Report: Red Sox plan to fire Bobby Valentine immediately after season

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UPDATE: Looks like today’s headline-creating comments might be Valentine’s last as a Red Sox employee. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that “upper management intends to remove Valentine as manager soon after the season ends.”

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Bobby Valentine appeared on local radio in Boston this afternoon, which means Bobby Valentine said something that made headlines this afternoon. That’s just how it works at this point.

This time what happened is that WEEI host Glenn Ordway asked Valentine if his coaching staff has been loyal to him this season and the manager replied simply: “No.”

Ordway then asked if the coaching staff has tried to undermine him, to which Valentine said: “Yes.”

And then he went on to say:

I had to work through it all. Just another thing that’s part and parcel with the job. Work though it and try to make it better. That’s my job to make it all better, make it all functional.

“That’s my job to make it all better, make it all functional” coming from Bobby Valentine is maybe the funniest thing anyone has ever said.

Valentine later revealed that he’d like to make “some” changes to the coaching staff. If the Red Sox don’t fire him, of course.

Report: Yankees acquire James Paxton from the Mariners

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Yankees have acquired starter James Paxton from the Mariners. Corey Brock of The Athletic reports that the Mariners will be receiving three prospects from the Yankees: pitcher Justus Sheffield, outfielder Dom Thompson-Williams, and pitcher Erik Swanson.

Paxton, 30, has been among the game’s better starters over the past few years. In 2018, he went 11-6 with a 3.76 ERA and a 208/42 K/BB ratio in 160 1/3 innings. The lefty has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining after earning $4.9 million this past season.

Sheffield, 22, is the headliner in the Mariners’ return. He made his major league debut in September for the Yankees, pitching 2 2/3 innings across three appearances. Two of those appearances were scoreless; in the third, he gave up a three-run home run to J.D. Martinez, certainly not an uncommon result among pitchers. MLB Pipeline rates Sheffield as the Yankees’ No. 1 prospect and No. 31 overall in baseball.

Thompson-Williams, 23, was selected by the Yankees in the fifth round of the 2016 draft. This past season, between Single-A Charleston and High-A Tampa, he hit .299/.363/.546 with 22 home runs, 74 RBI, 63 runs scored, and 20 stolen bases in 415 plate appearances. He was not among the Yankees’ top-30 prospects, per MLB Pipeline.

Swanson, 25, was selected by the Yankees in the eighth round of the 2014 draft. He spent most of his 2018 campaign between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Overall, he posted a 2.66 ERA with a 139/29 K/BB ratio in 121 2/3 innings. MLB Pipeline rated him No. 22 in the Yankees’ system.

This trade comes as no surprise as the Yankees clearly wanted to upgrade the starting rotation and the Mariners seemed motivated to trade Paxton this offseason. To the Mariners’ credit, they got a good return for Paxton, as Sheffield likely becomes the organization’s No. 1 prospect. The only worry about this trade for the Yankees is how Paxton will fare in the more hitter-friendly confines of Yankee Stadium compared to the spacious Safeco Field. The Yankees are likely not done adding, however. Expect even more new faces before the start of spring training.