Bobby Valentine: Red Sox not ‘best team ever assembled’

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Is Bobby V playing the “nobody believes in us” card already?

Asked about the lower expectations for the Red Sox entering 2012, Bobby Valentine said, “(We’re) not the ‘best team ever assembled’ this year. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. I know that, over history, that’s been good for some and bad some for some.”

“It’s just what it is.”

Valentine said he has “great expectations” and that he sees the Red Sox making the playoffs. It’s a reasonable expectation, though with two rotation spots still up for grabs and question marks at shortstop and in the outfield, the Red Sox are less settled than they have been in several years.

Twins sign Michael Pineda to a two-year deal

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The Twins just announced that they have signed pitcher Michael Pineda to a two-year contract.

Pineda, 28, has a 4.05 career ERA and has struck out 9.1 batters per nine innings over 680 career major league innings.

Pineda underwent Tommy John surgery this past July, so the Twins are buying a 2018 filled mostly with rehab and a pitcher for 2019. As such, the deal is probably not too taxing financially, but could pay off pretty well for them if Pineda comes back strong.