Red Sox demote Daniel Nava to the minors

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Daniel Nava was one of the Red Sox’s best hitters last season, batting .303 with 12 homers, a .385 on-base percentage, and an .831 OPS in 134 games, but he’s off to a 10-for-67 (.149) start this year and Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports that Boston has decided to demote him back to Triple-A.

Boston benched Nava regularly throughout the playoffs in favor of Jonny Gomes, so it’s perhaps not a huge shock that they’re unwilling to give him a longer leash now. Still, at age 31 and coming off a very good season as a lineup regular the move to the minors is definitely a surprise.

Shane Victorino being on the verge of returning from the disabled list allows the Red Sox to make a change in the outfield, where they’ll presumably go with Victorino, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Grady Sizemore as the regulars and use Gomes versus left-handed pitching. And it seems likely that a few teams will give the Red Sox a call to see if Nava is available in trade.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.