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Ortiz endorses a V-Mart deal

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  July 30, 2009 11:57 AM

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If the Sox target Cleveland catcher/1B Victor Martinez as their trade deadline acquisition, that would be just fine with David Ortiz.

"Good dude. Really good kid. He's a good friend of mine. I've known him a long time," said Ortiz, who made the comments before a report surfaced that he had tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003.

Asked if a jolt would be good for the team right now, Ortiz said, "I think something like that would be good at this time when everybody's dragging a little bit. It would be good for the team."

The Red Sox seemed to be preparing for their final push on the trade front. Will there be a surprise, a player or two nobody has thought of? The Sox tend to do that. They did it somewhat with first baseman Adam LaRoche, whose arrival was somewhat of a surprise.

One possibility is the Padres. GM Kevin Towers indicated in an E-mail he does not comment on active trade discussions, which appears to mean he may be engaged in talks with the Red Sox that he can't comment on. Adrian Gonzalez would appear to be the central figure, but closer Heath Bell is also available.

Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi expressed pessimism over a deal with the Red Sox late last night. While names have been discussed, no formal offers have been made, but with the Phillies' deal falling through with Toronto, the Sox have an opening to take the All-Star pitcher.

Both the Sox and A's have denied any involvement on a deal that would send Orlando Cabrera to the Red Sox. Cabrera is not keen on returning to Boston.

Tim Wakefield is progressing in his rehab for his lower back strain. He will join the team tomorrow in Baltimore and continue throwing bullpen sessions and eventually a simulated game. Wakefield said he will not need a rehab assignment in the minors and is shooting for a return to the roster by the Tampa Bay Series next week.


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