Nobody is pressing charges after Puig apparently got into a fist fight with a bouncer, so police consider the case closed. However, MLB still has the power to dole out punishment under the new policy. The domestic violence element stems from a TMZ report that bar employees got involved in the situation after Puig had a physical altercation with his sister. MLB has the power to hand out any punishment they deem necessary in these cases, so in theory Puig is in danger of being suspended for games in 2016.
Bradley re-established himself in Boston's outfield picture with a monster 27-game stretch from Aug. 7 to Sept. 7, but he finished the season hitting .138/.247/.263/.510 in the final 25 games. Those types of peaks and valleys are what Farrell is talking about. Bradley needs to minimize stretches of offensive futility.
Farrell said Ramirez, like all the other players on the team, had some specific physical goals to achieve during the offseason, mentioning Ramirez's shoulder, some low-back pain, and getting to an optimum playing weight. The manager wants to be sure those issues have been addressed before the organization gives him the go-ahead to play. As evidence of Ramirez's slimmed-down physique, he posted this image on his Instagram account.
Ramirez, who will be moved from left field to first base in 2016, said he'll get a jump on the new position, but will mainly serve as a designated hitter for Licey. Meanwhile, Boston general manager Dave Dombrowski said there's no plan in place for Ramirez to play this winter and that the ESPN Deportes report is only a rumor.
Manager John Farrell indicated Castillo will be in left with Mookie Betts in right, flanking Jackie Bradley in center. Castillo signed a record-breaking $72 million contract in August of 2014, but an oblique injury and Betts' emergence pushed him to Triple-A to start 2015. He eventually came up to hit just .252/.288/.359 in 80 games with the Red Sox, with a .225/.263/.292 line in September. Chances are, Castillo will have to swing his way out of a bottom-third spot in the batting order.
The Red Sox seemed pleased with Betts' progress in center last season, but Jackie Bradley is clearly the best defensive outfielder on the team. Bradley is expected to take over in center and push Betts to right, with Rusney Castillo set to start the year in left field. This news does not affect Betts' fantasy outlook for 2016, as his playing time and spot atop the order should be secure no matter where he plays in the outfield.
Mookie Betts got better as the season progressed and proved to be a capable center fielder in 2015, but manager John Farrell rightfully acknowledged that Bradley "is the best defensive outfielder" on the team. Betts is expected to move to right, but of course, Bradley will need to continue to hit to maintain a starting role throughout the year. The 25-year-old surprised a lot of people in that regard last season, batting .249/.335/.498 with 10 homers in 74 games with Boston.
Although the initial 3-to-4 week recovery timetable is out the window, Braun remains optimistic that his offseason program will not be impacted and he will be back at 100 percent for spring training. The 32-year-old is doing physical therapy four days a week for the back, and he said there are no plans at this point for him to undergo another cryotherapy procedure on his thumb. The five-year, $105 million extension Braun signed in 2011 kicks in this season.
The Rays gave Nava a look over the final two months of 2015 after the Red Sox cut bait, but he continued to underwhelm and was ultimately a casualty at last week's Rule 5 roster deadline. While no team was willing to use a waiver claim on Nava, the 32-year-old figures to get a spring training invite from a club in need of outfield depth.
The Indians acquired the former 10th overall pick from the Rangers in August and quickly opted to jettison him off their 40-man roster after acquiring Kirby Yates on Wednesday. Choice recorded a .239/.308/.393 slash line to go along with 13 home runs and 67 RBI with two different Triple-A affiliations in 2015, so it seems likely the Indians would like to see the 26-year-old remain with the organization if he passes through waivers unclaimed.