MLB GM Meetings 2018: Previewing what Dave Dombrowski, Boston Red Sox will do at GM Meetings

MLB GM Meetings 2018: Previewing what Dave Dombrowski, Boston Red Sox will do at GM Meetings

MLB rumors: Red Sox bracing for Yankees interest in Nathan Eovaldi

CARLSBAD, Calif. — On the heels of a World Series title, the first priority for the Red Sox this off-season is to attempt to re-sign at least some of their seven free agents. According to president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, the interest in reuniting with those players is mutual.

Dombrowski said Tuesday that all of the Sox free agents (Nathan Eovaldi, Craig Kimbrel, Joe Kelly, Steve Pearce, Ian Kinsler and Drew Pomeranz) have told the team they have interest in returning.

The Red Soxs celebratory Boston tour was a wildly successful one, as each of the teams they visited won. The Bruins did leave it for late on Monday, as Brad Marchand scored a game-winning wrister with 30 seconds left in overtime. That seems fitting with a fireman relief pitcher in the building. 

“We have an abundance of free agents,” Dombrowski said. “We have seven, so theyre in different categories. Some of the guys that wed like to re-sign, they know that. But theyre also free agents. Well continue staying in contact with them and see what happens. They know were interested, but they also want to find out what the market is. All of them have expressed a desire to come back, but only time will tell.”

Joe Kelly terrorizes batters with 100-mph fastballs that make you scratch your head and say, “How?” So, he was the perfect fit to bring the Red Soxs World Series trophy and drop the puck before Mondays Stars-Bruins hockey game.

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Dombrowski has told “most, but not all” of Bostons free agents that they are a priority for the team. In turn, he believes most of the seven will give the Red Sox a chance to match any offer before departing.

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“I think they all will stay in contact with us,” he said. “I think most of them will do that, but if somebody says heres an offer that blows you away and you sign it right now or not, theyll probably sign it.”

The best bet might be catcher Jorge Alfaro, but then again, Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto could be traded this offseason. Realmuto, 27, is arguably the best catcher in baseball. His agent said on MLB Network Radio last week that Realmuto has no interest in a contract extension with the Marlins and that he predicts his client will be traded before Spring Training. Realmuto is eligible to become a free agent following the 2020 season, which means any team that acquires him would have him in their lineup for at least the next two seasons.

Kimbrel and Eovaldi stick out as the top guys the Sox would want to bring back, with Pearce also fitting well into the projected 2019 roster. Kelly and Kinsler are considered less likely.

Boston issued a qualifying offer to Kimbrel, meaning he has the option to return on a one-year, $17.9 million deal instead of testing free agency. Dombrowski expects him to reject that offer, at which point Bostons off-season plan will be “somewhat determined by the pursuit of its closer.

Realmuto sure would look nice in the middle of the Phillies lineup with Hoskins and Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, no? He hit .277 with 21 home runs, 74 RBIs and an .825 OPS last season with Miami. Realmuto is ranked 34th in the Major Leagues in wRC+ (126) and 25th in WAR (4.8) out of 140 qualified players, according to FanGraphs. He has the third-strongest arm among catchers, and he is the fastest-running catcher in the Majors, according to Statcast™.

“He may be calling around seeing what else is out there,” Dombrowski said. “You dont want to be caught by surprise when youre out there pursuing something real strong.”

Dombrowski refused to comment on the extent of Bostons interest in the lefty, who is expected to be posted by the Seibu Lions at some point this winter. He did confirm that Boston has scouted Kikuchi.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has a quick and easy way to change the balance of power with the Red Sox in the American League East: sign free-agent right-hander Nathan Eovaldi.

CARLSBAD, Calif. — The Red Sox have scouted Japanese left-hander Yusei Kikuchi and could be among the teams to pursue him this winter, according to president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski.

The former Yankee was one of Bostons World Series heroes, highlighted by his epic relief performance in Game 3 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, which lasted 18 innings.

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According to the Boston Globes Nick Cafardo, the Red Sox are aware of potential interest by the Yankees:

The Yankees likely will kick the tires on a lot of pitchers. Patrick Corbin likely will be high on the list. Maybe even Nathan Eovaldi, a pitcher Cashman once had and let go after a few months after Eovaldi needed Tommy John surgery.

While its likely the Red Sox view Eovaldi as a starting pitcher, its hard not to think he could be an interesting option as a closer if Craig Kimbrel signs elsewhere and some contingency plans fall through. There is no denying that Eovaldis stuff was electric in relief in October and it is clear he has the makeup to close ballgames.

Eovaldis agents, the Levinsons, are already here trying to see what the landscape is for their client this offseason. The right-handers bound to be in great demand as a free agent. In a perfect world, Eovaldi would likely return to the Red Sox as the third or fourth starter on a talented staff. But as (Dave) Dombrowski has pointed out on a few occasions, its unrealistic to think that you can bring back a championship team in its entirety. Still, if you had the opportunity to bring back one of the Sox free agents, Eovaldi would probably be the unanimous choice because he was so important to the cause.

He made a total of six appearances in the 2018 playoffs, including four out of the bullpen. Eovaldi went 2-1 with a 1.61 ERA in the postseason, and regularly topped 100 mph on the radar gun.

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Mike Rosenstein may be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @rosenstein73. Find on Facebook.

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