Red Sox owner John Henry admitted back in October that he was “personally opposed” to signing Carl Crawford, but then-general manager Theo Epstein and the rest of the front office talked him into approving the seven-year, $142 million contract.
I’m guessing Henry wouldn’t have been so open with those thoughts if Crawford hadn’t struggled in his first season with the Red Sox, but whatever the case Crawford told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe that he wasn’t thrilled to hear that the owner of his team never wanted him in the first place:
I can’t do nothing about what he said … just go out and play. It was unfortunate he feels that way. It’s nothing for me to say to him. I wasn’t happy about it. I was a little surprised to hear the comments but you know it’s unfortunate he feels that way. Wish those words hadn’t came out.
Crawford went on to say that he’d meet with Henry if the owner wanted, but didn’t think it was necessary. You know, just in case you thought all the drama left with Epstein and Terry Francona.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.
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.