Red Sox Parting Ways With Shipley





BOSTON—The Red Sox ousted vice president of player personnel and international operations Craig Shipley on Monday, as part of an overall restructuring of their international operations.

New Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington declined to comment until the team's restructured international operations were announced.

Shipley was one of the Red Sox's first front-office hires under GM Theo Epstein in 2002. While Shipley could be offered another position in the organization, he may also decide to leave.

Under Shipley, the Sox have seen limited returns in the international market. Shipley's most notable undertaking was his years-long efforts to lead the scouting process on Daisuke Matsuzaka in Japan. Shipley also led the Sox to sign lefthanded reliever Hideki Okajima, who emerged as an all-star.

On the amateur side, the Sox have produced four big leaguers (Felix Doubront, Yamaico Navarro, Junichi Tazawa and Jose Iglesias) who were signed under Shipley. Other notable prospects in the pipeline signed under Shipley include righthander Stolmy Pimentel, shortstop Xander Bogaerts and righthander Raul Alcantara—a high-ceiling righthander who reached short-season Lowell this year.

However, even taking into account the long process for 16-year-old prospects to make it to the majors, the Sox have seen limited return from their international scouting. Some of the team's most prominent amateur signings—most notably third baseman Michael Almanzar, who received a $1.5 million bonus in 2007—have stalled.

The jury remains out on Iglesias, whom the Sox signed to a four-year, $8.25 million major league deal that took effect after the 2009 season. Iglesias is still considered a top Red Sox prospect and a potential big league starting shortstop. At the same time, this year, one evaluator of another organization referred to his offensive performance as "embarrassing" during a Triple-A season in which Iglesias hit .235/.285/.269 with one homer and 10 extra-base hits in 101 games.

Whether it was those results that led to Shipley's removal as head of Red Sox international scouting or whether it was another matter related to the restructuring under Cherington (who was a member of the Sox's international operations staff under ex-GM Dan Duquette more than a decade ago) remains unclear.

One possible replacement was Eddie Romero Jr., who's been team's assistant director of Latin American operations and international scouting.

Sox Yarns

• While Pimentel has pitched primarily out of the bullpen this winter in the Dominican League, he's been working on a set schedule. He is expected to open 2012 in the Double-A Portland rotation.

• The Red Sox hired former Royals pitching coach Bob McClure as a pro scout and on-field assistant in player development.