Schilling: the Sox should sign Josh Beckett now

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Curt Schilling, arguing that the Red Sox should sign Josh Beckett to a contract extension right now:

Here’s why, barring some freakish medical issue which I assume he
doesn’t have or there would be bigger problems, you sign Josh now. The one worry, other than health, you have when signing ANY player
to a long term contract is the player themselves. Are they going to
keep grinding, working, wanting it?

That’s where this becomes a no brainer. I know Josh as well as
anyone knows Josh. There is not a sliver of a chance that you get
anything less than his total focus, concentration and effort for every
day he’s under contract, no matter who that is with.

Schilling-the-blogger is most associated with the Red Sox. I’m guessing a good 80% or more of his readers are Sox fans.  I’m guessing a good 80% of them know that the Red Sox front office under Theo Epstein doesn’t give a diddly durn about how bad someone wants it. Dave Roberts wanted it bad and worked hard. Nomar wanted it bad and worked hard. So did Pedro. So did Jason Bay. And the front office cut the cord on those dudes because they make a point of signing guys who not only work hard, but who play well, stay healthy and who won’t cost radically more than the Red Sox think they can be expected to be worth over the course of the deal.

If Beckett wants Lackey money or better, the Sox will probably let him walk. If he’ll take something shorter or cheaper-per-year and he has a good season in 2010, he’ll stay.  It’s pretty simple really.  It doesn’t matter how hard Beckett works. It doesn’t matter how bad he wants to win.  It ain’t personal. It’s just business.

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.

David Price’s season debut could be pushed back to May

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David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.

Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.

The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.