UPDATE: Now it sounds as if the deal is in place:
8:15 AM: There are some reports circulating that Sandoval’s agent is denying that a deal is in place. With the caveat that I literally cannot remember the last time that Jon Heyman whiffed on transaction news, we will keep you updated on this.
7:46 AM: Big day for the Sox. On the same day they are expected to officially announce a deal with Hanley Ramirez, Jon Heyman reports that the Red Sox have reached an agreement with Pablo Sandoval for five years and close to $100 million.
Sandoval had offers from both the Giants and the Padres as well, but going back to last week it seemed like Boston was his top choice.
With Sandoval and Ramirez in the fold, there is clearly a bit of a logjam in the Red Sox’ lineup. We discussed how that might be resolved earlier this morning. Short version: figure Sandoval at third base, Ramirez in left field and a trade of one or more of the Red Sox’ outfielders and/or third baseman Will Middlebrooks, most likely in an effort to address the starting pitching situation.
Today the Angels introduced their newest big star, Anthony Rendon, who just signed a seven-year, $245 million contract to play in Orange County.
And it is Orange County, not Los Angeles, Rendon stressed at the press conference. When asked about the Dodgers, who had also been reported to be courting him, Rendon said he preferred the Angels because, “the Hollywood lifestyle . . . didn’t seem like it would be a fit for us as a family.”
What “the Hollywood Lifestyle” means in that context could mean a lot of things I suppose. It could be about the greater media scrutiny Dodgers players are under compared to Angels players. It could mean that he’d simply prefer to live in Newport Beach than, I dunno, wherever Dodgers players live. Pasadena? Pasadena is more convenient to Dodger Stadium than the beach. Who knows. They never did let Yasiel Puig get that helicopter he wanted, so traffic could’ve been a consideration.
But maybe it’s a subtle allusion to political/cultural stuff. Orange County has trended to the left in some recent elections but it is, historically speaking, a conservative stronghold in Southern California. And, based on something else he said in his press conference, Rendon seems to be pretty conscious of geographical/political matters:
A shoutout to the notion of Texas being Trump country and an askance glance at “the Hollywood Lifestyle” of Los Angeles all in the same press conference. That’s a lot of culture war ground covered in one press conference. So much so that I can’t decide if I should warn Rendon that both Texas and Orange County are trending leftward or if I should tell him to stick to sports.