FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal has the scoop …
Ian Kennedy posted a cool 3.63 ERA and 207 strikeouts in 201 innings this past season for San Diego, but he is due to become a free agent next winter. The Red Sox either want a pitcher who’s a little more dominant or one who carries a few more years of contractual control.
Cespedes is also entering a contract year and it’s a little weird the Padres — who went 77-85 in 2014 — would be willing to part with such a good trade chip in Kennedy for a player who might not be around very long. But the Pads have been linked to a wide range of players on the market this winter, so maybe they’re really going for it in 2015 under new general manager A.J. Preller. San Diego has pitching. And a desperate need for offense.
Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.
The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.
The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.
In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.