Beltre allegedly turned down richer offers to come to Boston

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Thumbnail image for Adrian Beltre headshot.jpgIt’s probably rather galling to the rest of baseball that, in addition to being able to outbid just about everyone for any free agent, the Red Sox also get big discounts on guys who simply want to go there. That seems to be the case with Adrian Beltre:

Beltre turned down more money from at least two teams – he had a
four-year offer early in free agency and then a three-year deal for
roughly the same annual value as the deal the Red Sox offered – but he
chose Boston with an eye on having a big year for a contender and then
hitting the market again next year.

Take all of this with the usual grain of Boras salt, of course. Yes, it’s possible that Beltre had other more lucrative offers but took Boston’s because he wanted to win and wanted to make a splash on the big stage and re-enter free agency next year.

It’s also possible, however, there weren’t any other fabulous offers — at least not concrete ones — and this is spin created by Boras to camouflage the fact that he misread the market for his client and ended up having to come way, way down in money and years simply to find a job.

In other words, one man’s “opt-out” opportunity is another man’s “make good” deal. And unless we ever get confirmation of the other offers, we really don’t have any way of knowing which it truly was.

Steven Matz to skip next spring training start with elbow issues

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Mets’ left-hander Steven Matz will miss his Grapefruit League appearance on Monday after experiencing soreness in his left elbow, according to a report by Mike Puma of the New York Post. Matz reportedly first felt discomfort in his elbow on Wednesday after pitching four innings against the Marlins, but a medical evaluation revealed no structural damage.

Still, it’s unsettling news for the 25-year-old, who is coming off of an injury-riddled 2016 season. Matz pitched to a 3.40 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 during his sophomore campaign with the Mets, but his success was hampered by a bevy of shoulder and elbow issues that culminated in season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow.

Comments from Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson indicated that while the club doesn’t believe anything is significantly wrong with Matz’s elbow this time around, the setback could have an impact on his chances of cracking the Opening Day roster. Until he’s cleared to return to the mound, the club is expected to take a longer look at rotation candidates Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.