Red Sox president Larry Lucchino “disappointed” in failure to sign Jon Lester

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Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said of his team’s failure to sign then-free agent Jon Lester, “we’re disappointed” and “certainly have regrets”, reports John Tomase of the Boston Herald. Lester inked a six-year, $155 million contract with the Cubs earlier this week. The Red Sox had gone as high as $135 million over six years, which is two more years and $65 million more than they had offered Lester back in March.

“If he would have accepted [the $135 million offer], we’d have been very pleased,” Lucchino said.

Once Lester was off the market, the Red Sox signed Justin Masterson to a one-year deal worth $9.5 million, acquired Wade Miley in a trade with the Diamondbacks, and traded with the Tigers for Rick Porcello. As a result, the starting rotation is now set, but the Red Sox could still make an upgrade by moving a pitcher. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports suggests that Phillies ace Cole Hamels would still be a target if they can move Joe Kelly in such a deal.

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.