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Second-guessing? Sox courting Reese

The Red Sox' search for a second baseman may turn out to be a page from their history, albeit a very short page. Pokey Reese, who was Boston's second baseman for two days two years ago, may be part of the mix at the position next season, according to his agent.

 

"We're close," Michael Nicotera, Resse's agent, told Associated Press yesterday. "There's nothing to announce. We might have something sometime next week."

Reese was traded to the Red Sox by the Colorado Rockies for catcher-first baseman Scott Hatteberg two years ago today, and it appeared the surehanded second baseman was going to be manning the position for the 2002 season. But the Red Sox did not want to risk Reese getting $5 million to $6 million in arbitration and, after failing to work out a contract at an acceptable price, instead non-tendered him two days after the trade. The Rockies likewise did not tender a contract offer to Hatteberg, and both players became free agents.

Reese subsequently signed a two-year, $5 million deal with Pittsburgh, and hit .264 with 4 home runs and 50 RBIs for the Pirates in 2002 before slipping to .215 in just 37 games last year, when he missed most of the season with a thumb injury.

Having won Gold Gloves with the Cincinnati Reds in 1999 and 2000, Reese would be a defensive upgrade over Todd Walker, who hit .283 with 13 home runs and 85 RBIs last year but was considered too costly a free agent to bring back. If signed, Reese would likely share time with Mark Bellhorn, whom the Red Sox acquired from Colorado Tuesday.

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