Sox talking to LaRoche
With the Mike Napoli negotiations stalled, the Red Sox are talking to free-agent first baseman Adam LaRoche, major league sources tell Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. The Sox would prefer to complete their deal with Napoli, the report says, but since the deal is held up because of contract language and compensation concerning Napoli’s health, LaRoche would make sense as another option. The Red Sox are in need of a first baseman who can hit.
Sox get Hanrahan from Pirates
The Red Sox completed a trade with the Pirates, obtaining Joel Hanrahan and infielder Brock Holt for reliever Mark Melancon and three prospects. Hanrahan, 31, makes sense for the Red Sox because questions linger over closer Andrew Bailey, who missed most of last season with a thumb injury and had a 7.04 ERA in 19 appearances when he returned.
Hanrahan made $4.1 million in 2012 and is eligible for salary arbitration in 2013 and eligible for free agency on 2014. He was a National League All-Star the past two seasons.
Reports: Ross goes to Diamondbacks
Cody Ross has finally gotten his desired three-year contract, according to multiple reports. The well-liked outfielder for the Red Sox in 2012 appears headed to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
According to Pete Abraham, the Globe’s Red Sox beat writer, reports indicate that Ross will get $26 million over three years. Ross got $3 million from Boston last season.
“[The Red Sox] were interested in retaining Ross earlier in offseason, but at two years,’’ Abraham said on Twitter. “He was holding out for three and got it from Arizona.’’
Dempster agrees to two-year deal with Boston
The Red Sox have agreed to terms with veteran Ryan Dempster on a 2-year, $26.5 million deal.
The deal is pending a physical.
Dempster was 5-5 with a 2.25 ERA for the Cubs and was truly an ace in 2012. He was 7-3 with a 5.09 ERA for the Rangers in 12 starts.
Could Masterson return to the Red Sox?
Indians starter Justin Masterson was traded by the Red Sox in the Victor Martinez deal in 2009, but Fox Sports reports Boston has “expressed interest” in re-acquiring him. Masterson went 11-15 with a 4.93 in 206.1 innings for Cleveland last season.
Hamilton goes to Angels
The big fish in the 2012/13 free agent pool was reeled in by the Angels. The Red Sox had contact with Josh Hamilton, and major league sources said the team met with Hamilton during baseball’s Winter Meetings.
The Rangers and Mariners were also reported to have serious interest in Hamilton, but in the end the Angels’ offer of five years and $125 million did the trick.
The All-Star outfielder, who has a history of addiction problems, disappeared on the Rangers the second half of last season, hitting .259 with 16 homers and 53 RBIs over his last 69 games. But the 2010 American League MVP still wound up with 43 homers, 128 RBIs, and a .930 OPS.
Myers for Lester deal discussed, doesn’t happen
Reports that the Royals and Red Sox talked about a Jon Lester for Wil Myers deal caused a stir, but ultimately Kansas City put together a trade with the Rays that included sending slugging prospect Myers to Tampa Bay for pitcher James Shields. The Royals are looking for starting pitching, and the Kansas City Star reported Wil Myers (pictured at left), the team’s top minor-league prospect, would be the chip used to get one.
Myers is a 21-year-old outfielder who hit 37 home runs last season in Double A and Triple A. He batted .314 with 109 RBIs in 522 at-bats over 134 games. He had 61 walks and 140 strikeouts.
Bay not headed back to Boston
Former Red Sox outfielder Jason Bay was available after the Mets terminated his contract. But the Mariners picked him up with a one-year contract reportedlty worth as much as $1 million. Bay spent part of 2008 and all of 2009 in Boston. Bay was an injury concern before he left Boston, and was injury-prone in his three seasons with the Mets. According to WEEI.com, Bay was interested in returning to Boston.
Sox have some interest in Berkman
In the low risk, high upside, injury-prone, dept., Red Sox GM Ben Cherington has at least expressed some degree of interest in the 36-year-old former Astro, Cardinal, and Yankee. Lance Berkman confirmed that the Red Sox were one of four teams that have contacted him along with the Astros, Phillies, and Rays. Berkman, who is just a year removed from a 31-homer, .959-OPS season, could be brought in as a platoon first baseman and occasional left fielder while spelling David Ortiz at DH.
