Every morning, well most mornings and sometimes in the afternoon, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
With the market for full-time designated hitters shrinking, Ortiz is planning to accept salary arbitration before tonight’s 11:59 p.m. deadline, a source close to the slugger said last night. By doing so, he will be agreeing to a one-year contract worth more than his $12.5 million salary in 2011.
For weeks, Ortiz has been seeking a multiyear deal. And while it’s possible agent Fern Cuza could meet again with the Red Sox before the deadline, it seems unlikely at this point that the sides will agree on a two-year deal for Ortiz’ desired annual salary, according to the source.
Herald | Expect David Ortiz to be back
The various beatwriters seem to be in disagreement (on Twitter) as to whether Ortiz will accept arbitration. Some say he's planning to, some say the decision has been made, some say it has not. But seemingly everybody agrees he will be back.
The major reason is that he wants to return, and the Red Sox still want him. Also important: it looks like his market has dried up. That part amazes me. All you need to create a market is two or three teams (just ask Albert Pujols). There isn't a single team who would offer Ortiz a strong enough two-year offer to make him turn down arbitration and try to get a bidding war going? That may be true, especially considering it takes a first-round pick to sign him.
Most speculation seems to have Ortiz getting around $14 million in arbitration, so it's a no brainer to take it for Papi if the Sox won't go to 2 years, $25 million like he wants. What continues to confuse me about the on-going Ortiz/Red Sox negotiations is how they don't end up meeting in the middle. Why not settle on 2 years, $21 or $22 million and call it a day? We can afford it, he gets his security against a steep drop-off or injury. It's a win-win. Just get it done so we don't have to have this conversation every year.
On page 2, the Sox are pushing for Andrew Bailey.
6:39am: The A's asked the Red Sox for third base prospect Will Middlebrooks, writes the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo. It's probably safe to assume that Middlebrooks, 23, is not one of the prospects mentioned in Gammons' proposal.
5:01am: Peter Gammons of MLB Network tweets that the Athletics are considering a trade offer from the Red Sox that includes Josh Reddick and prospects in exchange for Andrew Bailey. Jed Lowrie is not in this proposal.
MLBTradeRumors | Red Sox offered Reddick, prospects for Bailey
The Sox won't give up Middlebrooks for a closer, but it's understandable that the A's would ask. I think there could be a match here, though I wonder if the A's would ask for Lowrie over Reddick. I'd rather trade Lowrie, personally, but I would guess he has more value. Despite his injury history, he's shown an ability to hit. It's a Billy Beane-esque risk to take to get some value.
I could see something happening today. The Ortiz situation is almost behind us, Cherington has said Varitek and Wakefield aren't priorities, and Papelbon is long gone. Cherington's full attention can be paid to a new player or players, via free agency or trade. Another option to watch (pure speculation on my part) is a trade for a starter from the Cardinals. They reportedly made it known that Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook are available, though I wonder how much that is tied to them devoting $200+ million to Albert Pujols or not. Either guy could make a serviceable back-end pitcher for the Red Sox, and is worth looking into.
Herald | Jason Varitek, Tim Wakefield lack appeal | Dale Sveum, John Farrell talk Red Sox | Red Sox stick with tradition | Globe | Day of decision arrives for Ortiz | Case is far from closed on bullpen | Francona settles into new job with ESPN | CSNNE | Addressing the outfield not a priority for Cherington | Sox make little progress in closer search on Tuesday | Ortiz set to accept arbitration from Red Sox | ESPNBoston | Source: David Ortiz returning to Boston | Sox prepare to cut ties with Varitek, Wakefield | Hale out as bench coach; Bogar, Tuck back