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A league source told Edes that Boston's offer to Jackson -- reportedly between $5 million and $6 million for one season -- is not competitive with other offers Jackson has already received. The right-handed starter, who is viewed as perhaps the top pitcher left on the market, has noted that he would like a multi-year deal.
The Red Sox are also expected to be out of the running in the Roy Oswalt sweepstakes. Oswalt, another highly-regarded starter to whom the Red Sox recently made an offer, is said to prefer the St. Louis Cardinals or Texas Rangers.
Olney says the Sox clearly "don't want to get locked into any long-term deals, and they're looking at a marketplace where there are very few opportunities, and figure they'll throw a number out there and if they can get an Oswalt or a Jackson at their offer price, they're OK with that. If they can't, I think they're OK with that too considering they have other alternatives at this point with the rotation."
Oswalt was 9-10 last year in Philadelphia with a 3.69 ERA, notching 93 strikeouts in 139.0 innings. Jackson was 12-9 with a 3.79 ERA and 148 strikeouts in 199.2 innings last season with the White Sox and Cardinals.
The Boston Red Sox were able to free up over $7 million in cap space after dealing Marco Scuatro to the Colorado Rockies late last week. The agreed to terms with outfielder Cody Ross yesterday, solving the need for a right handed outfield bat. Now, it appears the Sox have turned their attention to the starting pitching market.
On Wednesday, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported that the Red Sox have offered free agent pitcher Roy Oswalt a contract. There is no word as to what the value of the reported offer is, but the team is unsure as to whether or not he'll accept since he hasn't already done it to this point. NESN's Peter Gammons says sources tell him that Oswalt is more interested in pitching for the Rangers or Cardinals. With this in mind, the Red Sox apparently aren't stopping with just Oswalt.
According to ESPN's Jim Bowden, the Red Sox have also made an offer to free agent starting pitcher Edwin Jackson. Wait, what? Yep, the Scott Boras client that was demanding a multi-year contract earlier this offseason. Sources tell Bowden that the Red Sox are now in discussions with Jackson and Boras and actually prefer him over Oswalt. Wow, what turn of events.
Ben Cherington, you are making my head spin.
While I actually prefer Oswalt to Jackson, both would be solid additions and potentially the final puzzle piece in the 2012 Red Sox pitching rotation. Oswalt, 33, is a career 159-93 with a 3.21 ERA in 11 major league seasons. Meanwhile, Jackson, 27, is a career 60-60 with a 4.46 ERA.
While there's no denying Oswalt's track record is superior to that of Jackson's, it may end up being a classic "It's not you, it's me" situation. Since he reportedly wants to stay close to his home in Mississippi, Oswalt may turn down more money offered by the Red Sox and join the Rangers or Cardinals. Jackson, meanwhile will most likely take the best offer on the table with his young age. Either way, we will most likely know more in the upcoming days.
Free agent outfielder Cody Ross has signed with the Boston Red Sox, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The former San Francisco Giant hit the market after hitting 14 home runs and 52 RBIs with a .240 average and an OPS of .730 during the regular season.
Ross had been in talks with the Red Sox earlier this week, after Boston cleared cap space by sending shortstop Marco Scutaro to the Colorado Rockies for a minor league pitcher. The move cleared up roughly $8 million to use on either an outfielder or another pitcher.
Ross could fill in nicely should Carl Crawford miss any time with a left wrist injury. He could ultimately become a fixture in right field if/when Crawford comes back fully healthy. Ross is hitting .294/.390/.686 for his career spent over seven years in Detroit, Los Angeles, Cincinnati and San Francisco.
According to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick, the Boston Red Sox are in "ongoing dialogue' with free agent outfielder Cody Ross. Ross, who played for the San Francisco Giants last season, is expected to decide on a team later today.
On Saturday, the Red Sox were able to create cap space in the payroll when they sent shortstop Marco Scutaro to the Colorado Rockies for a minor league pitcher. With the trade, the Red Sox were able to free up a little under $8 million to go sign either an outfielder, pitcher, or perhaps both.
