David Ortiz had Bobby V’s back

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One of the more notable early season memes/impressions/whatever has been this idea that Bobby Valentine is not particularly well-liked in the Boston Red Sox clubhouse. Some of it was based on some legitimate comments or events, a lot of it was based on our assumptions of what Valentine is like and how he may or may not mesh with a veteran team.

But there is a suggestion that if there was ever anything to the notion of Valentine angst, it’s changing. In the course of Joe McDonald’s story of the Red Sox’ turnaround (news flash: people feel better when they’re winning) we hear that David Ortiz called that now-famous team meeting specifically because Bobby V. was gettin’ beat up:

“I was feeling really bad about Bobby the way things were going and it was because I can see the frustration on his face … I saw his frustrations and I felt like [expletive],” added Ortiz.

Boston drama can be and quite often is overstated. But I don’t think that, in light of the departure of the well-loved Terry Francona, this sort of thing is insignificant.

(thanks to big leagues for the heads up)

Cubs sign Drew Smyly to a two-year, $10 million contract

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday evening that the club signed pitcher Drew Smyly to a two-year contract. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports the contract is for $10 million total and allows Smyly to earn another $7 million with performance bonuses. Smyly was non-tendered by the Mariners at the beginning of the month and became a free agent.

Smyly, 28, underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery in late June. He’s expected to miss, at minimum, the first half of the 2018 season. The Cubs are hoping he can contribute to a playoff push in the latter half of the season as well as in 2019.

Smyly didn’t pitch at all in 2017. When he was healthy the season prior, he made 30 starts for the Rays and put up a 4.88 ERA and a 167/49 K/BB ratio in 175 1/3 innings.