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In stagnant market, Sox sit and wait

Posted by Tony Massarotti, Globe Staff  December 9, 2008 09:22 PM

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LAS VEGAS -- We just emerged from Theo Epstein's daily briefing, where the Red Sox general manager seemed almost apologetic for the absence of news surrounding the team.

"I actually think I have less to tell you than yesterday,'' Epstein said.

So there you go.

While Mark Teixeira remains the primary target for the Sox, Epstein did address the trade between Baltimore and Cincinnati that sent catcher Ramon Hernandez to the Reds in exchange for multi-talented utility man Ryan Freel. The Sox had marginal interest in both players as contingency plans, Epstein said, so the deal has limited (if any) impact on the Sox. The day's only other news -- the signing of closer Francisco Rodriguez by the New York Mets -- had no bearing on the team, as the Sox are not in the market for a closer.

Overall, Epstein called the market "stagnant.''

"We're trying to make the team better,'' he said. "We're not trying to make a splash.''

Nonetheless, you should not eliminate the possibility that one move could do both.

A few picked-up pieces of info:

  • If and when the Red Sox sign Teixeira, trading David Ortiz might not be a realistic proposition after all. Late this year, Ortiz officially became a 10-5 man, meaning he has 10 years of service, the last five with the same team. That distinction gives Ortiz the right to veto any trade, so any deal involving him would require the player's consent.
  • The Sox have expressed some interest in reliever Brandon Lyon, the same righthander whom Epstein once claimed off waivers and subsequently traded to the Diamondbacks in the Curt Schilling deal. Lyon has closed and set up in Arizona in recent years, and the Sox likely would regard him as another late-inning option. Picking up someone like Lyon could allow the Sox to move Justin Masterson to the rotation, depending on how the offseason plays out.
  • Manny Delcarmen missed qualifying for arbitration by seven days. Two years ago, reliever Javier Lopez missed qualifying for arbitration by five days. One agent believes the Sox so precisely manage their roster that neither was a mistake.

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