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Red Sox demote Drew Pomeranz to bullpen

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The Red Sox have moved struggling starter Drew Pomeranz to the bullpen, NBC Sports Boston reports. Brian Johnson will take Pomeranz’s spot in the rotation and start next week in Philadelphia against the Phillies.

Pomeranz, 29, has a 6.31 ERA with a 44/32 K/BB ratio in 51 1/3 innings this season. The lefty hasn’t been able to make it through five innings in six of his 11 starts. Pomeranz missed some time earlier this season, between June 1 and July 23, with a biceps injury.

Johnson, 27, has worked mostly out of the bullpen this year, but has made eight starts. The fellow lefty owns an aggregate 4.00 ERA with 69 strikeouts and 24 walks in 7 2 innings this season.

Rob Manfred blames Bryce Harper for going unsigned

Bryce Harper
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Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke with the media today. Naturally, he was asked various questions about the landscape of the sport, given that superstars Manny Machado and Bryce Harper remain unsigned as spring training begins. Per The Athletic’s Brittany Ghiroli, Manfred said that he thinks the free agent market will begin to move once spring training exhibition games begin. Manfred also said that Harper’s camp suggesting that he wants $400 million back in 2016 was “an impediment” to discussions throughout the offseason.

No word on why Machado is also as yet unsigned, as he did not have a reported $400 million ask.

Manfred’s job is to look out for ownership, so it’s not surprising to see him point the finger at Harper. Consider:

Manfred’s comment comes just months after the Red Sox won 108 regular season games and the World Series with baseball’s largest payroll. And ongoing evidence that there is indeed a positive correlation between dollars spent and team success. We often hear justification for tanking/rebuilding because the Cubs and Astros did it and won championships because of it. When the Red Sox use financial muscle to win a championship, it’s crickets.

Manfred didn’t stop there, however.

An easy way to get baseball’s “glow” back would be for two of the game’s best and most popular players to be in uniform playing games. The first spring training exhibition game will be played on February 22, so it’s not looking like that’s going to happen anytime soon.

Baseball’s “glow” would also come back if more teams were actively trying to win. Instead, one-third of the league is “rebuilding” or otherwise coasting on revenue-sharing. For fans of the Rangers, Orioles, Royals, and Marlins — to name a few — the outcomes of their favorite teams’ seasons have already been decided, so what is there to get excited about?