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Pregame news from Oakland: Sox looking; Lowell gets a shot

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  July 19, 2010 06:00 PM

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The Red Sox have been inquiring about relievers over the past few days, but as of this weekend they were not close to any deal. We'll look into whether that's changed in the last 24 hours.

The ones who appear to be in play are the Marlins' Leo Nunez, anyone from Kansas City (except Soria), Seattle's Dave Aardsma, Houston's Matt Lindstrom, Toronto's Scott Downs, but for the moment the Sox would like to see what they have in Michael Bowden in that role because the price for all of the relievers is still quite high.

UPDATE: Foxsports.com also reports the Sox and Rockies have been in talks about catcher Chris Iannetta, who is hitting .220 with seven homers and 14 RBIs in 91 at-bays, but has hit four homers in the last five games. Iannetta went to St. Rafael Academy in Pawtucket, not far from McCoy Stadium. The Sox have been interested in Iannetta most of the season, but it appears Victor Martinez isn't far from coming back from a broken left thumb. Jason Varitek is still a few weeks behind.

UPDATE: Terry Francona kept his pregame meeting with the media brief. No breaking news to speak of:

* Mike Lowell received a cortisone shot and will DH with Pawtucket on Thursday and travel with the Triple-A team to Colombus where he'll get some action this weekend.

* Martinez seeemd to do OK with the thumb guard the Sox built for him to protect his healing broken left thumb and he'll continue to test it. The feeling is Martinez could probably have come back sooner if there was a DH/1B position open for him, but since there isn't he needs to wait until he knows he can catch full-time. That doesn't seem far off.

* Jason Varitek didn't go for a second opinion but the Red Sox had another opinion on Varitek's X-rays to confirm that he doesn't need surgery on his foot fracture which seems more severe than Pedroia's. Because Varitek is a catcher the foot fracture will likely take longer than Pedroia's to heal.

* Jacoby Ellsbury keeps doing his thing in Fort Myers. No word yet on when he might play in a game.

* Jeremy Hermida is on track to rejoin the team in Seattle.

Tonight's starter, Daisuke Matsuzaka, was long-tossing in the outfield. Clay Buchholz also did his side session and threw the ball well. Dustin Pedroia was also playing catch standing up for a change, while Varitek is on one knee playing catch with a boot on his foot.

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