Padres pick up club options on manager Bud Black for 2014 and 2015

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Bud Black won’t have to hear the words “lame duck” anytime soon. The Padres announced this evening that they have picked up the club options on his contract for both 2014 and 2015.

Here’s a statement from general manager Josh Byrnes:

“Buddy has a keen insight into team dynamics and creates a great environment for the players and coaching staff,” said Byrnes.  “He is a gifted leader with a terrific mind for the game and a genuine interest and curiosity related to all areas of our organization.”

Black took over as Padres manager prior to the 2007 season after Bruce Bochy was hired by the Giants. He has a 464-509 (.477) record during his tenure with the club, including winning seasons in 2007 and 2010.  While the Padres were 76-86 this year, Black’s club finished on a high note by going 42-33 after the All-Star break.

Nathan Eovaldi likely to be activated this weekend

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Red Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi is likely to be activated from the 10-day injured list this weekend and will join the bullpen, per Justin Leger of NBC Sports Boston.

Eovaldi, 29, had a superb postseason showing with the Red Sox last year, including a six-inning relief appearance in Game 3 of the World Series. That propelled him to ink a four-year, $68 million contract with the Red Sox in December.

Eovaldi underwent athroscopic surgery in April to remove loose bodies in his elbow and has been out ever since. He had allowed 14 earned runs on 21 hits and 11 walks with 16 strikeouts in 21 innings prior to going on the IL.

The Red Sox bullpen has been middling at best this season, owning a composite 4.55 ERA. Six different relievers have accrued saves, none more than Ryan Brasier‘s seven and he was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket earlier this week. It’s quite possible Eovaldi finds himself closing out games down the stretch.