In Ross, the Red Sox would be getting a terrific defender who can play all three outfield spots and historically kills lefties, just what the doctor ordered. Over his eight year career in the majors, the right handed Ross has owned lefties, hitting a career .282/.349/.563 against them. If he were to come to Boston, Ross would play 81 games in hitter friendly Fenway Park. Seems pretty enticing to me.
With Carl Crawford possibly out for a while with a left wrist injury, Ross could provide added depth to the Sox' corner outfield positions and could shift over to right full time after Crawford returns.
The Red Sox have re-signed P Daniel Bard to a one year deal. Bard finished 2011 with 34 holds and a 3.33 ERA. He will compete for a spot in the Red Sox' rotation in 2012.
The Boston Red Sox agreed to a one-year deal with outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury on Tuesday that effectively avoids salary arbitration, the team announced.
A league source told ESPN Boston Ellsbury will receive $8.05 million for the single year on his contract, more than triple the amount he earned last year. The salary figure eclipses the $6.9 million Hunter Pence won in arbitration last winter as the most a player has ever made during his second year of arbitration eligibility.
Ellsbury finished second in American League MVP voting in 2011, and might have won the award it weren't for Boston's historic September collapse. He batted .321 with 32 home runs, 39 stolen bases, 105 RBI and a .552 slugging percentage.
The Sox also struck a deal with Mike Aviles. Terms were not disclosed.
The Sox still have not come to terms with David Ortiz, who rejected the club's two-year, $18 million offer and accepted arbitration.
Searching to bolster the depth of their pitching staff, the Boston Red Sox agreed to terms with Vicente Padilla Monday on a minor league contract, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports. Padilla has a training camp invite and is expected at least to compete for a roster spot with the Red Sox.
A starter for most of his career, Padilla converted to the bullpen in 2011 after struggling with assorted injuries. Padilla made nine appearances with the Dodgers last season, all as a reliever, and ended the season with a 4.15 ERA, nine strikeouts and three saves.
Padilla made 16 starts in 2010 with the Dodgers, finishing the season 6-5 with a 4.07 ERA. His best season came in 2002, when he went 14-11 with a 3.28 ERA while pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies, making the All-Star team for the only time of his career.
The Boston Red Sox have reportedly offered former captain Jason Varitek an invite to camp as a non-roster player (via CBS Sports). The former Red Sox catcher is considering the offer. Varitek played his entire MLB career for Boston (1997-2011).
Varitek, who is 39-years-old, is probably a long shot to make the team as they already have Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Kelly Shoppach. The Red Sox have offered Varitek this chance out of respect. If he does not accept the camp invite, Varitek will likely retire.
Last season, Varitek didn't have his best average at the plate for Boston during his 68 games. He did manage 11 home runs and 36 RBI in 250 plate appearances. However, when he was behind the plate last season, Boston's winning percentage was .656 vs. .490 when he wasn't catching (via Hardball Talk).
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Boston Red Sox are among the teams that have expressed interest in former Pittsburgh Pirates left hander Paul Maholm. In addition, the Seattle Mariners and Chicago Cubs are the other clubs to have checked in on Maholm.
In his seven years in the majors, Maholm has only played for the Pirates where he's a career 53-73 with an ERA of 4.36. Last season with the Pirates, Maholm was 6-14 with a career low ERA of 3.66 as a starter. In 2011, he had a solid 5.4 SO/9 and a relatively low 2.8 BB/9.
With the Red Sox looking to spend as little money as possible, adding Maholm doesn't seem to be that bad of an idea. He's certainly a cheaper option than guys like Edwin Jackson and Roy Oswalt currently are. He's a veteran left handed pitcher who could be viewed as a poor man's Erik Bedard, who was signed by the Pirates to replace Maholm in their rotation. With guys like Oswalt and Jackson not budging on their original asking price, Maholm may be a guy the Red Sox could end up with.
The Boston Red Sox have been linked to closer Francisco Cordero in recent days. Now, they are reportedly interested in Los Angeles Dodgers free agent starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda. The 36-year-old starter made $12 million last season playing for the Dodgers.
