Scratch Rafael Soriano off the list of possible relievers for the Red Sox. To the chagrin of the Braves, he has accepted salary arbitration.
After making $6.1 million last season, Soriano will get a raise. That's bad news for Atlanta, which invested $6.75 million on Billy Wagner as their closer and another $3.2 million on Takashi Saito.
Lefty Mike Gonzalez declined arbitration from the Braves. The Sox have interest in him but would have to forfeit a draft pick to sign him as he is a Type A free agent.
Meanwhile, as expected, Jason Bay declined arbitration from the Sox. Angels GM Tony Reagins described him earlier tonight as an "appealing" player. The Angels will not even consider Matt Holliday, so Bay could quickly become a priority. Owner Arte Moreno would prefer not to deal with Scott Boras again after an unpleasant negotiation for Mark Teixeira last winter.
The Red Sox also have met with the the agent for free-agent starter Justin Duchscherer. He did not pitch last season after surgery to his hip and elbow that were compounded by depression issues. Signing Duchscherer would give the Sox some needed rotation depth, likely at a reasonable cost.
Adrian Beltre declined arbitration from Seattle, which could free up money for the Mariners to throw at Bay.