DANA POINT, Calif. — San Diego general manager Kevin Towers has been working hard trying to put together a trade package with the Atlanta Braves for righthander Jake Peavy.
Towers still believes the Braves are his best match for a deal. Towers has spent a lot of time speaking to Braves special assistant Jim Fregosi about what they would deal. For the time being Atlanta is still unwilling to part with some of their top young talent, though it appears it would give up shortstop Yunel Escobar, who is coveted by San Diego.
Where do the Red Sox stand in all of this?
Peavy, who has a no-trade clause, is still making it clear that he wants to stay in the National League. While he hasn’t ruled out Boston, it would be far down the list after NL teams such as Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
Theo Epstein will arrive in time for tonight’s general managers’ dinner. Most of the GMs have scattered until then as their presence isn’t required at the arbitration meetings, which are going on right now. Most assistant GMs or the financial folks who put together the arbitration cases are required at those meetings.
Derek Lowe’s name has been mentioned a lot in the last 24 hours. He still appears to a coveted pitcher, even at age 35. Lowe would solve a lot of needs. While he’d like to return to Boston, both New York teams, Detroit, St. Louis, and the Cubs are also possible destinations for the former Sox sinkerballer.
Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin was disappointed that pitching coach Mike Maddux elected to leave the team to take a job with the Texas Rangers. Melvin felt that long-time organizational coach Bill Castro would be the frontrunner for the position.
While the World Series champion Phillies, as expected, named Ruben Amaro Jr. as their new GM — replacing Pat Gillick, who has retired (at least for the time being) — they lost long-time scouting director Mike Arbuckle, who decided to resign after being passed up for the job. Arbuckle, 58, is responsible for drafting much of the young talent the Phillies have built their team with, including Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Pat Burrell, and Jimmy Rollins.
Agent Scott Boras has not yet arrived, but he’ll be the focal point of the meetings once he does. With his clients Manny Ramirez and Mark Teixeira as the top hitting free agents, this is expected to be a bonanza for him.
One new team that a couple of executives have speculated might have some interest in Jason Varitek: the Dodgers. With the Frank McCourt connection, the Dodgers like players with Red Sox ties, and there’s always the possibility they could play Russell Martin at third some of the time.