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Monday, December 11, 2017

Stories by Grey Papke:

Report: Red Sox well-positioned to land a top slugger in free agency

Red Sox logo

The Boston Red Sox are coping with Giancarlo Stanton’s move to the New York Yankees, but all is not lost for them.

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the market for power hitters is limited to the point that the Red Sox are “in a good position” to land one of the three big sluggers on the market — outfielder J.D. Martinez and first basemen Carlos Santana and Eric Hosmer.

The Red Sox appear to have picked a good winter to need a big bat. The market is limited from a player’s perspective, they’re willing to spend, and there are good options out there. They’ve already been linked to one of these sluggers, so it stands to reason that they’ll be aggressive in trying to get something done.

Orioles, Mets reportedly talking Matt Harvey trade

Matt harvey

Matt Harvey appears to be on the trade block, and it sounds like the Baltimore Orioles might be legitimate trade partners.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported on Monday that the New York Mets have had discussions with the Orioles about Harvey, with Baltimore reportedly considering swapping a reliever for the starter.

The Mets have also had talks with the Texas Rangers about a Harvey for Jurickson Profar trade.

Harvey is entering the final year of team control, and he’s coming off two bad season. His injury-plagued 2017 saw him put up a 6.70 ERA. It doesn’t really make a lot of sense for the Mets to push for a Harvey trade if they’re seeking a quality return, but if they don’t really see him staying beyond 2018, it might make sense to try to grab a useful piece or a reclamation project in return.

For what it’s worth, general manager Sandy Alderson said at the end of the season that he didn’t envision Harvey leaving this offseason. Still, things change, and anything can happen.

Jaguars announce discipline for fans involved in Seahawks melee

Quinton Jefferson

The Jacksonville Jaguars are coming down hard on those fans who were involved in throwing projectiles at Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson.

The team announced Monday that they have reviewed footage and spoken to fans and staff who witnessed the incident. Four individuals were identified as being involved, and they face numerous punishments, including a revocation of season tickets and a full ban from Jaguars games.

The scenes got a bit wild at the end of the game, and things could have been much worse had Jefferson entered the stands himself. The Jaguars are taking the right course in dealing with these rowdy fans.

Deshaun Watson gives Bill O’Brien vote of confidence

Deshaun Watson

If Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien’s job is in any danger, the team’s braintrust may want to give some thought to Deshaun Watson’s thoughts.

O’Brien answered questions about his job status on Monday as he slowly heads toward the final year of his five-year deal. Despite a 4-9 season, O’Brien made clear he expects — and wants — to return as coach.

If there was any doubt, Watson, currently recovering from a torn ACL, gave O’Brien a vote of confidence in response.

There was some talk a year ago that O’Brien may leave Houston, and that was in a year they made the playoffs. The Texans have yet to weigh in on his future, but he was doing well until Watson’s injury, which should be taken into account.

Report: No suspensions coming to Seahawks, Jaguars for melee

Quinton Jefferson

Despite the ugly scenes at the end of Sunday’s Seattle-Jacksonville game, no players will reportedly be suspended for the melee.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Monday that, while the NFL is still reviewing possible discipline for the players involved, no suspensions are forthcoming for any players on either side.

Things got pretty ugly at the end of the game, and narrowly avoided becoming much worse. It would not be a surprise if some fines are forthcoming for some of the players involved, but apparently, no one will miss any action as a result.

Giancarlo Stanton’s agent suggests he will not opt out after 2020

Giancarlo Stanton

Giancarlo Stanton has the right to opt out of his contract after the 2020 season, but it doesn’t sound like he’s planning to do it.

Stanton’s agent Joel Wolfe said Monday that the newly-minted New York Yankees outfielder has no intention of opting out of the last seven years of his deal after the 2020 season, when he would be allowed to.

Stanton is guaranteed just under $300 million if he decides to play out the remainder of his contract. It’s easy to say all this on the day he joins the Yankees, which he is thrilled with. Things can change in three years, though, and he’ll doubtlessly want to re-assess the market when the time comes before he makes any formal decision.

Yankees reportedly interested in Gerrit Cole

The New York Yankees have landed Giancarlo Stanton, but they may not be finished in the trade market just yet.

According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Yankees have interest in trading for Pittsburgh Pirates starter Gerrit Cole. The Pirates, however, are said to be unlikely to move their ace.

Cole has been the subject of trade rumors for a while now, though Pittsburgh has never come particularly close to moving him. The 27-year-old is coming off a down season in which he posted a career-worst 4.26 ERA and is under team control for two more seasons. From the Pirates’ perspective, trading him right now just doesn’t make a ton of sense.

Giancarlo Stanton compares Marlins to a circus in farewell message

Giancarlo Stanton

It does not sound like Giancarlo Stanton will look back on his time with the Miami Marlins particularly fondly.

In a farewell post on Instagram, Stanton thanked the Marlins organization and fans — while noting that he tried his best to remain professional during “unprofessional, circus times” in the organization.

Thank you to the Marlins Organization & the amazing city of Miami! The city that adopted me at 17 with open arms. I’ve loved this place over the years and it will always be special to me. I appreciate All my teammates & coaching Staff that battled day in and day out I feel for u fans, you’ve stuck with me as we’ve shared some roller coaster years. I’ve always tried to be as professional as possible during the unprofessional , circus times there! Regardless of the Ups&downs, I’ve grown n learned a lot as a Person/Player. So for that I give thanks, I hope there are better days in Miami . The city & the people are too great not to be! Stay positive & much love ! ————————————— As for NEW YORK CITY !!! I am officially a YANKEE I can’t wait to spark this new chapter in my life, & keeping it Lit

A post shared by Giancarlo Stanton (@giancarlo818) on

Now that Stanton is officially a New York Yankee, he doesn’t have to bite his tongue about what he really thinks of the Marlins. Reports that he is “very happy” to be joining the Yankees may well be an understatement if this is how the slugger felt about his tenure in Miami. To be fair, he’s not really saying anything that nobody from the outside didn’t think.

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