4:30 p.m. The New York Post's Joel Sherman reporting that Roy Halladay has not been traded.
4:15 p.m. ESPN reports, in sort of a throwaway line in its Martinez story, that a bigger deal for Halladay fell apart when the Sox refused to part with both Buchholz and Bard.
3:41 p.m. Regarding the LaRoche-Kotchman deal, FoxSports writes: "The Red Sox's motivation in adding Kotchman is not as clear. Kotchman is an outstanding fielder, and the Red Sox's defense would improve if he were at first and Kevin Youkilis got the majority of playing time over Mike Lowell at third. Martinez, under that scenario, presumably would get most of his at-bats at catcher and DH."
3:39 p.m. A baseball source confirmed to the Globe's Tony Massarotti that the Red Sox have traded LaRoche (and about $1 million in cash) to the Braves for Kotchman.
3:25 p.m. The New York Post's Joel Sherman confirms that the Yankees have acquired utilityman Jerry Hairston Jr. from the Reds.
3:21 p.m. Yahoo! Sports's Gordon Edes reports that the Red Sox have dealt Adam LaRoche to the Braves for first baseman Casey Kotchman. Kotchman, 26, is batting .282 with six homers and 41 RBIs this season. LaRoche spent the first three years of his career with the Braves. He was acquired by the Red Sox on July 22 from the Pirates for a pair of prospects.
3:19 p.m. The Globe's Tony Massarotti confirms that, according to a baseball source, the Red Sox have traded Justin Masterson, Nick Hagadone and Bryan Price to the Indians for Victor Martinez.
3:17 p.m. Tom Verducci of the MLB Network says Salem righthander Bryan Price is the third player the Sox are including in the Martinez deal.
3:12 p.m. ESPN's Jayson Stark reports that Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi says he's "got nothing" when it comes to a possible deal for Roy Halladay.
3:06 p.m. USA Today's Bob Nightengale, who broke the news of the Victor Martinez deal an hour ago, tweets that it is a done deal. He does not indicate which players the Sox are giving up.
3:03 p.m.: SI.com's Jon Heyman reports that the Braves would be interested in Adam LaRoche if the Red Sox make him available. LaRoche, who spent the first three years of his career with the Braves, would probably be expendable if the Red Sox complete the Martinez deal.
2:55 p.m.: ESPN's Peter Gammons confirms that Hagadone and Masterson "are involved" in the deal, but doesn't confirm that the deal is done, just that trade talks are heating up.
2:52 p.m.: SI.com's Jon Heyman confirms that Masterson, who is 3-3 with a 4.50 ERA for the Red Sox this season, is in the deal.
2:37 p.m. MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo reports that the Red Sox are parting with pitchers Justin Masterson and Nick Hagadone, a 2007 first-round pick. The Sox may also be giving up additional prospects, according to Mayo.
2:26 p.m.: FoxSports reports that "the Indians' exact return is not known, but the Red Sox did not include either righthander Clay Buchholz nor righthander Daniel Bard in the deal, according to a source."
2:21 p.m.: A baseball source told the Globe's Tony Massarotti that the Red Sox and Indians are close to a deal for Martinez. It is unclear at this point which players the Red Sox are trading. The deal was first reported by USA Today's Bob Nightengale.
2:17 p.m.: According to the FoxSports report, the Martinez deal is straight-up between the Red Sox and Indians with no third team is involved. The report also notes that the deal will "almost certainly end" the Red Sox's pursuit of Gonzalez, who is likely to remain in San Diego.
2:13 p.m.: A source confirms to FoxSports's Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal that the Sox are on the verge of acquiring Martinez. Still no word on what the Sox will be giving up.
1:56 p.m.: According to a tweet by USA Today baseball writer Bob Nightengale, the Red Sox are about to acquire Victor Martinez from the Indians. We'll have more on this report if/when it can be confirmed.
1:51 p.m. The Rays are another team that has been said to be in the mix for Martinez, but according to ESPN's Jayson Stark, they have turned their attention toward adding pitching help if anything.
1:44 p.m.Heyman reports via Twitter that Padres closer Heath Bell's name has come up in trade talks with the Sox, prompting this question: "Isn't Boston's 'pen good enough?"
1:31 p.m. ESPN's Jayson Stark reports that an unnamed team executive told him that the Padres asking price on Gonzalez is astronomical. When asked exactly what that means, the executive replied, "Three times the asking price on Halladay." Seems to confirm Jon Heyman's previous report on San Diego's demands, doesn't it?
1:27 p.m.: For those hoping the Sox might re-acquire Orlando Cabrera as a stopgap at shortstop, no such luck. The A's have dealt him to the Twins for prospect Tyler Ladenorf.
1:12 p.m.: Heyman's SI.com blog updates his tweet regarding Gonzalez and the Sox. He notes that the sides are discussing a "big package" that includes Buchholz, Masterson and Lowrie in exchange for Gonzalez. However, Heyman writes, the sides are still pretty far apart, and Boston is still in the mix for Cleveland's Victor Martinez. He also notes that the Padres are pressing for prospects Lars Anderson and Ryan Westmoreland, but that the Sox may have deemed Westmoreland and pitcher/shortstop Casey Kelly untouchable.