Fox Sports.com's Jon Morosi said about Kuroda
In four years as a starter for the Dodgers, Kuroda went 41-46 with a 3.45 ERA and 523 strikeouts. Last season Kuroda posted his best ERA (3.07) and a career-high in strikeouts (161). Due to poor run support, his record was only 13-16. Both 13 wins and 16 losses were career highs for Kuroda.
Kuroda should be considered just one of the pitchers that the Red Sox are looking into to solidify their starting rotation.
The Boston Red Sox are comfortable enough with their starting pitching rotation that they are content to sit back and watch the market unfold, but still "committed to exploring every opportunity that exists on the market", reports WEEI.
WEEI reports that the Red Sox are open to trade possibilities to bolster their rotation, but not necessarily as interested as other teams in surrendering valuable assets in a trade. A source told Alex Speier that the Sox are "not close" on any sort of free agency acquisitions or trades to improve their starting pitching.
Red Sox starters had a 4.49 ERA last season (ninth in the AL) while pitching 940 innings (13th in the AL), but Boston management believes the top of the rotation -- featuring Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz -- is strong enough to wait out the pitching market without being overly aggressive. In the recent past, the Red Sox have made several key acquisitions in or after January, including David Ortiz, Adrian Beltre, Alfredo Aceves and Bill Mueller.
The Boston Red Sox are in dire need of help in their starting pitching rotation. While Sox general manager Ben Cherington has been relatively quiet this offseason, there are still attractive options on the table.
The Boston Red Sox are one of four teams who are interested in the services of free agent closer Francisco Cordero. The Angels and Reds are also known to have interest in Cordero. The fourth team has not been identified.
Cordero will turn 37 years old next season. However, it does not seem to be his current age that is the issue for the Red Sox but the idea of a multi-year deal. Cordero's agent believes a team will give his client a multi-year deal and says none of the four teams have said no because of the prospect of such a deal.
That, according to an industry source, includes the Red Sox, who have mad more issues with the annual salary for Cordero than with the idea of a multi-year deal for a right-hander who has made at least 66 appearances in nine straight seasons. That's no guarantee of durability going forward (as the Sox witnessed with Dan Wheeler, who had never been on the DL prior to 2011 but ended up being sidelined twice - once in May, and again in September), but durability, consistency (Cordero has a 3.00 ERA since 2003, with a sub-4.00 ERA in each of those years and a sub-3.00 ERA in five seasons) and experience (Cordero has 327 career saves, 12th most in big league history) are all part of the package that Cordero has to offer. (via WEEI.com)
Cordero pitched for the Reds last season and was 5-3 with a 2.45 ERA, 42 strikeouts and 37 saves in 69.2 innings in 2011.
Free agent starting pitcher Roy Oswalt has told teams he is interested in signing a one-year deal, and ESPN's Jerry Crasnick suggests the Boston Red Sox are one of the teams intrigued by the possibility of signing the three-time All-Star.
Oswalt, 34, started 23 games last season for the Philadelphia Phillies, compiling a 9-10 record, 3.69 ERA and 93 strikeouts in 139.0 innings pitched. During 11 seasons in the MLB, Oswalt is 159-93 with a 3.21 ERA. The right-hander is interested in signing a one-year deal in hopes of proving that he is healthy and earning a longer, more lucrative contract after the season.
Crasnick reports that at least six teams are talking to Oswalt and suspects that the Red Sox, New York Yankees, Florida Marlins, Minnesota Twins and Washington Nationals are among his suitors. The Phillies declined arbitration on Oswalt earlier this offseason.
According to ESPN analyst and MLB Network Radio host Jim Bowden, the Boston Red Sox have had continuous discussions with free agent starting pitcher Joe Saunders and free agent closer Ryan Madson.
In an appearance on Bowden's radio show, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington acknowledged that the team has been talking with Saunders and Madson and hopes to upgrade the team's pitching staff without breaking the bank to much.
