BoSox talk Holliday, Beltre with Boras

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adrian beltre.jpgThe Red Sox have discussed Matt Holliday, Adrian Beltre, Mike Gonzalez and Rick Ankiel with agent Scott Boras, the Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman reports.
There are no big surprises in the list. Holliday may well have taken over as Boston’s top priority following Jason Bay’s decision to reject a four-year, $60 million offer. That’s not to say that Bay is being ruled out, but the Red Sox could essentially exchange the two and actually pick up a draft pick in the process.
My guess is that the Red Sox would target Beltre, rather than Chone Figgins, to take over at third base in the event of a Mike Lowell deal. Lowell, though, will be very difficult to move.
Gonzalez is another long shot, as teams figure to inquire about him as a closer. The Red Sox might be willing to offer him $5 million per year as a setup man, but that probably won’t get the job done.
Ankiel would have made more sense for the Red Sox before the Jeremy Hermida acquisition. Both are left-handed-hitting outfielders with considerable upside. However, it’s doubtful that the Red Sox would be willing to pencil in either as a regular.

Check out Minute Maid Park without Tal’s Hill

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During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.

We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:

And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:

The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.

Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.

Jhoulys Chacin will start Opening Day for the Padres

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Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.

Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.

Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.