ESPN’s Scott Lauber reports that the Red Sox have exercised their 2018 option on manager John Farrell. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said that “players played hard for him” and cited the skipper’s “solid presence.”
Farrell, 54, has a 339-309 (.523) record in four seasons at the helm in Boston. He led the Red Sox to a championship in his first season with the club in 2013 and led them back to the playoffs this past season, ultimately swept out of the ALDS by the Indians.
The Red Sox made the deicsion to bring Farrell back for the 2017 season shortly after the team was pushed out of the playoffs in October.
The Rangers are looking for an upgrade in the outfield. As such, the club has discussed speedy center fielder Billy Hamilton with the Reds, per MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan. Sullivan adds that the still-rebuilding Phillies might be willing to trade center fielder Odubel Herrera which would create a match with the Rangers.
Herrera, soon to be 25 years old, was originally signed in the summer of 2008 as an amateur free agent by the Rangers. The Phillies selected him from the Rangers in the Rule-5 draft two winters ago. Herrera had an outstanding rookie campaign in 2015, batting .297/.344/.418 in 537 plate appearances. He was able to maintain that production in 2016, finishing with a .286/.361/.420 triple-slash line with 15 home runs, 49 RBI, 87 runs scored, and 25 stolen bases in 656 PA. Herrera was the Phillies’ lone representative in the All-Star Game.
Herrera has shown the ability to play above-average — though inconsistent — defense. He strikes out a fair amount but showed a massively-improved eye at the plate last season, boosting his walk rate from five percent to nearly 10 percent. What might be most attractive to interested teams, however, is likely the fact that he’s under team control through the 2020 season.
As the free agent market is not particularly robust, teams in need of upgrades may be forced to make trades which works out well for teams like the Phillies.
Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that the Mets will try veteran Jose Reyes in the outfield during spring training ahead of the 2017 season. Reyes, who has been in the majors over parts of 14 seasons, hasn’t logged any time in the outfield as a professional baseball player.
Despite Reyes’ involvement in a domestic violence issue last offseason, the Mets acquired him after the Rockies released him in June, following a 51-game suspension. He hit .267/.326/.443 with 25 extra-base hits, 24 RBI, and 45 runs scored in 279 plate appearances, spending most of his time at third base in place of the injured David Wright.
The Mets’ outfield is set with Yoenis Cespedes and Michael Conforto plus one of Curtis Granderson or Jay Bruce. Reyes and Juan Lagares would serve as backups.