"We've had conversations with the agents for both guys as well as several other free agent options. We'll continue dialogue," said Cherington. "We don't have as much room in our payroll as we've had in previous years, but we're trying to figure out ways to improve our pitching staff. Maybe we have to be a little more creative this winter in doing that than in some other winters, but we're not ruling out anything. We'll certainly continue dialogue with a handful of free agents and then obviously also the trade front." (via ESPN Boston)
Saunders, 30, was recently non-tendered by the Arizona Diamondbacks to make room for the newly acquired Trevor Cahill. Last season with Arizona, Saunders went 12-13 with a 3.69 ERA, his lowest career ERA ever recorded. Saunders does have experience pitching in the American League with the Angels.
Madson, 31, is considered the best reliever on the free agent market, but has surprisingly drawn little interest on the open market. Madson appeals to the Red Sox after they lost closer Jonathan Papelbon to the Phillies. Madson performed very well in his first full year as a closer, as he saved 32 games in 34 opportunities with a 2.37 ERA.
Even after signing catcher Kelly Shoppach on Tuesday, Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said he will continue discussions with Jason Varitek and hopes Varitek will remain a part of the organization in some role.
"As far as Tek is concerned, we have incredible respect for Tek. I have incredible respect on a personal level. We, as an organization including ownership, have incredible respect for him and the contributions he's made," said Cherington. "Our hope is that Tek will always be a part of the Red Sox in some way. As far as what that means immediately, what we want to do is keep talking to Tek and not discuss that in a public forum, but continue talking to Tek and [Boras] and figure out what's best for the Red Sox and what's best for him."
The Chicago Tribune reports that Varitek, a longtime team captain who has played parts of 15 seasons in the Major Leagues, all with Boston, is receiving preliminary free agency interest from the Chicago Cubs.
The Boston Red Sox have signed infielder Nick Punto to a two-year deal worth "about" $3.5 million, according to a tweet from CBS Sports reporter Jon Heyman.
Punto, 34 years old, spent last season with the St. Louis Cardinals. In 63 games, he batted .278 with one home run and 20 RBI. He spent the previous seven seasons with the Minnesota Twins, batting a career-high .290 in 2006. The switch hitter is known for his glove and can play shortstop, second base or third base.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Red Sox traded Jed Lowrie, opening up the need for a utility infielder. Lowrie was dealt to Houston in exchange for closer Mark Melancon. The addition of Melancon gives Boston a potential replacement for Jonathan Papelbon. In 74.1 innings last season, Melancon had 20 saves and a 2.78 ERA.
A source told ESPN Boston Shoppach will make a base salary of $1.35 million in 2012, plus performance bonuses. The deal should be announced at some time on Tuesday.
The 31-year old Shoppach batted .176 with 11 home runs and 22 RBI in 87 games for the Tampa Bay Rays last season.
Shoppach's deal likely means that 39-year old Varitek has played his last game for Boston. Earlier in the offseason, general manager Ben Cherington said he would speak with Varitek personally about whether the catcher still had a role on the team.
"I have a great deal of respect for both [Varitek and Tim Wakefield] and feel like the best thing for the team and the best thing for them is, if there's not a real role on the team, I'm not sure it's fair, I'm not sure it's the right thing for them or for the team, but we haven't gotten to that point yet," said Cherington, who did not offer Varitek arbitration. "I'll talk to them again when we get closer to that.''
Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish announced Thursday that he intends to come to the United States to join the Major Leagues. But according to the Providence Journal, it's unlikely that he will be playing for the Boston Red Sox.
Darvish's Japanese club, the Nippon Ham Fighters, will accept bids through the same posting system that landed Daisuke Matsuzaka in Boston five years ago. But due to the MLB's luxury tax, the Sox don't have much financial flexibility to offer a strong bid for the highly-hyped right-hander.
Boston general manager Ben Cherington said the Red Sox will discuss whether to bid for Darvish, but it seems unlikely that Boston will post the winning bid.
