Saturday, December 13, 2008

Should the Red Sox Look at Peavy?

Jake Peavy previously stated that he did not want to play in the A.L. Now that the deal with the Cubbies has fallen apart he may be open to the idea of joining baseball's dominant league. Barry Axelrod said the Red Sox could be one place he would play:


“Jake has a strong preference to stay in the National League. If Jake's ever going to accept anything to the American League – and I don't want this to be taken wrong – I can safely say that it's going to be the Yankees or Red Sox or maybe the Angels. Those teams are going to be in contention and are going to spend money. If there were circumstances where he would be asked to go to the AL, kicking and screaming, those are the three places.”

The Pads are having a fire-sale and are in need of a shortstop. The Sox could send them Lugo and cover most of his salary, throw in a prospect or two and try to land Peavy. How nice would it be if the Red Sox could add Peavy to an already good rotation?

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Lucchino Is Not Going To Jump Ship

Last August there was some speculation that Larry Lucchino might be leaving the Red Sox to head back to the West Coast. Today he was asked by Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union Tribune if he was going to put together a group to purchase the Padres. Lucchino's response:

“All I can say is that I have a wife and kids and I'm comfortably ensconced in Boston. I'm gainfully employed and my situation is very attractive. I don't think you'll see me in the hunt. My plan is to stay here.”

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Friday, December 12, 2008

8 Years or More to Get Teixeira

The Red Sox will have to offer and at least 8 years to sign Mark Teixeira. Right now the Nats and the Angels both have 8 year offers on the table and each has an extra added incentive. The Nats offer the home town angle and Teixeira recently bought a house in So Cal while he was with the Angels. The Sox are going to at minimum match an 8 year offer and possibly go 9 to land him. Is it worth it? In the short term I have to say no, but he is a guy that could be the backbone of the offense for years to come. $20 million a year for 8 years in this economy is a pretty significant committment. Are you ready for $12 beers at Fenway?

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Yankees Rotation Begins to Take Shape

The Yankees have signed A.J. Burnett for 5 years. Burnett joins Sabathia, Wang, Joba (if he does not go to the pen) and possibly Lowe and Pettitte. This is a much better rotation then than had last year but by no means gives them a guaranteed trip into the World Series.

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Kevin Cash is Now a Free Agent

The Red Sox did not tender Kevin Cash a contract making him a free agent. This decision was made to avoid arbitration. Cash can be re-signed by the Red Sox before the season begins but he could get offers from other teams. Cash did well catching the knuckleball making people quickly forget about Doug Mirabelli. With Wake coming back there is a good chance Cash will be back. I met him last September and he signed a nice note for my son, I hope he will be behind the dish next time Wake takes the mound.

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Okajima's Off-Season Preparation Includes Running a Marathon

Hideki Okajima will be running the Honolulu Marathon this Sunday. It is usually the Red Sox wives that are involved in running marathons but it is nice to see a player staying fit. I am guessing he will not be joined by C.C. Sabathia or Manny (the video games and cartoons are calling) in this endevor.

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New Uniform Press Conference - Video

Here is the video of yesterday's press conference unveiling the new Red Sox uniforms.

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Who's Gonna Take Manny?

Yesterday's news was filled with reports of Manny Ramirez being upset about getting so little attention at the Winter Meetings and having to play second fiddle to Mark Teixeira. His friends said he was spending his time watching cartoons and playing video games (there you see the real Manny; Ortiz holds a fundraiser for charity, Ramirez plays video games and watches cartoons).

Most news outlets were saying Scott Boras was going to try to deal Manny to teams that lost out on Mark Teixeira but that may not work. The Red Sox don't want him, the Angels wanted Ibanez as a fall back (too late for that), the Nats may go with Adam Dunn, and the Dodgers have yet to put their offer back on the table. There is only one team out there that may have the money and be willing to sign him; that team is.....the Yankees.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Theo Speaks to the Nation

Rafe Anderson scored a great interview with Theo Epstein for Sawxheads.com today. The interview gave some insight into how he approaches his job:

On progress made towards trades or acquisitions at Winter Meetings:

Theo Epstein: There has been a lot of lot of talks out here and we’ve made some progress on some fronts and we were shut down on other fronts, but we didn’t get anything done out here. So we’ll fly back today, keep working on things and see what we can accomplish.

On the economy affecting salaries in MLB:

TE: It’s our responsibility to assess how the economy affects our club. It’s important not to take a snapshot in time. If you go year-to-year [in evaluating the financial situation of the club] you wind up getting caught. You have to look at big chunks of time, look five years ahead. And looking ahead over the next five years, I don’t know how anyone could deny that there’s financial uncertainty out there. Thus, proceeding cautiously or at least with that uncertainty in mind seems like the prudent thing to do.

