Don’t expect Red Sox to trade Daniel Nava despite playoff benchings

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Daniel Nava spent most of the playoffs on the bench as the Red Sox chose to play Jonny Gomes over him against righties and lefties, but Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that Boston will be “stiff-arming any sort of trade proposal” for Nava this offseason.

General manager Ben Cherington told Bradford that Nava “is a popular guy in baseball” after hitting .303 with an .831 OPS in his first full season at age 30. He’s set to make the minimum salary in 2014 and is under team control through 2017.

Bradford wrote a lengthy piece about why Nava is so important to the Red Sox and how his presence allows them to have flexibility with their potential moves this offseason, although the whole thing is slightly confusing within the context of his playoff benchings. Either way though, don’t expect the Red Sox to shop him around.

Watch: Shohei Ohtani strikes out his first spring training batter

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Sure, spring training games don’t count toward anything “real,” but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy Angels’ star pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani mowing down his first big league competitors.

On Saturday, Ohtani took the mound against the Brewers for his first official outing in an Angels uniform. After allowing a leadoff double to Jonathan Villar, the 23-year-old righty settled down and issued a three-pitch strikeout to Nate Orf, his first of the spring.

It wasn’t the cleanest inning for the right-hander: the Brewers plated their first run on a walk, wild pitch and subsequent throwing error by catcher Martin Maldonado. Ohtani didn’t let things unravel further, however, and induced a pop-up for the second out before catching Brett Phillips looking on a called strike three to end the inning.

While the two-way phenom only lasted another two batters (a Keon Broxton dinger finished him off in the second), he’s already started to look like a formidable presence on the mound. Time will tell whether he can deliver at the plate as well — rumor has it he could feature in the Angels’ lineup as soon as Monday.