1:05 p.m. If Jon Heyman's most recent tweet is accurate, the Padres' asking price for Gonzalez is beyond steep: "Red Sox still talking adrian gonzo. buchholz, lowrie, masterson in mix. sd wants ryan westmoreland and lars anderson, too. He also notes that the Sox and Tigers were among the teams to ask about Seattle ace Felix Hernandez.
12:49 p.m.: Another update from MLB senior writer Jonathan Mayo via Twitter: "Source tells me chances of Tribe dealing [Victor Martinez] is about 50 percent"
12:45 p.m.: MLB.com senior writer Jonathan Mayo tweeted that the he is hearing that the odds of the Padres dealing Adrian Gonzalez were "very low at this point".
12:41 p.m.: Nothing really new to report at this hour, but a couple of our readers were wondering about the contract situations of the so-called Big Three of potential Red Sox targets. Here they are, courtesy of Cot’s Contracts.
- Roy Halladay is making $14.25 million this season and is under contract for $15.75 million for 2010, becoming a free agent at the end of next season.
- Victor Martinez makes a very reasonable $5.7 million in 2009 and has a club option for $7 million for 2010 (with a $250,000 club buyout). However, if he is traded, his 2009 salary goes to $6.2 million and the 2010 option rises to $7.5 million.
- Adrian Gonzalez is a bargain at $3 million this season, will get $4.75 million next season and has a $5.6 million club option for 2011.
And while you’re waiting for something to happen, share your thoughts on what the Red Sox should do in this survey:
11:39 a.m.: According to ESPN.com's Rumor Central (Insider only), Jayson Stark reports that the Red Sox have "pokers in the fire" on Halladay, Gonzalez, and Martinez as of this morning. He also speculates that the Red Sox would need a third team in the deal to acquire Gonzalez, if only because the recently acquired Adam LaRoche would probably need to be dealt elsewhere . . . SI.com's Jon Heyman notes that the Sox are poised to make a splash at the deadline, and a rival executive tells him believes Gonzalez is the primary target.
11:14 a.m.: The Globe's Tony Massarotti just checked in to report that according to well-placed baseball source, the Red Sox and Padres are continuing discussions this morning about Adrian Gonzalez. It is unclear which Red Sox prospects the Padres are pursuing, but considering that San Diego lacks depth in its farm system, there is the possibility that the Red Sox could supply San Diego a collection of players while hanging on to some of their elite prospects.
11:02 a.m. Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi is sending out signals this morning that he doesn't expect the Jays to deal Halladay. When asked via text by Yahoo! Sports's Tim Brown whether "[a] club had rallied into his consciousness, Ricciardi texted two words: “Nothing going.” And the New York Post's Joel Sherman tweeted this response from Ricciardi: "I would say it is highly probable that he (Halladay) is a Blue Jay (at 4:01 p.m. today)."
* * *
The MLB trading deadline is just five hours way, and the Red Sox, one of few teams with the resources financially and in terms of prospects to make a major deal, figure to be -- and certainly seem to be -- right in the middle of the action.
Will they go all-in for 27-year-old San Diego first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who would be an ideal fit in the middle of their lineup for years to come? Or will they possibly deal for Cleveland switch-hitting catcher/first baseman Victor Martinez, who will probably cost less in return. And of course, they could always become players in the Roy Halladay sweepstakes.
It should be a suspenseful day for Sox fans, and we'll keep you updated right here as the rumors and whispers fly leading up to the deadline. For now, here is a brief roundup of what's going on as it pertains to the Sox and the Big Three that they may be pursuing:
Gonzalez: According to the Globe's Nick Cafardo, there were indications late last night that trade talks between the Padres and Red Sox concerning the Padres first baseman were still active and would likely peak today before the trade deadline. Padres GM Kevin Towers was said to be asking for "a ton" for Gonzalez according to one major league source familiar with the Padres' thinking. Some of the names being discussed included Clay Buchholz, Lars Anderson, Jed Lowrie, Ryan Westmoreland, Justin Masterson and others, but no word on whether the Red Sox had offered a package for Gonzalez . . . Sean McAdam of the Boston Herald writes that the Red Sox are much more actively pursuing the Padres' big bat than they are the Indians' Martinez . . . The New York Daily News adds that there is the possibility that the Sox could also obtain reliever Heath Bell from San Diego if Daniel Bard is included in a deal.
Martinez: ESPN's Jayson Stark writes that the Red Sox and Indians were discussing a three-way trade Thursday night that would send Martinez to Boston, Clay Buchholz to Cleveland and prospects flying in all directions, according to clubs that spoke to both teams. Writes Stark: "The Red Sox also would attempt to move recently acquired Adam LaRoche, either to a third team or in a companion deal, to make room for Martinez in their lineup, one source said." . . . SI.com's Jon Heyman reports According to ESPN's Peter Gammons this morning on the "Mike and Mike" radio show on ESPN radio: "I was told the Indians don't think they're going to do anything today." . . . FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi are reporting that the Indians are “pessimistic” about their chances of moving Martinez . . .The Globe's Nick Cafardo notes that the Red Sox have been reluctant to deliver Buchholz for the catcher/first baseman.
Halladay: Ricciardi remained pessimistic about trading his ace, Cafardo reports, but as one team's top adviser said last night, "where there's a huge pitcher available some teams don't show their best hand until the final moments of the deadline. You might see that with Boston at the end." . . . Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star writes that Halladay is staying with the Jays, which makes Toronto a trading-deadline winner already.