On whether Sox met with C.C. Sabathia during the Winter Meetings:

TE: We met with [Sabathia]. But we meet with a lot of players, it was a pretty standard meeting. He’s a great pitcher and I have a great deal of respect for what he did down the stretch last year, putting his team before himself. He really deserves everything he got.

On whether the Yankees overspent for Sabathia:

TE: Not very many elite pitchers get to free agency. When a pitcher accomplishes what Sabathia has accomplished and manages to stay healthy to free agency and can talk to all 30 teams, you’re going to see a large contract. Maybe the Yankees spent much more than the next best offer but that’s not what you’re going to be talking about next April when he’s on the mound.

On whether the way the organization’s handling of the Manny Ramirez/Jason Bay trade impacted Pedroia’s decision to stay in Boston:

TE: We put a lot of thought into the organization and what we stand for. We want to win but want to win the right way. But talking about isn’t nearly as meaningful as if you conduct your business accordingly. At the trading deadline last year, it was a demonstration of our values and what was important to us.

You can listen to the entire interview here.

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The New Uni's Are Here


The Red Sox are calling the new road uniforms a "retro" look.

I'm still not sure what I think of the new look, but I do know that 4 is too many uniforms for a team. Keep the extra uni's for expansion teams.

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Leaving Las Vegas

Theo and the Red Sox will be headed back to the Hub with two pitchers: Miguel Gonzalez and Miguel Marquez from the Rule 5 draft. Epstein explained where Boston stands with other free agents:

"We are still in the middle of the process," he said. "We're not at the end. We're in the middle of the process with a lot of guys."

He did admit that he made three offers to available free-agents. Jason Varitek was one of them. The other two were likely Teixeira and a pitcher.

Theo's statement contradicts Cafardo's earlier reporting about Tek. The Winter Meetings are now over.

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Did Tek Did Not Get an Offer?

Nick Cafardo of the Globe says Varitek has not been offered a contract:


Except for the "offer" of arbitration, which he declined, free agent catcher Jason Varitek has not received a contractual offer from the Red Sox, a source familiar with the talks said.
This does look more and more like Boras is trying to pressure the Red Sox into a package deal with Teixeira and Varitek.

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Where Everything Stands With Teixeira and Varitek

Last night Ken Rosental reported that the Red Sox were making good progress with Teixeira but this morning Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees are making a serious run at him. It would make sense for the Yanks to try to sign him, even with Sabathia they still have some problems, especially with their offense. They are going to pick up Mike Cameron because he is C.C.'s best friend and was most likely part of the deal to bring Sabathia to the Bronx. Cameron is not going to bring too much offense with him so the Yankees need to get a big stick to go along with their aging lineup.

The O's have not gone beyond 7 years yet in their offer for Teixiera.

The Angels have not gone beyond 7 years and the Nats have offered 8.

ESPN Radio mentioned the possibility of Boras offering some kind of package deal for the Red Sox with Varitek and Teixeira. Both of them played at Georgia Tech. Boston is said to have offered Tek a 2 year deal, is this connected to any offers for Teixeira?

If Theo goes offers 8 years than Teixeira will be in Boston next season but that is much longer than the team may be comfortable with.

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Red Sox Might Have a New Taker For Lugo

ESPN is reporting that the Red Sox are talking with the Diamondbacks for a trade of Julio Lugo for Eric Byrnes. Boston needs a fourth outfielder now that Coco is gone and Byrnes could be that guy. Last season Byrnes only played in 50 games due to injury and hit .209 but in '07 he hit .289 and had 50 steals. He is a guy Theo likes because he will take some pitches. I just hope he doesn't try to regrow that mustache like he did last June.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

All Signs Point to Tek Returning

The Red Sox seem pretty confident that they can re-sign Jason Varitek. They made an offer to him today and it looks as if Tek has not drawn much interest from other clubs. The Red Sox did explore the possibility of getting a young catcher from Texas but they have not had any additional talks with the Rangers at the Winter Meetings. Earlier today there were some rumors that the Sox may let Kevin Cash go. It is unlikely this will occur without some significant progress in the Varitek talks. Look for a 1 year deal with an option for a second year. In the current market I think the best Varitek could get from the Sox is a 2-year deal. A deal should be finalized in the very near future.

