The J.D. Martinez saga is over
Honestly, I think all of us (and I put myself in this group to an extent) have been acting as if this J.D. Martinez saga has been worse than it really was. If he had signed at a more typical point of the offseason and we waited a week for a press conference to be scheduled, it would maybe raise a few eyebrows but it wouldn’t really move the needle too much. With it being spring training and more eyes being on the Red Sox than in December, it became A Thing. Either way, it’s over. There have been multiple reports that the team is planning a press conference for Monday morning, and Joel Sherman heard that it would come at 9 AM.. We still don’t know exactly what the issue was that held up this signing, but we have heard that there is no immediate concern for the injury. We’ve also heard that the terms — five years, $110 million guarantee with two opt-outs — will remain the same, so this isn’t a Mike Napoli situation. I’m sure we’ll get at least some of the answers we’re looking for in this presser.
Michael Chavis out with an oblique injury
Some bad news came out of camp on Sunday, as we learned that top prospect Michael Chavis had been shut down with an oblique injury. The injury occurred on Wednesday while he was working out in the batting cage, and there is no timetable for his return. The good news is that he was reportedly feeling better on Sunday, but he and the team are understandably going to take their time with it. As Chavis himself said, it’s better to get this sorted out now than rush back and take a chance of it coming back and affecting him during the season. The infielder had a breakout 2017, though it’s worth noting that he’s battled plenty of injuries during his professional career and this isn’t a positive addition to that trend.
Rodriguez and Wright expected to miss start of the year
Also coming out on Sunday was that Alex Cora is working under the assumption that both Eduardo Rodriguez and Steven Wright will be out to start the season. That the former will be out on Opening Day is no surprise and something we’ve been prepared for since the start of the offseason. Wright, however, was expected to handle the fifth spot in the rotation but it seems his knee still hasn’t fully recovered from last year’s injury. Now, there is a battle going on for the fifth spot to open the season. Brian Johnson is the favorite if for no other reason than being out of minor-league options, tough a bad spring from him and/or a good camp from Hector Velazquez or Roenis Elias could change things. Of course, Johnson is off to a strong start early on this spring. It should also be mentioned that Wright was far from a guarantee to produce as it is, so this may not be a huge loss. That being said, don’t be surprised if the team brings in another veteran to add to the competition on a minor-league deal.
Ben Taylor claimed off waivers by the Indians
In order to make room for Eduardo Nuñez on the 40-man roster, the Red Sox made the somewhat surprising decision to designate Ben Taylor for assignment, and reports indicated that they expected him to be claimed. Well, that expectation came true on Sunday as their American League rivals in Cleveland added him to their roster. Taylor is not a future closer, but he is a solid contributor to a major-league bullpen who has minor-league options remaining and has shown the ability to toss multiple innings when needed. He’s also going to the new home of 2017 pitching coach Carl Willis, so there is some familiarity baked in between him and his new coaching staff. The good news for Boston is that they still have plenty of right-handed bullpen depth who fit the middle relief profile that Taylor possesses.