2009-11-17 Links: Minor league free agents, Adrian Gonzalez, Hermida

The Red Sox lost a number of players to minor league free agency this week. These players are no longer a part of the organization, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of them come back:

P Devern Hansack, P Charlie Zink, P Jose Vadequano, SS Angel Chavez, SS Iggy Suarez, P Dave McKae, 2B Travis Denker, P Jarod Plummer, P Derrick Loop, OF Brad Correll

The Red Sox also lost a number of players when they were taken off the 40-man roster and they opted for free agency:

RP Takashi Saito, RP Javier Lopez, 2B Nick Green, C George Kottaras, 1B/OF Jeff Bailey, 2B Gil Velasquez, RP Marcus McBeth, RP Billy Traber, RP Enrique Gonzalez

No one expected Saito to return, but the loss of lefties Lopez and Traber means that we have to sign at least one lefty reliever this offseason. There are a number of quality major league free agents available, and names like Casey Fossum and Chris Capuano are available as minor league free agents.

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On the Farm: May 2009 update

A lot of things going on in the minor league system this past month. Here’s an update:

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Links: Pitchers and catchers this week

More trickles of news as the winter slowly fades into the only Spring that counts:

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2009 Offseason: Boston adds Smoltz, Baldelli

The Red Sox, not satisfied with Brad Penny as a veteran starter, have signed 41-year old pitcher John Smoltz to a one-year deal worth $5.5M with another estimated $4.5M in incentives.

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Bailey and Zink honored by the International League

Some big awards at the Triple-A level today. 29-year old first baseman Jeff Bailey won the IL MVP award and 29-year old Charlie Zink won the IL Pitcher of the Year this week. Congrats to them both on great seasons.

Last start leaves Beckett feeling numb

After easily his worst start in two years, Josh Beckett complained of tingling and numbness in his throwing hand. That’s bad news. The Red Sox have pushed back his next start an extra three days in order to get him some rest.

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Sox complete trade for Paul Byrd

A Byrd in the hand… It’s hard to believe that the Sox, who began the season with an embarrassing excess of starting pitching, now have to trade for rotational depth, but here it is. The Sox acquired 37-year old starter Paul Byrd from the Indians for a PTBNL or cash yesterday. The player will be of minimal value, according to Indians GM Mark Shapiro. Byrd will likely take over the 5th slot in the rotation, allowing young Clay Buchholz to go back to Pawtucket (again) and sort out his recent struggles.

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Zink, Sox shelled; Lowell out with oblique injury

Wow, a lot happened yesterday. Knuckleballer Charlie Zink made his Major League debut last night, and was staked to a 10-run lead in the first inning. He pitched well for four innings, but things started unraveling in the 5th inning. Zink actually did much better than his line reflected, but the bullpen suffered a meltdown of historic proportions. What should have been a laugher turned into a 19-17 slugfest that the Sox barely pulled out on a go-ahead homer by Kevin Youkilis. Zink was optioned back to Pawtucket after the game.

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Wakefield hits the DL; Bowden Boston-bound?

Pitcher Tim Wakefield will be placed on the 15-day DL with a stiff shoulder and is scheduled to miss two starts. He will receive a cortisone shot and rest his throwing arm. The injury is not unlike the shoulder pain that kept him off the playoff roster last season, and it was expected that the 41-year old would probably need some time off this year. This move serves the double purpose of giving Wakefield some extra recovery time and a chance to pace himself for the stretch run.

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On the Farm: Zink tosses two-hitter at Syracuse

Charlie Zink (9-2) continues to use his knuckleball with great success at Triple-A. In his latest start on Thursday, he earned a two-hit shutout of Syracuse Chiefs, going the distance using just 93 pitches for a 2-0 victory. Zink mixed his pitches well and whiffed eight Chiefs. In his previous start, he had given up five runs in six innings at Rochester, but bounced back in this one, showing some toughtness and maturity.

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