"I'm not sure the timing of this offseason puts us in a position to be the most aggressive team," Cherington said. "But he's a good pitcher, and we have a lot of respect for him. We'll certainly discuss it and figure out if a post makes sense. We've got a lot of commitment to the starting rotation, as you guys know, and we feel pretty good about the front end of our rotation. If a team is going to be posting and trying to sign him, it's to be part of the front end of the rotation, and we feel pretty good about that part of our team."
Jesse Carlson has reportedly agreed to terms on a split contract with the Boston Red Sox, according to a report from Sean McAdam of Comcast SportsNet New England. Carlson pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011 before being released.
Under a split contract, Carlson receives an invite to spring training. If he makes the major league squad, he will receive a higher salary. However, if he doesn't make the cut, he will be placed in the minors with a lower salary.
Carlson, 30, struggled through last season with a left rotator cuff injury. In 20 games last season, Carlson didn't record a decision and had a 4.61 ERA, eight strikeouts and five walks in 13.2 innings pitched. Carlson has a career 8-8 record with a 3.63 ERA and 114 strikeouts in 162 games, all with the Blue Jays.
Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz has reportedly decided to accept Boston's offer of salary arbitration, a development that would result in Ortiz returning to Boston for the 2012 season.
The 36-year old Sox star batted .309 with 29 homers and 96 RBI last season, his ninth with Boston.
A source told ESPN.com that the Red Sox offered Ortiz a two-year, $18 million deal. But Ortiz wanted a raise on last year's $12.5 million payday and could earn approximately $15 million in salary arbitration, according to the ESPN report.
On Tuesday, general manager Ben Cherington said Ortiz had not agreed to a deal but the Red Sox hoped to retain his services.
"That's been our position all along," Cherington said. "We haven't agreed to anything yet.
"If there's a way to make it work, we'd like to have him on the team moving forward and potentially have him finish his career with the Red Sox. But we haven't reached an agreement on a contract.
"We've had good dialogue, and I think there's a good understanding of our respective positions and a lot of mutual respect. If we don't reach anything by tomorrow, we'll see what his decision is. If we don't and he accepts, then we'll be happy with that outcome."
With the Boston Red Sox considering whether to convert relief pitcher Daniel Bard into a starter, the team continues to show interest in former Philadelphia Phillies closer Ryan Madson, Sports Illustrated reporter Jon Heyman tweeted on Wednesday.
Madson, 31, was 4-2 last year for the Phillies with 32 saves and a 2.37 ERA.
The Red Sox have been looking to fill their closer position since Jonathan Papelbon left to sign with the Phillies earlier this offseason. The team had not ruled out Bard from contention for the role, but earlier this week Bard requested the opportunity to compete for a spot in the starting rotation.
General manager told the Boston Globe the team has not made a decision on Bard.
"We're still talking about it," general manager Ben Cherington said. "There's always the chance that isn't determined now, but later on or in spring training. We certainly want to give Daniel a chance to prepare for spring training in the right way, and so we'll figure that out."
Erik Bedard will not be returning to the Boston Red Sox, as the veteran southpaw has reportedly signed a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates, according to multiple reports. Bedard was traded to the Red Sox prior to the trade deadline last season from the Seattle Mariners.
Bedard is coming off of a one-year contract worth $1 million. Sources of FOX Sports' Jon Morosi confirmed to him that Bedard has signed with the Pirates, and Bedard will reportedly receive $4.5 million from the Pirates, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Bedard was 5-9 with a 2.62 ERA and 125 strikeouts in 24 starts last season between Seattle and Boston. In eight starts with Boston, Bedard was 1-2 with a 4.03 ERA and 38 strikeouts. In his career, Bedard is 56-50 with a 3.70 ERA and 926 strikeouts in 168 games.
David Ortiz will reportedly accept the arbitration offer from the Boston Red Sox before Wednesday night's deadline, according to multiple reports. Ortiz could make anywhere between $14-$15 million next season in arbitration.
