Pedroia seeks second opinion on foot; talks to Michael Jordan for advice

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Seeking a second opinion on Dustin Pedroia’s sore left foot, the Red Sox sent scans to Dr. Jonathan Deland and Dr. Robert Anderson, according Quinn Roberts of MLB.com.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona said that the team expected feedback either Tuesday or Wednesday, so we should hear an update on his status relatively quickly. This afternoon, Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com reported that surgery for Pedroia remains a possibility.

Looking to ease his second baseman’s mind, Francona even dialed up his old pal Michael Jordan, who he managed with the Birmingham Barons in 1994. Jordan also broke the navicular bone in his left foot while playing with the Bulls during the 1985-1986 season.

Francona described the nature of the conversation during an appearance on the Dale & Holley show on WEEI in Boston this morning.

“I don’t call Michael very much just because I know how much people bug
him. But because of Pedey, I knew that Michael would enjoy talking to
him, and he did. He was almost fatherly in his advice. He was like, “I
went through this, it’s tough, you got to listen.” Pedey was all ears
and that was good. When guys like Michael Jordan talk, people are apt to
listen more.”

Speaking of Jordan, I wasn’t able to watch the latest “30 for 30” documentary about his time with the Barons — too busy with baseball coverage both here and on Rotoworld last night — but I’m very interested to do so. 

Jason Kipnis could join Team Israel for 2017 World Baseball Classic

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians throws during batting practice prior to Game Seven of the 2016 World Series against the Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.

For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.

Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.

Rangers to sign James Loney to minor league deal

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 21: James Loney #28 of the New York Mets tosses to first base against the San Francisco Giants during the second inning at AT&T Park on August 21, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  The New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.

Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.

The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.