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Red Sox hire manager John Farrell away from the Blue Jays, send Mike Aviles to Toronto

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From Sean McAdam of CSN New England comes word that the Red Sox have hired current Blue Jays skipper John Farrell to be their next manager.

Farrell has already worked out a contract with Boston that will run through 2015. Compensation for Toronto will be announced in the next couple days.

The Red Sox interviewed Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus, Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach, Yankees bench coach Tony Pena and Orioles third base coach DeMarlo Hale. But it was pretty clear from the start that their sights were set on Farrell, who served as Boston’s pitching coach from 2007-2010.

Farrell had a 154-170 managerial record in his two years with the Jays.

The Red Sox likely had to give up a decent prospect (or two) to get the deal completed. One wonders how smart it is for an organization in a sort of rebuilding mode to dip into its farm system in this fashion.

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UPDATE, 11:51 PM: According to FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi, the compensation involves two players switching clubs. No names yet, but Morosi hears the Blue Jays are getting a major leaguer.

UPDATE, 12:06 AM: Morosi says the Jays will be getting an infielder, but not Will Middlebrooks.

UPDATE, 12:12 AM: WEEI.com reports that the Blue Jays are receiving middle infielder Mike Aviles, who batted .250/.282/.381 with 13 home runs, 14 stolen bases and 60 RBI in 136 games this past season for the Red Sox. Toronto will send a player to be named or cash to Boston along with Farrell.

UPDATE, 12:21 AM: Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun says Adam Lind may be heading to the Sox.

UPDATE, SUNDAY 8:39 AM: Lind is not involved in the deal, writes Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston.

UPDATE, SUNDAY 2:08 PM: The Red Sox are getting David Carpenter. The swap is complete.

Trevor May joins eSports team Luminosity

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 04: Trevor May #65 of the Minnesota Twins pitches against the Cleveland Indians in the sixth inning at Progressive Field on August 4, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the Twins 9-2.  (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
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When he’s not throwing baseballs, Twins pitcher Trevor May is an active gamer. He streams on Twitch, a very popular video game streaming site, fairly regularly and now he’s officially on an eSports team. Luminosity Gaming announced the organization added May last Friday. It appears he’ll be streaming and commentating on Overwatch, a multiplayer first-person shooter made by Blizzard Entertainment.

May is the only current athlete to be an active member of an eSports team. Former NBA player Rick Fox owns Echo Fox, an eSports team that sports players in games including League of Legends, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Street Fighter V, Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Mortal Kombat X. Jazz forward Gordon Hayward is also a known advocate of eSports.

The NBA in particular has been very active on the eSports front. Kings co-owners Andy Miller and Mark Mastrov launched NRG eSports in November 2015. Shortly thereafter, Grizzlies co-owner Stephen Kaplan invested in the Immortals eSports team. Almost a year later, the 76ers acquired controlling stakes in Team Dignitas and Team Apex. The same month, the Wizards’ and Warriors’ owners launched a group called Axiomatic, which purchased a controlling stake in Team Liquid, a long-time Starcraft: Brood War website which has since branched out into other games. And also in September 2016, Celtics forward Jonas Jerebko bought team Renegades, moving them to a group house in Detroit. In December 2016, the Bucks submitted a deal to Riot Games in order to purchase Cloud9’s Challenger league spot for $2.5 million. The Rockets that month hired someone specifically for eSports development, focusing on strategy and investment. Last month, the Heat acquired a controlling stake in team Misfits.

Once an afterthought, eSports has grown considerably in recent years and now it should be considered a competitor to traditional sports. League of Legends, in particular, is quite popular, reaching nearly 15 million concurrent viewers at its peak in the most recent League of Legends World Championship. That championship featured a prize purse of $6.7 million with $2 million of it being split among winner SK Telecom T1’s members.

Orioles re-sign Michael Bourn to a minor league deal

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 04:  Michael Bourn #1 of the Baltimore Orioles hits a single in the fifth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during the American League Wild Card game at Rogers Centre on October 4, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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The Orioles have re-signed outfielder Michael Bourn to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league camp, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.

Bourn, 34, joined the Orioles last year in a trade from the Diamondbacks on August 31. Though he compiled a meager .669 OPS with the Diamondbacks, Bourn hit a solid .283/.358/.435 in 55 plate appearances with the O’s through the end of the season.

Bourn, a non-roster invitee to camp, will try to play his way onto the Orioles’ 25-man roster. If he does make the roster, Bourn will receive a $2 million salary, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports points out.