While a contract offer might not be imminent for the former Blue Jays righthander, the Red Sox do have interest in pitcher A.J. Burnett.
Sox general manager Theo Epstein had a conversation with Burnett’s agent, Darek Braunecker, yesterday on the free agent pitcher, according to a major league source. Burnett became a free agent when he opted out of the remainder of his contract with Toronto this offseason.
Burnett, of course, is not the only pitcher the Sox are exploring. Derek Lowe, who has made no secret of a desire to return to Boston, is also on the list for the Sox. Both pitchers have had success in the American League, and specifically the AL East, which increases their potential value to the Sox.
A number of New York media outlets have reported that the Yankees are also out in front in the Burnett sweepstakes, which could lead to a showdown between the rivals for his services.
With the acquisition of Ramon Ramirez today for Coco Crisp, that means the Sox have more options in terms of how they deploy Justin Masterson, whether in the rotation or out of the bullpen. The Sox already have Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Tim Wakefield as starters. But, as the team well knows, too much starting pitching is never a problem.