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Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez mimics Carlos Correa’s watch gesture, drawing rebuke from Boston manager Alex Cora

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BOSTON — The new and old school ways of baseball etiquette clashed during the Boston Red Sox‘s 12-3 victory over the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the ALCS on Monday night when Carlos Correa grounded out to second baseman Christian Arroyo to end the sixth inning.

As Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez walked off the mound, he pointed to his wrist, a reference to Correa’s celebration in Game 1 after the shortstop hit a home run off reliever Hansel Robles. The celebration drew an immediate reaction from Boston manager Alex Cora, who screamed, “Hey, no!”

Upon Rodriguez’s return to the dugout, Cora hugged the pitcher and pulled him in for a conversation.

“Don’t do that,” Cora told Rodriguez.

Cora said he did not want Rodriguez to show up Correa for getting out and that the pitcher needed to maintain humility while finding success.

“We just show up, we play, and we move on, and he knows,” Cora said. “I let him know. We don’t have to do that. If we’re looking for motivation outside of what we’re trying to accomplish, we’re in the wrong business. The only motivation we have is to win four games against them and move on to the next round.”

Correa clarified after Game 1 that the celebration was directed toward his teammates.

“When the playoffs start, they always tell me it’s your time now to go out there, hit homers, this and that,” Correa said. “They told me to hit the way and when I hit the homer — I did it in Chicago the first time on my own, and today they told me if you hit a homer, hit them with the ‘It’s your time.’ It just happened naturally there.”

Rodriguez said he felt bad about his own celebration after his conversation with Cora.

“That was part of the moment,” Rodriguez said. “… I will apologize to Correa if I see him in person because that’s not something I normally do. It was just part of the game.”

That apology may not be accepted by Correa, who encouraged Rodriguez’s desire to celebrate the moment after the game.

“I thought it was kind of cool,” Correa said. “It’s just the way baseball should trend going forward. We talk about baseball growing and more people coming to watch the sport, you need to have more things like that. You need to let people have fun and the game should move in that direction, where you can show emotions and be yourself and keep it real.”

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Boston Red Sox send Hunter Renfroe to Milwaukee Brewers for Jackie Bradley Jr., two prospects

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The Red Sox and Brewers swung a significant trade Wednesday night just ahead of the lockout, with Boston shipping outfielder Hunter Renfroe to Milwaukee for a package centered around Jackie Bradley Jr.

Bradley, 31, was a mainstay for Boston from 2013 to 2020, starring defensively in the outfield before the Gold Glover signed a two-year deal with the Brewers last offseason. In 2018, when the Red Sox won a franchise-record 108 games and the World Series, he was the AL Championship Series MVP.

A lifetime .230 hitter never known for his offense, he struggled even more at the plate in Milwaukee, batting .163 last season with six homers in 134 games.

Renfroe was a major surprise for the Red Sox in 2021, posting career bests in batting average (.259), runs scored (89), doubles (33), extra-base hits (64) and RBIs (96), while slugging 31 home runs. He tied for the major league lead with a career-high 16 outfield assists.

Renfroe, 29, adds power to Milwaukee’s lineup after Avisail Garcia left for the Marlins and Eduardo Escobar went to the Mets in free agency. He will be part of a Brewers outfield that includes Christian Yelich, Lorenzo Cain and Tyrone Taylor.

The Red Sox also received two minor leaguers from the Brewers, infielders David Hamilton and Alex Binelas.

Binelas is a 21-year-old third-round draft pick who batted .309 with nine home runs and 29 RBIs in the low minors last season. Hamilton, 24, hit .258 eight homers and 43 RBIs in 101 games at Class A and Double-A.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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‘It’s going to get ugly for those guys’

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The contract numbers spent in free agency so far are record-setting, mind-bending. Max Scherzer‘s annual salary of $43.3 million is the highest ever for a pitcher. The Texas Rangers spent more money in two days on two players — Corey Seager and Marcus Semien — than they have on their entire roster the last four seasons combined. The New York Mets‘ 2022 payroll is approaching $300 million, after Steve Cohen’s holiday weekend spree.

But some agents and club executives fully anticipate an inevitable fallout from all of the money being thrown around now, and expect that whenever there is a labor resolution between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association — whether that happens in the next three days or the next three months — those who will absorb the cost will again be the middle class of the union.

That is to say, it’s those rank-and-file veterans who aren’t superstars and aren’t getting the eight- or nine-figure payouts, a group that has taken a big hit in average salary over the past seven years. “It’s going to get ugly for those guys,” said one general manager.

Said a player agent: “I don’t even want to think about what’s going to happen to them.”

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Veteran lefty Rich Hill joins Boston Red Sox on 1-year deal

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Free-agent left-hander Rich Hill has signed a one-year, $5 million contract to join the Boston Red Sox, the team announced Wednesday.

Hill, an 18-year veteran who will be 42 next season, was a combined 7-8 with a 3.86 ERA for the New York Mets and Tampa Bay Rays last season in 158⅔ innings.

He was 6-4 with a 3.89 ERA in 19 starts for the contending Rays when they traded him to New York on July 23 for right-hander Tommy Hunter and minor league catcher Matt Dyer.

The deal comes one day after the Red Sox reached agreement with fellow left-hander James Paxton on a one-year, $10 million contract with a two-year club option, a deal that was finalized on Wednesday. Paxton, 33, is recovering from Tommy John surgery and should be back pitching in 2022.

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