

Way, 22, also pitched for Hudson Valley this year, going 5-5 with a 3.73 ERA in 15 starts.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Cleveland Guardians at Boston Red Sox

Big Papi seed: David Ortiz partners with cannabis company

July 28, 2022, 1:10 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Newly inducted Baseball Hall of Famer David Ortiz is partnering with a cannabis company to release a new line of products.

Rev Brands, a cannabis company based out of Fitchburg, Mass., announced Wednesday that it was teaming up with the former Red Sox slugger to release "Papi Cannabis." The line of products will be available at Rev Clinics and other dispensaries associated with Rev Brands across the state of Massachusetts.

"Cannabis has helped me relax, sleep better, manage stress and heal physically after a lifetime of playing ball," Ortiz said in a statement. "I look forward to sharing Papi Cannabis and my personal journey to help people understand its benefits."

The new line currently features "Sweet Sluggers," which are pre-rolled blunts that are sold individually or in a three-pack. More products are expected to be released soon.

Ortiz, 46, entered the Hall of Fame on Sunday after playing 20 major league seasons, 14 of them the Red Sox. In 2,408 career games, he hit .286 with 541 home runs and 1,768 RBIs. He was a three-time World Series champion and 10-time All-Star.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees

Red Sox star 3B Rafael Devers (hamstring) placed on IL

July 23, 2022, 9:38 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Boston Red Sox All-Star third baseman Rafael Devers was placed on the 10-day injury list on Saturday due to right hamstring inflammation.

Devers was injured during Friday's 28-5 shellacking at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays. Boston was trailing by 22 runs in the fifth inning when Devers felt a pull in the hamstring while batting.

"Well, he says he felt it in the swing," Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters prior to Saturday's game. "If you see him running the bases on the double (in the first inning), he didn't look too good running to first. On the swing (in the fifth), he grabbed it."

Devers, 25, is batting .324 with 22 homers and 55 RBIs in 87 games. He made the American League All-Star team for the second time.

The Red Sox also recalled Jaylin Davis from Triple-A Worcester and moved fellow outfielder Enrique Hernandez (hip) to the 60-day IL.

Davis went 2-for-4 in two games with Boston earlier this season. Overall, the 28-year-old has appeared in 28 big league games -- the other 26 with the San Francisco Giants -- and is batting .179 with two homers and four RBIs.

Hernandez, 30, batted .209 with four homers and 24 RBIs in 51 games prior to going on the IL on June 8.

--Field Level Media