The Red Sox are not planning any announcements over the next few days given the holiday. Traditionally, teams and MLB give their employees this week off.
But Ben Cherington and his elves have plenty to do:
• Mike Napoli, who agreed to terms on Dec. 3, has yet to finalize his contract. The sides are dickering over those terms because of a pre-existing hip injury. Cherington and agent Brian Grieper have remained largely quiet about this, which suggests they’re working toward a resolution.
Giving up now would be tough for both sides. Napoli becomes damaged goods on the market while the Red Sox would be out a first baseman. Adam LaRoche remains unsigned, but that would mean giving up a high draft pick (second round, as their first-round pick is protected) and he is reportedly getting closer to a deal with the Nationals.
Under the new system, draft picks are assigned a value and that money goes into a pot teams can use to sign their picks. Giving up a high second-round pick would cost the Sox that pick plus money that could be used in signing other players later in the draft.
• The Sox have the framework in place to trade for Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan. It could be Jerry Sands and Stolmy Pimentel for Hanrahan or a larger deal that would involve more players.
• The Sox have yet to announce their one-year deal with shortstop Stephen Drew.
• The 40-man roster is at 40. So adding three players would require some moves, even if Sands and Pimentel are traded.
• The Sox have an abundance of catchers and relievers. That doesn’t necessarily require a trade. But it certainly opens the door to one.
So for now, Merry Christmas to all Extra Bases readers. Thanks for reading all season, we certainly appreciate it. It has been fun to meet so many of you and talk baseball, too. Opening Day is less than 100 days away.