Not everyone thrilled with Boston's pitching depth

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It’s a wonderful problem to have when you’re blessed with too much
pitching. In fact, you could argue that it’s no problem at all. That
it’s impossible to be blessed with too many competent hurlers. The
Boston Red Sox are testing that theory.

The Red Sox already have a rotation consisting of Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Brad Penny and Tim Wakefield.

And on top of that, John Smoltz is set to come off the disabled list
soon. Smoltz reportedly offered to take a bullpen role, but management
is having none of that. They certainly don’t need a closer, and view
Smoltz as a valuable postseason asset as a starter.

Clay Buchholz is getting restless in Pawtucket

So what should Boston do? Tony Massarotti does a great job breaking down the likeliest possibilities, ranging from putting Dice-K on the DL (seems like a good idea), to moving to a six-man rotation (unlikely).

While Theo Epstein and Terry Francona decide what to do, they might
be interested to hear what Clay Buchholz has to say about the matter.

Buchholz apparently is getting tired of dominating Triple-A hitters at
Pawtucket, and while he stopped short of demanding a trade, he’s
starting to sound a little restless.

“Whenever they come to a problem they seem like they find a way to
fix it without me being in the picture. It is what it is. It’s
frustrating at times but I’m going out every fifth day here, trying to
help this team win and trying to get better every day I go out. …

“I want to be in the big leagues and I do want to go somewhere where I’ll be able to play and pitch every fifth day.”

Buchholz has a case, as does his teammate Michael Bowden. If not 100
percent major-league ready, the pair are certainly running out of
things to accomplish in the minors. Their numbers at Pawtucket:

  • Buchholz: 4-0, 1.75 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 15 walks and 59 strikeouts in 67 innings.
  • Bowden: 3-3, 2.48 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 22 walks and 42 strikeouts in 65 1/3 innings.

    In contrast to Buchholz, Bowden sounds content for now to remain lost in the logjam.

    “I’d rather stay in the minors an extra year or so to play for Boston, to play in Boston at Fenway with that group of guys.”

    I wonder how long Bowden will keep singing that tune.

  • Angels sign outfielder Rafael Ortega to one-year contract

    Rafael Ortega
    AP Photo/John Bazemore
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    According to the official Twitter account of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the club has agreed to terms on a one-year major league contract with outfielder Rafael Ortega.

    It’s worth the MLB minimum, which should be a little north of $507,000 in 2016.

    Ortega was once considered a top prospect in the Rockies’ minor league system, but he has made only six total plate appearances at the big league level since signing out of Venezuela in 2008. The 24-year-old batted .286/.367/.378 with two home runs and 17 stolen bases in 131 games this past season for the Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate in Memphis.

    He’ll be in the running for an Opening Day roster spot next spring in Angels camp.

    Report: Ben Zobrist’s price tag is currently four years, $60 million

    Ben Zobrist
    AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

    Ben Zobrist will turn 35 years old early next summer, but that doesn’t seem to be putting too much of a dent in his free agent value.

    According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the “sense among interested teams” is that Zobrist’s price is currently hovering around four years, $60 million and it “may go higher.”

    There was a report from FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal on Sunday stating that the Mets have made Zobrist their “No. 1” offseason target, and over a dozen other clubs have linked to him since the World Series ended. That’s the kind of attention you command when you can both hit — Zobrist posted an .809 OPS (120 OPS+) in 2015 — and also cover a range of positions defensively.

    He makes sense for just about any club looking to contend in the coming seasons.

    Wilin Rosario elects to become free agent

    Wilin Rosario
    AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi
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    Wilin Rosario was designated for assignment by the Rockies late last month. Now, according to Thomas Harding of, the 26-year-old former National League Rookie of the Year vote-getter has elected to become a free agent.

    Rosario is a bad defensive catcher and wasn’t much better when the Rockies tried him at first base, but he should draw some interest from American League teams looking for a bench bat and part-time DH.

    Rosario slugged 28 home runs for the Rockies in 2012 and he’s averaged 26 home runs for every 162 games over the course of his five-year major league career.

    He boasts a .319/.356/.604 career batting line against left-handed pitching.

    Orioles acquire Mark Trumbo from Mariners for Steve Clevenger

    Mark Trumbo
    AP Photo/Joe Nicholson

    As first reported by Bob Dutton of the Tacoma Tribune and now confirmed by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Mariners have traded first baseman and corner outfielder Mark Trumbo to the Orioles in exchange for catcher and first baseman Steve Clevenger. There is also a second player headed to Baltimore in the deal.

    This feels like an admission from the O’s that they’re not going to be able to re-sign Chris Davis, who is said to be looking for more than $150 million in free agency.

    Clevenger was out of options and the Orioles have both Matt Wieters and Caleb Joseph coming back at the catcher position. Wieters was due to become a free agent but accepted a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from Baltimore last month.

    Trumbo has always been a low-OBP guy and he rates as a poor defender everywhere he has played, but the 29-year-old has averaged 31 homers and 96 RBI for every 162 games in his six-year major league career. Camden Yards is a much better place than Safeco Field for him to show that power.