UPDATE: Peter Abraham of the Globe just spoke to John Henry and he shot the Fox report down in no uncertain terms:
“A sale of any kind is so far from our thinking it hasn’t even come up apart from technical planning issues involving death or disability. This report is completely without foundation.
“Regarding unnamed sources: Any sale discussions that may have taken place were missing three key people — Larry (Lucchino), Tom (Werner) and me. The Sox and any of the other components of FSG are not for sale and will not be for the foreseeable future.”
Makes one wonder what the Fox report was based on. Maybe that estate planning stuff? Some hypothetical market research? God knows that in a day and age when the Dodgers sell for $2 billion that one might want to figure out what your team could bring you in a sale.
But yeah, that’s a pretty stark refutation.
11:33 AM: Earlier this year John Henry flatly denied rumors that he and his partners were looking to sell the Red Sox. Now this, from Fox Business Network:
The owners of the Boston Red Sox are mulling a potential sale of the storied baseball franchise, and have even begun quietly shopping the team to potential buyers, the FOX Business Network has learned.
It’s still a shopping, not a final decision to sell, FOX reports. And it has a lot to do about Fenway Sports Group’s desire and/or ability to run both the Sox and Liverpool FC, it’s English Premier League team. Both of which, by the way, have seen significant cost reductions and the dealing of players lately.
Harbinger of a sale, or just a business assessing its current position in light of recent setbacks?
Colby Rasmus isn’t ready to take outfield reps just yet. According to Rays’ manager Kevin Cash, that’s a red flag, one that could potentially postpone Rasmus’ debut as the club’s designated hitter and outfielder in 2017. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Rasmus will need to prove he can play a defensive position before getting cleared for the active roster, something which the veteran outfielder has yet to do this spring.
Rasmus, 30, signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Rays following his two-year run with the Astros. He batted a meager .206/.286/.355 with 15 home runs and a .641 OPS in 2016 and was shut down in late September with an unspecified hip/groin issue. Entering the 2017 season, he’s expected to work his way back to a full-time role after undergoing surgery to repair his core muscle and left hip labrum last October.
The Rays also finalized their one-year, $1.2 million deal with catcher Derek Norris on Saturday and will need to clear room for him on the 40-man roster. Topkin speculates that the move could send Rasmus to the 60-day disabled list, though the outfielder is not projected to miss more than a couple weeks of the regular season.
The Rangers have reportedly agreed to a six-year, $49.5 million extension for second baseman Rougned Odor, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports and Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The extension comes with a club option for a seventh year, Heyman adds.
It’s close to the six-year, $52.5 million extension Jason Kipnis netted with the Indians in 2014, a sum Odor was rumored to be seeking during contract negotiations over the last two years. Granted, the circumstances are a little different this time around. Both players signed extensions on the cusp of their fourth year in the major leagues, but at 27 years old, Kipnis was coming off of an All-Star campaign and a career-high 4.5 fWAR performance. Odor, meanwhile, saw mixed results in 2016, batting 33 home runs and putting up 2.0 fWAR while struggling to stay consistent at the plate and exhibiting poor defense.
According to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, Odor previously agreed to a $563,180 salary for 2017. Depending on when the extension kicks in, it should cover all three of Odor’s arbitration-eligible seasons and two seasons of potential free agency. The team has yet to confirm the extension.