Red Sox

Hot Stove Lunch: Red Sox will get an early look at newest Japanese import

(Hamish Blair/ Getty Images)

At the winter meetings in Las Vegas last month, Alex Cora expressed some relief the Sox wouldn't have to face tough lefty James Paxton on Opening Night. (Paxton was traded by the Seattle Mariners -- the Sox opponents to start the 2019 season. Of course, Cora later acknowledged that because Paxton got dealt to the Yankees, the Sox will see him plenty, perhaps as much as four or five times during the season, thanks to the unbalanced schedule).

Instead, the Sox might get another lefty -- if not on Opening Night, then certainly soon after -- with the news this week that the Mariners had signed Japanese lefty Yusei Kikuchi.