The Red Sox have their sights set on Pablo Sandoval

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Jon Heyman says that the Red Sox have their eye upgrading third base:

The Red Sox, in need of third base production, are prioritizing Giants postseason hero Pablo Sandoval as well as Chase Headley, according to people in the know. Boston may also take a look at Aramis Ramirez, if he become a free agent, though he is said to fit below Sandoval and Headley. Ramirez is believed to prefer a return to Milwaukee.

It makes sense that they’d want to upgrade third base given the woeful production they got at the hot corner in 2014. Indeed, Sox third basemen hit a combined .211/.271/.308 this year. Not gonna get it done.

That said, you have to think the Yankees are going to want to hang on to Headley if they can because it’s not like anyone with a brain would count on A-Rod being healthy and effective and durable next year. As for Sandoval, his postseason heroics have been nice, but he’s probably going to be overpaid no matter where goes and, of course, will likely have draft pick compensation attached to him by virtue of the Giants giving him a qualifying offer.

Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name

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The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan report that Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name as recently as December. The fake name is Mason Saunders. Bumgarner explains that “Mason” is shortened from “Madison,” while “Saunders” is his wife’s maiden name.

Bumgarner — err, Saunders — and one of his rodeo partners, Jaxson Tucker, won $26,560 in a team-roping rodeo competition in December. The Rancho Rio Arena posted a picture of the pair on Facebook, highlighting that they roped four steers in 31.36 seconds.

As Baggarly and Buchanan point out, Bumgarner also pointed out in a rodeo competition last March, just a couple days before pitching in a Cactus League game versus the Athletics, back when he was still with the Giants.

Bumgarner suffered bruised ribs and a left shoulder AC sprain in 2017 when he got into a dirt bike accident. Given that, Bumgarner’s latest extracurricular activity does raise a concern for the Diamondbacks, who inked him to a five-year, $85 million contract two months ago. Baggarly and Buchanan asked Bumgarner about such a concern. Bumgarner referred them to the club’s managing partner Ken Kendrick. Kendrick directed them to GM Mike Hazen. Hazen declined speaking about “specific contract language.” For what it’s worth, Bumgarner says he primarily uses his right hand to rope.

The jig is up on Bumgarner’s hobby. He jokingly said to The Athletic’s pair, “I’m nervous about this interview right now.” He added, “I’m upset with both you two.”