Red Sox land outfielder Hermida in deal with Marlins

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hermida.jpgThe Red Sox acquired disappointing outfielder Jeremy Hermida in a three-player deal with the Marlins on Thursday, surrendering left-handers Hunter Jones and Jose Alvarez in the bargain.
Hermida was hardly an obvious fit for the Red Sox, given his left-handedness and the presence of J.D. Drew and Jacoby Ellsbury ahead of him in the outfield. Still, GM Theo Epstein’s philosophy is to keep bringing in talent and to worry about making it work later. Hermida hit a modest .259/.348/.392 in his age-25 season, and it was clear that the Marlins were done with him. The Red Sox, though, saw a former elite prospect with very good plate discipline who is only now reaching his prime years and snapped him up.
At the moment, Hermida tops Boston’s depth chart in left field, in the event that Jason Bay leaves as a free agent. He’ll most likely enter the year as a part-timer, and we wouldn’t rule out the possibility of him being traded elsewhere later.
The price was modest. Jones, 25, is a fringe reliever who gave up 13 runs in 12 2/3 innings in the majors this season. He has impressed enough against lefties in the minors to give some reason for optimism that he’ll be useful in a limited role. Alvarez is just 20, and he managed a 1.52 ERA in 12 starts and two relief appearances in the short-season New York-Penn League last season. However, that was after he failed as a starter in the Sally League in 2008. Neither lefty ranked among Boston’s 10-best pitching prospects.

Athletics and Mariners to begin the 2019 regular season in Tokyo

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Oakland A’s and the Seattle Mariners will begin the 2019 regular season in Japan, in the Tokyo Dome.

The series will mark the third time that the A’s will begin their season in Japan, first doing it in 2008 against the Red Sox and then again in 2012 against the Mariners.

This is just the latest of Major League Baseball’s moves to expand the the game internationally. In addition to those previous series in Japan, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks opened their season in Australia in 2014 and the Dodgers and Padres will play a series in Mexico City this May. There has likewise been talk of the Mets playing a series in London, though those details have not yet been worked out. Obviously the World Baseball Classic represents the league’s effort to broaden the global scope of the once national pastime.

Get ready for early morning baseball, folks.