MLB notebook: Free agent signees Sandoval, Ramirez eager to team up with Red Sox
Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez spent the past two seasons as NL West rivals. Now they’re teammates in Boston, the result of a $183 million spending spree the Red Sox are hoping will lift them out of the AL East cellar.
“It’s exciting for me to be with Hanley and David Ortiz,” Sandoval said Tuesday at Fenway Park after finishing up a five-year, $95 million contract that adds him to a lineup he called “The Three Amigos.”
About five hours later, the Red Sox completed their day-night news conference doubleheader by announcing Ramirez’s four-year deal, which is worth $88 million. A former Red Sox prospect, Ramirez was traded to the Marlins nine Thanksgivings ago in a deal that brought Mike Lowell and Josh Beckett to Boston.
“Why not go back where you belong?” Ramirez said. “It worked out for the both of us: You guys won a couple of world championships. I haven’t won any, but that’s what I’m here for.”
Sandoval helped the Giants win three titles, earning the World Series MVP in 2012 and the nickname “Kung Fu Panda” that helped cement him as a fan favorite.
LaRoche happy to join ChiSox
When Adam LaRoche was a kid, he used to hang with his father at old Comiskey Park when Dave was a coach with the White Sox from 1989-91.
Now Adam LaRoche gets to play for one of his dad’s old teams. The White Sox are bringing LaRoche back to Chicago to serve as their designated hitter, announcing a $25 million, two-year contract with the veteran slugger.
“I’ve honestly always been a White Sox fan, and I don’t just say that,” Adam LaRoche said. “I was at the age then where I was starting to understand the game and figure it out, and happened to be in a White Sox uniform quite a bit around that old stadium and always really enjoyed being there and being around those guys.”
LaRoche, who turned 35 on Nov. 6, hit .259 with 26 homers and 92 RBIs in 140 games this year for NL East champion Washington. He has 243 career homers and 838 RBIs in 11 years in the majors.
Report: Giants courting Lester
The Giants are turning their attention to Jon Lester following Pablo Sandoval’s departure. The free agent pitcher has plans to meet with the World Series champions next week, a person with knowledge of the meeting said. Another report indicated that the Cubs offered the left-hander a six-year contract worth more than $135 million.
Darvish to begin throwing
Rangers ace Yu Darvish was cleared to start his offseason throwing program. Darvish, who missed the last seven weeks of the season because of inflammation in his right elbow, had an MRI and was examined Tuesday by team physician Dr. Keith Meister. He went 10-7 with a 3.06 ERA and 182 strikeouts over 144 1⁄3 innings in 22 starts.