DH David Ortiz plans to accept the offer of salary arbitration that the Red Sox extended to him, meaning that he will stay in Boston for at least until 2012, a source told ESPNdeportesLosAngeles.com. (via ESPN)
While Ortiz will reportedly accept the arbitration offer, he and the team could still work out a two-year deal. The Red Sox reportedly offered Ortiz a two-year contract worth $18 million ($9 million per year) on Tuesday.
However, there are conflicting reports on the matter. WEEI.com's Rob Bradford reported that, as of Tuesday night, Ortiz had not yet made up his mind regarding arbitration.
According to a source close to the situation, as of Tuesday evening David Ortiz hadn't yet determined whether or not he would accept arbitration. The free agent designated hitter has until midnight Wednesday to make a decision. The plan was for Ortiz' agent, Fern Cuza, to talk again with the Red Sox before any determination can be made. (via WEEI)
Andrew Miller will return to the Boston Red Sox, as the young lefty has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the club. Miller pitched in 17 games for the Red Sox last season, posting a 6-3 record with a 5.54 ERA and 50 strikeouts.
Miller's signing was first reported by Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Miller, who is 26 years old, earned $1.3 million last season with the Red Sox, making 12 total starts. Miller is expected to be the team's fourth or fifth starter, based on the other talent Boston signs this offseason.
In six seasons, Miller has a 21-29 record with a career 5.79 ERA, 288 strikeouts and a career 1.75 WHIP. Prior to his stint with the Red Sox last season, Miller had pitched for the Detroit Tigers and Florida Marlins. One of his best season came in 2008 when Miller posted a 6-10 record with a 5.87 ERA and a career-high 89 strikeouts in 29 games and 20 starts.
According to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, the Sox have interest in signing the 36-year old Kuroda to help bulk up their pitching rotation. Bradford sites that the Yankees, Marlins, Rockies, Rangers, and Sox are among the teams that could potentially sign him.
With the Dodgers signing Chris Capuano to a two-year contract a few days ago, Kuroda is all but out of the Dodgers' 2012 plans. With L.A. out of the picture, Kuroda has reportedly changed his stance about playing on the East Coast and would not mind playing in Boston next season. A source close to Bradford did say that the Red Sox would have to make financial room if they were to make a play for Kuroda.
According to one source, while the Red Sox have interest in Kuroda any legitimate attempt at signing the hurler would be contingent on the organization gaining budgetary flexibility through other offseason moves. Kuroda won't demand the kind of contract free agent pitcher C.J. Wilson (or even Mark Buehrle) might land, but his productivity and reliability throughout four major league seasons will surely lead to a multi-year deal. (via WEEI)
Mark Buehrle is drawing interest from the Boston Red Sox, among other teams, as they look to firm up their rotation heading into next season. Buehrle, a Type-B free agent, is also being pursued by the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels, Washington Nationals, Texas Rangers and Miami Marlins, according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.
Buehrle is coming off of a four-year deal worth $56 million with the Chicago White Sox, where he has pitched for his entire career. In 390 career games, Buehrle is 161-199 with a 3.83 career ERA and 1,396 strikeouts. Last season, Buehrle posted a 13-9 record with a 3.59 ERA and 109 strikeouts in 31 games.
He has also thrown two no-hitters, including one perfect game, in his career and has won three Gold Glove award in a row. He's reportedly looking for a three- or four-year deal.
Jonathan Broxton has pitched his final game with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Broxton's agent, BB Abbott, told the Los Angeles Times that the free agent veteran reliever wouldn't return to L.A. and is "close to moving" elsewhere.
One of the potential destinations could be the Boston Red Sox, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN. In addition to the Red Sox, the Cincinnati Reds, Tampa Bay Rays, Minnesota Twins and Miami Marlins are also in the running for Broxton.
Broxton, a closer, has a record of 25-20 record and a career 3.19 ERA. In 386 career games, Broxton has 84 saves and owns a WHIP of 1.232. In 2011, Broxton was 1-2 with a 5.68 ERA, the second worst of his career, and only seven saves in 14 appearances. His best season came in 2009 when he went 7-2 with a 2.61 ERA and a career-high 36 saves.
