The Red Sox have exclusivity with Adrian Beltre, Bill Hall, Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek through midnight tonight. After that, they become unfettered free agents,.
Do not expect any deals before then and do no expect any immediately after. As Theo Epstein explained on Thursday, once a player reaches this point they typically want to see what the free market holds for them.
If I had to rate the odds of each coming back — and this is purely a guess — it would be:
Varitek: 60 percent. There’s a chance the Sox love Jarrod Saltalamacchia enough to make him the full-time catcher and have Varitek return as his backup and mentor.
Beltre: 50 percent. Not that many teams need a third baseman and can pay what he wants. Beyond that, he knows how good of a fit he was in Boston.
Martinez: 40 percent. He will have many suitors and he was somewhat offended that the Sox did not seriously negotiate with him during the season.
Hall: 20 percent. Some team will give him a full-time job, which the Red Sox do not have to offer.
Unlike the NFL, which seems to take care of free agency in 48 hours, baseball tends to drag out the process. But at 12:01 a.m., anything can happen.