Report: Stephen Drew “will not return to the Red Sox”

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Boston manager John Farrell has made it clear that he’d like Stephen Drew back, but Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston reports that the free agent shortstop “will not return to the Red Sox” because he has several bigger multi-year offers from other teams.

Drew made $9.5 million this year while hitting .253 with 13 homers and a .777 OPS in 124 games and then rejected the Red Sox’s one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer. If he signs elsewhere Boston will get draft pick compensation and could turn to 21-year-old rookie Xander Bogaerts as the new starting shortstop.

Report: MLB likely to unilaterally implement pace of play changes

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.

Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”

The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.

It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.