David Ortiz is a wanted man, at least in the baseball sense (we don't think he's wanted for any crimes, at least). Ortiz is reportedly drawing "serious interest" from at least one other team than the Boston Red Sox, according to the Boston Herald.
The free agent is receiving "serious interest" from more than one team, an industry source said today, indicating that Ortiz has more than one offer already. "He has lots of options," said the source.
This wouldn't be very surprising, but as Hardball Talk points out, the "source" is most likely his agent.
That's nice. I put really high odds on that "industry source" being Ortiz's agent, but that's nice.
Either way, who wouldn't want Ortiz and his bat? Big Papi clubbed 29 home runs and drove in 96 runs while batting .309 in 146 games for the Red Sox last season. In his career, Ortiz has a .283 batting average with 378 home runs and 1,266 RBI. Not bad, not bad.
The Boston Red Sox are highly interested in acquiring a closer to replace the departed Jonathan Papelbon. But the club could also be in the market for a young starting pitcher, even one who's currently under contract with a different club.
Edes noted that the Red Sox are "known to be extremely high" on Gonzalez, and that his name has been "widely discussed internally by the team."
The 26-year old finished the 2011 season 16-12 with a 3.12 ERA and 197 strikeouts in 202.0 innings pitched. The year before, he was 15-9 with a 3.23 ERA and 171 strikeouts in 200.2 innings pitched.
Boston would likely have to part with some top-level prospects in order to grab Gonzalez from Oakland. After giving up young studs Anthony Rizzo and Casey Kelly to bring Adrian Gonzalez to Boston, the Sox could have second thoughts about thinning their farm system any further.
That's how long "Big Papi" has to decide on whether or not to accept salary arbitration, which was extended to him earlier today from the "Beantown" brass.
Boston.com has more:
Ortiz has until Dec. 7 to accept or decline. If he accepts, he would be Red Sox property for 2012 ... Ortiz has said he wants a multi-year deal. But he could be tempted by the offer of arbitration, knowing that he would get a raise from the $12.5 million he made last season.
Ortiz came into the off-season batting.309 with 40 doubles, 29 homers and 96 ribbies.
Also getting the chance to opt-in (or out) is right-handed reliever Dan Wheeler, who finished the 2011 season with a 2-2 record and ERA of 4.38 in 47 games.
The Red Sox previously elected not exercise their $3 million option on Wheeler for 2012 yet offered him arbitration. That seems like an unusual move, unless there is an informal agreement for Wheeler not to accept. Under arbitration rules, the Red Sox would have to offer Wheeler at least $2.4 million if he accepts.
Could the Red Sox end up using both Ortiz and Wheeler again in the 2012 season?
The Boston Red Sox are one of five teams who have expressed interest in free agent closer Francisco Cordero, the pitcher said on Friday.
The 36-year old was 5-3 last season with 37 saves and a 2.45 ERA, contributing 42 strikeouts in 69.2 innings. He had a sub-3.00 ERA in three of the past five seasons, saving at least 34 games in each of those seasons. His best year came with the Texas Rangers in 2004, when Cordero had 49 saves and a 2.13 ERA, striking out 79 batters in 71.2 innings.
The Red Sox need to replace Jonathan Papelbon after he left for the Philadelphia Phillies. General manager Ben Cherington has not ruled out promoting Daniel Bard to the closer role, but the Sox continue to show interest in free agent closers.
The agent for free agent closer Heath Bell told ESPN the Boston Red Sox have shown interest in his client, one of the MLB's most attractive free agent relievers.
Agent Sam Levinson said the Red Sox, looking to replace the departed Jonathan Papelbon, have made preliminary contact with him regarding Bell.
The 34-year old Bell, who had 43 saves and a 2.44 ERA for the San Diego Padres last season, stated earlier this offseason that he is intrigued by the possibility of joining the Red Sox pitching staff. He has saved at least 40 games in each of the past three seasons, during which time he has a combined 2.36 ERA.