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Theo Sums Up Day 3 - Video

Watch Theo Epstein react to the C.C. deal and the Red Sox progress at Winter Meetings:

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O's Get Back in the Teixeira Mix

Scott Boras must be loving life right now as 4 Major League teams are involved in a pissing contest over Mark Teixeira. Washington still has the highest bid with the Angels and Red Sox right behind. The Orioles have "survived" the initial give and take and are now in the mix with a 7 year $150 million offer. The Red Sox are discussing the possibility of offering 8 years. Just to stir the pot a little the Yankees are meeting with Boras tonight to discuss Lowe but they will say they were talking about Teixeira. This is looking like it will come to a head before teams depart Vegas tomorrow.

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Yankees May Buy Every Free Agent Out There

The Yanks are going big after A.J. Burnett who has ruled out the Red Sox, and they're not done yet:

"The Yankees also have had serious conversations in recent days with right-hander Derek Lowe, and as of Wednesday afternoon they had a four-year, $65 million proposal on the table to him. They would be happy to sign both Lowe and Burnett to go into the rotation with Sabathia, Chien-Ming Wang and Joba Chamberlain. If they can't, they're interested in Ben Sheets (on a two-year deal with options) and Andy Pettitte."

The building from within process seems to be going according to plan.

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Evening Winter Meetings Update Day 3

The Nationals have offered Mark Teixeira an 8 year deal that the Red Sox and Angels will probably not top, so it is up to Tex if he wants $ or glory.

The Yankees are offering A.J. Burnett a 5 year deal, that's right 5 YEARS!!! That is way to long for anyone other than Hank to even consider offering.

The Red Sox have made and offer to Jason Varitek.

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The Latest From Vegas With Gammons, Cafardo, and Buckley

Peter Gammons, Nick Cafardo, and Steve Buckley were guests of Bob Lobel on Sawxheads daily Winter Meetings call-in. I asked them reflect on the Red Sox chances of signing Teixeira. Call highlights include Gammons saying listening to Scott Boras answer questions was like listening to Sarah Palin; he didn't understand any of the answers. He also said he believes Manny will end up on the Nats. Listen below, there's some great stuff:




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Tito Is Out of the Loop on Red Sox Negotiations

The Red Sox may be skilled at spin and "misdirections" as the Herald reports but they need to fill in Tito when he is away from the blackjack table to stick to the talking points. Look at this from USA Today:

"Did you meet with C.C. (Sabathia)?" the reporter asked.

Francona: "Did I? No, not to my knowledge. Did Theo (Epstein, Red Sox general manager) say we did?"

Reporter "I haven't seen Theo."

Francona: "I haven't done much, to be honest with you. I would bet that Theo is checking in with everybody. I'm answering that a little bit vaguely because I don't know exactly what he did."

Reporter: "But were you part of the group that met with C.C.?"

Francona: "I was upstairs. I didn't do much today."

Reporter: "So, no, you were not part of it?"

Francona: "I'm pleading the fifth on that one only because I don't know. I apologize. That's a weak answer. What did Theo say?"

Reporter: "He said he met with a free agent but he didn't say who."

Francona: "That's what I say. That's my answer. I said, 'Theo, I need to talk to you before I go out and talk to the media,' and I whiffed on him."

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Hank Still Wants Manny

About a month ago Hank Steinbrenner said he wants Manny on the Yanks. He has reiterated that point today. From Jon Hayman of SI:

LAS VEGAS -- Yankees co-owner Hank Steinbrenner is said by people close to him to want Manny Ramirez in pinstripes. Unlike his father, who dreaded dreadlocks, Steinbrenner the junior is said by a Yankees person "not to give a (hoot) about his hair.'

Am I the only one who thinks Hank may have given up on his plan to build from within?

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Who Will Blink First on Teixeira?

The Red Sox seem to be in a pretty good position in the negotiations for Mark Teixeira, they are an East Coast team with money a chance of winning now. The Angels are in the worst position in the negotiations because they NEED Teixeira and Boras knows it. To re-sign him they are going to have to beat the huge salary offer the Nats have already made and convince him to play on the West Coast for a long time. The Angel are so desperate to re-sign Tex that their owner has flown to Vegas to participate in the negotaitions. Theo has to stay out of the way at this point and not further inflate the bidding war. Boras will now go the Angels and see what they are going to offer before asking Theo to top it. How high will the Sox go? 8 years? 9 years? $180 million or higher? The Red Sox don't need Teixeira so he may be one that gets away if the Angels throw a big offer on the table. The New York Times notes that Teixeira may still be holding a grudge against the Red Sox. With Sabathia now gone it is looking more likely that Teixeira will sign somewhere before the end of the week.

