The Bruins win another Tim Thomas shutout this time against the Flyers (still doesn’t make up for last year) and the Celtics beat the Trailblazers (their 5th straight) but there are the Red Sox trying to make headlines. It’s Pats vs. Jets on sports radio, Bruins and Celtics on the TV, so in an attempt to not be forgotten the Red Sox leak that they’re talking to free agents.
I find it comical that the Sox have people like Gordon Edes at ESPN.com so in their hip pocket that they can steal headlines from the three teams currently playing in the first week in December. So what are the rumors? Let’s have at it.
We’ll start with who’s probably not coming back.
Well last summer was pretty awful. It was clear that he didn’t have “it” anymore. He’s 35 on Christmas and was basically a mop up guy for the second half of the season. The team didn’t tender him a contract and will likely let him walk. Thanks for 2007 and have a nice career elsewhere.
The maybe coming back.
He’s 38 and wasn’t offered salary arbitration. The thing is as a backup this past season he had a career resurgence. Sort of. For the first month of the season he batted over .300 and looked like he found the fountain of youth. Injury derailed that consistent play as he missed July and August. He finished the season at .232 following an 0 for September. I think he’d still be a good backup and mentor for Saltalamacchia. The Dodgers are showing interest so he may be gone too.
Then there’s the two guys that were stealing headlines yesterday as potential free agent signings.
Word started to come out yesterday that the Sox brass was in Texas negotiating with Crawford and John Henry actually made the trip in an attempt to woo the free agent left fielder. The last couple times Henry made the trip? A failed attempt to negotiate an A-Rod trade and a failed attempt to sign Mark Teixeira.
He’ll likely command a similar deal that Matt Holliday got last year (7 year $120 million) or even more. The idea of him playing in left with a healthy Ellsbury in center would make most balls hit into the gap catchable. What would the team do with Mark Cameron? Rumor is that his career is over and will likely not return from injury.
For all that Crawford could prevent balls in the gap in left center, I don’t foresee the same with Werth in left. Not saying he’s terrible but he’s more of a bat than a fielder. So if you want thump in the middle of your lineup you probably want Werth over Crawford.
Like I’ve said all along this off season, until they actually sign someone, I’m not getting excited. Sure it’s good to debate and talk with friends about (potential lineups, trades, rotations) until it’s reality it is just fodder.
Baseball’s winter meetings start Monday and typically big free agents get signed before Christmas so for our Sox loyalists, this could be a very interesting month. Could be.