Sox have inquired about Lohse
According to the Globe’s Nick Cafardo, the Red Sox “have called about” free agent righthander Kyle Lohse. The 34-year-old Lohse went 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA for the Cardinals last season but could be out of the Red Sox age range. Lohse received a $13.3 million qualifying offer from St. Louis and is reportedly looking for a three-year deal.
Sox thinking long term on Pedroia
According to a report on ESPNBoston.com, the Red Sox are ready to begin discussions on a possible long-term contract extension with second baseman Dustin Pedroia. The 29-year-old Pedroia still has two years remaining on his current six-year, $40.5 million contract. He’s scheduled to earn $10 million in both 2013 and 2014, and the Red Sox have a club option for $11 million (with a $500,000 buyout) for 2015. Pedroia was the AL MVP in 2008, but injuries have slowed the popular second baseman’s production in recent seasons.
Gordon’s price may be too steep
While the Red Sox “covet” Gold Glove outfielder Alex Gordon of the Royals, according to the Globe’s Nick Cafardo, it appears the price to acquire him might be too steep because the Royals would be seeking a starting pitcher in return. Gordon hit .294 with an .822 OPS to go along with 14 home runs, 51 doubles, and 72 RBIs for the Royals in 2012.
Upton could be available via trade
Diamondbacks right fielder Justin Upton is a quality player, but the price is likely out of the Red Sox’ range. According to Nick Cafardo of the Globe, Arizona is not shopping him but will listen to offers. But they are “looking for a major league-ready starting pitcher, shortstop or third baseman and the Red Sox don’t appear to have the pieces,” Cafardo wrote. Upton batted .280 with 17 home runs and 67 RBIs for Arizona in 2012.
Ellsbury could be a valuable trading chip
The Red Sox have indicated they are not interested in dealing center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, although one Red Sox official told the Globe’s Peter Abraham, “I’m sure we would listen, but no,” when asked if there would be any interest in trading him. But, Ellsbury is one year away from free agency and a deal now would allow the Red Sox to get something for one of their most valuable players.
Sox add Koji Uehara to bullpen
The Red Sox have agreed to a one-year deal with reliever Koji Uehara, according to a league source.
The 37-year-old righthander had a 1.75 ERA and a 0.639 WHIP in 37 games for Texas last season. He struck out 43 and walked three. The deal is pending a physical.
The Red Sox have coveted Uehara for years, and he projects as a late-inning option for them.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Thursday he had tried to re-sign Uehara before he decided to accept Boston’s offer.
Sox sign Shane Victorino
The Red Sox signed free-agent outfielder Shane Victorino to a three-year $39 million contract. Victorino is expected to play right field, but is also considered center field insurance in case the Sox deal Jacoby Ellsbury before the start of the season. The Rangers, Indians, and Reds were among the other clubs interested in Victorino’s services. Victorino, who split time with the Phillies and Dodgers last season, was an All-Star as recently as 2011. He hit .255 with 11 HRs, 59 RBIs, and 39 stolen bases last season.
Red Sox sign Napoli
Free agent catcher/first baseman Mike Napoli signed a three-year, $39 million deal with the Red Sox. Napoli has been on the Red Sox’ radar for a while, dating to his years with the Angels. He is a good match for Fenway Park because of his swing, putting up a 1.107 OPS at Fenway Park, and has been a notorious Red Sox killer over his career. The Red Sox want Napoli to be their first baseman and part-time catcher, as well as provide a boost to their offense. Soon after the deal was announced, Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester Tweeted: “Awesome addition to our team! Good news.’’
Sox agree to terms with Gomes
The Red Sox have reached a deal with free-agent outfielder Jonny Gomes. The contract is for two-years worth $10 million, pending a physical. The 32-year-old Gomes hit 18 home runs in 333 at-bats last season to go along with a .262 ave. and .868 OPS for the Oakland A’s last season. His defensive skills are below-average. Boston fans will best remember Gomes for a fight on the mound at Fenway in June 2008 when Gomes landed a few punches on Red Sox outfielder Coco Crisp, who had charged the mound.
Ross returns to the Red Sox
The first free agent signing for Boston is a backup catcher. The Red Sox signed David Ross to a a two-year, $6.2 million deal. Ross, who will turn 36 in March, started 47 games for the Atlanta Braves last season, hitting .256 with a .770 OPS. Ross played eight games for the Red Sox in 2008, signing as a free agent in late August.
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