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Could Smoltz Be This Year's Colon for the Red Sox?

SI is reporting that the Red Sox are interested in John Smoltz. Even with his current rehab, Smoltz could be a good fit in Boston's rotation.

Peter Gammons is also reporting that the Red Sox have been given Smoltz's medical information.

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The Chips Begin to Fall

The Winter Meetings are heating up with some big news:

C.C. Sabathia is headed to the Bronx in a massive 7 year deal worth around $170 million.

The Yankees are also close to signing Derek Lowe and are still interested in A.J. Burnett.

The Red Sox are still the front runners in the Teixeira sweepstakes.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Theo Talks Catchers - Video

Theo Epstein discusses the catching market and the Winter Meetings on NESN, watch below:

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Tito Hits the Tables Early


According to T.J. Simers of the L.A. Times, Terry Francona was at the blackjack table at the Bellagio before 10 am this morning. I guess everything doesn't stay in Vegas.

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The Latest From Vegas

If the Angels are in on Teixeira then they need to get busy because they have not made an offer yet. They may loose out on Tex and Sabathia. Maybe they need to follow Brian Cashman to see where the action is.

Brian Cashman has left his hotel room for a super-secret meeting according the the Star Ledger:

UPDATE (8:57 pm): A person familiar with the situation just told me the Cashman meeting may not be with Burnett after all. Another person suggested the meeting was with Derek Lowe, adding that it was definitely not with Sabathia or Sheets. I'll keep at it, folks. We'll get this yet.

I think the secret meeting might be at the Spearmint Rhino...what happens in Vegas

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Red Sox Put an Offer on the Table for C.C. Sabathia

Peter Gammons is reporting that the Red Sox have made an offer to C.C. Sabathia. Other teams are still in the mix but it is interesting that Theo has gone beyond discussions and has made an offer to Sabathia.

In other Winter Meeting news:

Pirates catcher Ronny Paolino is being discussed as a possible match for the Red Sox but they may have to compete with the Marlins to get him.

Ed Price of Fox Sports thinks the Giants might want Mike Lowell if the Sox get Teixeira but it looks like the Nats have the high bid right now.

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Bob Lobel and Jerry Remy Answer Questions

Sawxheads had their daily call-in from the Winter Meetings to field questions on the Red Sox. I was able to ask the RemDawg three questions about Burnett, Lowe, and Buchholz. Remy disagreed with me that the club was overvaluing Buchholz; he thinks it is the fans that have wanted too much too fast. Listen Below:


video

UPDATE: Theo spoke with reporters about the team's view of Buchholz today:

"In our minds, he's a top-of-the-rotation starter who we control [contractually] for six years," said Epstein. "He's very high-priced, and we value him tremendously."

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Red Sox Focus on Vetran Pitchers

The Red Sox have been working the market for a veteran arm for the back end of the rotation or to fill in for injuries. They are actively discussing Carl Pavano, Andy Pettitte, and A. J. Burnett.

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Red Sox New Uniform Update

Sox and Dawgs has the possible new logo.

For those of you that are doubting that a new logo is coming, here is an email I received from the Red Sox today:

Red Sox Nation Citizens --

You and a guest could join Terry Francona, Manny Delcarmen, Jim Rice, Jerry Remy and Red Sox Front Office members as newly redesigned Club logos and select uniforms are unveiled!

A limited number of RSN citizens will have the opportunity to attend a special media event at Game On! Fenway at 6 p.m. Thursday, December 11 to introduce design changes to Red Sox logos and select uniforms.

Please express your interest in attending by e-mailing us at redsoxnation@redsox.com by 10 p.m. on Tuesday, December 8. Guests will be chosen on Wednesday, December 9 and notified by noon.

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Sabathia and Teixeira Most Wanted at Winter Meetings

Two free agent names keep getting discussed by multiple teams and everyone else seems to be waiting until one of them signs.

The Red Sox are most interested in Teixeira but they did meet with Sabathia yesterday. Boras floated the idea of a 10 year $200 million contract to get Teixeria which is most likely too steep for Boston. Right now the teams most interested in Teixeria are the Nats, Orioles, Angels, Red Sox, and Yankees to a lesser extent. New York, LAA, and Boston have the money but Washington and Baltimore have the hometown advantage.

The Yankees have the most interest in Sabathia but he wants to play on the West Coast, he may have even said he wants to be a Dodger. The Angels also like him and must decide if they want him over Tex, they can't afford both. Most believe that the Sox are talking to Sabathia to drive up the price.

