Red Sox pursuing Beltre and shopping Lowell

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Earlier this week there was speculation that Boston would be interested in Adrian Beltre if he declined arbitration from Seattle, and now that he’s done so WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford reports that “the Red Sox might be trying to position themselves to make a run” at the free agent third baseman.
In order for Beltre to be a real option the Red Sox would likely first have to find a taker for Mike Lowell, and there are plenty of rumors about his being shopped around Indianapolis. Lowell is a 35-year-old with hip problems and is owed $12 million in 2010, but did hit .290/.337/.474 with 17 homers and 75 RBIs in the 119 games he was healthy enough to play in 2009. They may have to eat a bit of salary to get something done, but the Red Sox should be able to find a new home for Lowell if the Beltre talks get serious.

MLB fines and suspends Yasiel Puig two games for Tuesday’s incident with Giants

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Major League Baseball has announced that Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig has been fined and suspended two games for his role in Tuesday night’s benches-clearing incident with the Giants.

Puig was upset with himself after fouling off a hittable pitch, tossing his bat up and grabbing it angrily. Catcher Nick Hundley didn’t like Puig’s expression of emotion and had a few words for him. Puig didn’t like what Hundley said and the two got into a shoving match before the benches emptied. Puig was able to get past his teammates attempting to restrain him to smack Hundley across the catcher’s mask. MLB’s press release characterizes Puig’s role as having “incited a bench-clearing incident.”

The Dodgers are off Thursday, Puig would be slated to miss Friday and Saturday’s games. However, Puig is appealing his punishment, which means he can continue to play until the matter is settled.

Hundley was fined but did not receive a suspension. If MLB’s press release were accurate, it would have characterized Hundley, not Puig, of inciting Tuesday’s benches-clearing incident. Puig was upset at no one but himself until Hundley inserted himself into the picture. Of course, this is by no means excusing Puig’s behavior as he should have been fined and suspended. But Hundley should have been suspended as well.