Alex Speier of WEEI.com has a good article about Mike Cameron, who was signed to be the Red Sox’s starting center fielder last offseason and is now slated to be their fourth outfielder following an injury wrecked season and the Carl Crawford signing.
General manager Theo Epstein called Cameron before the Crawford deal was official to inform the veteran outfielder he was no longer likely to be a starter, yet a short time later Cameron still called Crawford to welcome him to Boston.
Cameron is under contract for $7.25 million this season, but his agent told Speier that he’s “not angling to leave the Red Sox just for the sake of more playing time elsewhere” and “has not requested a trade.”
Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury, and J.D. Drew are the Red Sox’s projected starters, so right now Cameron’s role would likely be limited to starting in place of Ellsbury or Drew against some left-handed pitchers and stepping into the lineup when injuries hit. That would be a big change for a player who’s been a starting center fielder for the past 14 seasons, but if Cameron is indeed willing to accept a part-time role it would give the Red Sox a great fallback option following a season in which injuries tested the organization’s depth.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.