Eric Ortiz at NESN.com believes that A.J. Burnett is also a name being thrown around by multiple teams including the Red Sox. Late last week it seemed the Braves had a done deal but it looks like that fell through.

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Winter Meetings Day 2

Last night Theo Epstein told the Boston media it is unlikely the Red Sox will make any deals in Las Vegas. That being said there are a few new rumors this morning:

Extra Bases has the Sox interested in Pavano, Brad Penny, and says Gabe Kapler may be available as the fourth outfielder.

Ian Browne of MLB.com says Ramon Hernandez and Bengie Molina could both be options at catcher via trade.

Alex Speier of WEEI.com says the Red Sox scouted backup catcher Miguel Montero of the Diamondbacks and may be talking trade.

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Monday, December 8, 2008

WEEI Talks Tek - Video

WEEI.com video update on Varitek and the catcher market from the Winter Meetings in Vegas

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New Red Sox Logo in '09

The Boston Red Sox will unveil a new logo and new alternate uniforms at a press conference on Thursday.

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Red Sox Might Turn to NY Mets For a Catcher

The Washington Post's Baseball insider is citing two sources as saying the Red Sox and Mets are in talks to send catcher Brian Schneider to Boston. Schneider hit .257 with 9 HR and 38 RBI's in 110 games with New York last season.

hat tip to MLB Trade Rumors

UPDATE: The NY Post says these talks were earlier and went nowhere.

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Rangers May Still Want To Trade a Catcher

Earlier it seemed like the Red Sox had no chance of getting Teagarden or Jarrod Saltalamacchia when Laird was traded but now Peter Gammons reports that the Rangers are still willing to talk. However, with Buchholz off the table the Red Sox may not get far.

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More From Vegas

Extra Bases cites Steve Phillips as saying that the Tigers are close to working out a deal for SS Adam Everett. So much for Lugo going anywhere. It seems the Tigers want to get everything done on the first day of the Winter Meetings.

Here is a headline that should shock nobody: "Dodgers losing patience with Manny" from ESPN's Winter Meetings blog:

Colletti isn't ruling out a return engagement for Ramirez in Los Angeles in 2009, but he doesn't sound thrilled with the way things have gone thus far with Ramirez and his agent, Scott Boras. "I just find it curious,'' Colletti said. "We made a [contract] offer and never heard back. We made a [salary] arbitration offer and never heard back. Maybe we have to look into the communications we're using.''

Rob Bradford quotes a source as saying Clay Buchholz is off the table and will not be discussed in trade talks.

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Winter Meetings Update








The Latest from the Winter Meetings in Vegas:

The Tigers said they were interested in Tek before the Red Sox offered him arbitration but did not want to give up a draft pick. The Tigers were interested in Napoli from LAA too, but thought the price was too high. The Red Sox are also looking at Napoli

Steve Phillips of ESPN says the Red Sox are still interested in obtaining Teixeira.

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Catching Options Become Fewer

Texas Ranger's catcher Gerald Laird has been traded to the Tigers, and as Sox and Dawgs points out that makes it very unlikely that the Red Sox will be able to get Teagarden or Saltalamacchia. Tek may have made the right choice declining arbitration as the Red Sox now have limited choices behind the dish. The Sox may now be looking at Mike Napoli or Jeff Mathis from the Angels.

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Tek Declines Arbitration

Jason Varitek has declined arbitration, I guess Ken Rosenthal was right for a change. Boras is going betting that he can find a multi-year deal for his client, I would tend to think Tek's declining of arbitration is a sign that there is significant interest from a team other than Boston.

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Red Sox May Look At Blalock if Teixeira's Price is Too High

It is no secret that Theo wants some insurance in case Lowell does not recover well from the hip surgery. Teixeira is a guy they could get who could have an immediate impact on the lineup and be a centerpiece of the offense for years to come. But what if the price gets too high? The Red Sox may choose to trade for Hank Blalock from the Texas Rangers. The deal could be part of a multi-player deal that includes a catcher too. Blalock can play third which would allow Youk to stay at first whereas Tex has no experience at the hot corner. The winter meetings start tomorrow so get ready for some wheeling and dealing. Unlike last year's meetings, I think we are going to see a major transaction for the Sox coming out of Vegas.

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Another Round With Pedro?

Pedro Martinez recently announced he wanted to keep playing. His constant injuries will probably keep the Mets from re-signing him but what about the Red Sox? Pedro could be this year's Bartolo Colon (minus 150 pounds) for Boston and fill in when a starter hits the DL. Big Papi was doing his part to keep Pedro thinking Red Sox when the two participated in Ortiz's charity golf event in the D.R. on Saturday.

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