The Red Sox have also contacted closer Francisco Cordero, the 36-year old who saved 37 games and posted a 2.45 ERA for the Cincinnati Reds last season. They were also rumored to have interest in Ryan Madson, who almost assuredly will not return to the Philadelphia Phillies after the team signed Papelbon to a four-year, $50 million contract.
The Boston Red Sox, who need to fill the vacancy left by departed closer Jonathan Papelbon, have inquired about free agent closer Francisco Cordero, Cordero's agent told ESPN.
Cordero, 36 years old, had a 5-3 record with 37 saves and a 2.45 ERA in 69.2 innings last season with the Cincinnati Reds. His best year came in 2004 with the Texas Rangers, when the pitcher was 3-4 with 49 saves and a 2.13 ERA.
ESPN's Gordon Edes suggested the Red Sox might also have been one of a dozen teams to inquire about relief pitcher Jonathan Broxton. Broxton, who appeared in just 14 games last season for the Los Angeles Dodgers before undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his pitching elbow in September, had a 5.68 ERA last season. During his last full season, in 2010, Broxton was 5-6 with a 4.04 ERA and 22 saves. For the four-year stretch from 2006-2009, Broxton compiled 79 saves and his ERA was never higher than 3.13.
If the Red Sox choose not to sign a closer during free agency, they would likely promote Daniel Bard to fill Papelbon's role.
After the sudden departure of Jonathan Papelbon, the Boston Red Sox could look to Heath Bell or Ryan Madson to fill their closer opening, according to a report from Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.
Papelbon reportedly signed with the Philadelphia Phillies today, accepting a deal that is expected to pay him close to $50 million over four years.
Knobler tweeted that the Red Sox "will be in on" both Bell and Madson, and that the team is "not committed to Daniel Bard as closer yet." Bard finished last year 2-9 with a 3.33 ERA in his role as Papelbon's set-up man.
Bell, who already revealed interest in joining the Red Sox, has notched at least 42 saves in each of the last three seasons. He finished the 2011 season with a 3-4 record, posting 43 saves and a 2.44 ERA.
Madson, who was rumored to be returning to Philadelphia on Monday before the Phillies signed Papelbon, was 2-4 in 2011 with 46 saves and a 2.37 ERA.
The Phillies were reportedly extremely close to a four-year, $44 million deal to retain closer Ryan Madson on Monday, but a source told ESPN that negotiations are splintering and Madson is now unlikely to return to Philadelphia.
Philadelphia decision-makers have reportedly debated whether to pursue Papelbon, rather than Madson, for some time now, and the disintegration of negotiations with Madson presumably makes Papelbon look more attractive.
The Phillies reportedly have had "extensive negotiations" with Papelbon's agents since the free agency period began at 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 6. A source told ESPN those negotiations have hit "some bumps in the road," but the organization's interest in Papelbon "has never waned."
Papelbon is a type A free agent, meaning the Red Sox would be compensated with a top draft pick if Papelbon leaves. But Red Sox officials have said they would like to re-sign Papelbon. Other teams reportedly interested in his services include the Toronto Blue Jays and Florida Marlins.
Heath Bell said that he would love to play for the Boston Red Sox, among other teams, in an interview on Tuesday. Bell, who pitched for the Padres last season, has a career 28-24 record with a 3.06 ERA, 134 saves and 494 strikeouts.
The Red Sox are interested in free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran according to Sports Illustrated's John Heyman:
The Red Sox' interest should come as no surprise after a season which saw them bringing up the rear end of the pack in right field production. While Josh Reddick offered some small burst of excitement with his strong start in the mid-summer months, his prolonged slump in August and September made it unlikely that the Red Sox would be content to rely on him going forward.
Carlos Beltran is coming off a year that saw him return to his old All-Star form. Playing in 142 games--a significant number after managing only 145 in 2009 and 2010 combined--the outfielder hit .300/.385/.525 between his time with the Mets and the Giants. While the 34-year-old's knee is still a very real concern, the possibility of signing an impact talent such as he on just a 2-year commitment would be very tempting for any franchise.
The first significant Hot Stove rumor for the Red Sox is in: could the team be after former Cleveland star Grady Sizemore?