• The Red Sox are set to meet with the Athletics today and surely Andrew Bailey will come up. If the Red Sox carry through with the idea of making Daniel Bard a starter, Bailey would be a good fit as the closer.
Billy Beane is not about to give his closer away. But the A's did use Cliff Pennington as their shortstop last season and could find Jed Lowrie appealing. Oakland also was ready to take Lars Anderson last summer before the Rich Harden deal fell through.
Could Lowrie, Anderson Josh Reddick and perhaps a prospect return Bailey?
• There is a sense that David Ortiz could be back in the fold in the next 48 hours, either via a two-year deal or by accepting arbitration tomorrow.
The idea of Big Papi going elsewhere is not realistic. He has, at worst, $13 or $14 million in the bank from the Red Sox with that arbitration offer. Is there a team out there willing to top that plus lose a its first-round draft pick as compensation? Seems unlikely.
• Mike Aviles is playing outfield in Puerto Rico this winter. The Red Sox seem to be readying him for a super-utility kind of role.
• General managers routinely mislead the media about their plans, that is part of the game. But I tend to believe Ben Cherington when he says the Red Sox are not in the market for any of the top-tier free agents.
The collapse overshadowed the fact that the Red Sox were on a pace to win 99 games on Sept. 2. The loss of Jonathan Papelbon was significant. But beyond that? A lot of addition by subtraction so far. Of course that assumes Ortiz returns.
Check back later for more.