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Eighteen days remain before Red Sox pitchers and catchers must report to spring training, the club is “still talking” to free agent right-handers Edwin Jackson and Roy Oswalt, a major league source said yesterday.
But general manager Ben Cherington said it’s “unlikely” the Red Sox will sign either pitcher.
“We wouldn’t rule out adding a starter, but I think it’s unlikely at this point,” Cherington said last night at Worcester Tech High School before holding a town hall meeting that is scheduled to air tonight on NESN. “We’re going to keep looking for ways to improve the team, including the pitching staff, but I wouldn’t expect any major changes between now and the report date.”
In that case, the Red Sox will open camp with Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, and Clay Buchholz atop the rotation and two major questions behind them. Daniel Bard and Alfredo Aceves will attempt to make the transition from relievers to starters, while injury reclamation projects Vicente Padilla, Aaron Cook and Carlos Silva will be vying with holdovers Felix Doubront and Andrew Miller.
There’s always a possibility the Sox could acquire another pitcher during spring training, and by standing pat now, they also may maintain financial flexibility to deal for a starter before the July 31 trade deadline.
Herald:Sox may not add starter
Why must this off-season be so difficult? Cherington is trying to spin it like he's the one in control of negotiations but after low-balling Oswalt and Jackson, their agents won't take him seriously. They wanted something in the range of $10 million and i'm sure either were willing to take a smaller deal, just not 50% off. The Yankees are also being tight with the budget but they signed Hiroki Kuroda at $10 million, a reasonable deal for both sides since he was originally looking for $12-$13 million.
So let's use the same logic for Oswalt and the Sox: Roy wants $10 million so the Sox should offer $8 million. That sounds reasonable! Oswalt takes a little less but if he returns to his old self, he will rake it in the next off-season. The Sox bolster their rotation with a high quality pitcher with no damage to 2013 and beyond. If the Sox wanted him to fit in to the payroll how about not signing all these smaller pieces?
If the Sox put the resources they used to sign Kelly Shoppach (who wasn't really needed to begin with) and Vicente Padilla (who may or may not be arrested for being a deadbeat dad in Nicaragua) and add that to Oswalt's (or Jackson's) offer, they may very well accept it since it's a much easier pill to swallow.
Yet the Sox continue to shoot themselves in the foot by making laughable offers that both players and agents will laugh at. It's as if the front office is oblivious to how many teams have improved and how many more are willing to spend. Just just need to make it look like they're actually trying. Make a better offer to either, which is only another $3-$5 million. But they won't even do that. Damn it.
Rest of the Links: Globe:Padilla facing arrest in Nicaragua|Sox unlikely to sign starter before camp|Herald:Sox may not add starter|CSNNE:Standing Pat|WEEI:No calvary coming|Theo: Sox offseason will all come down to starting pitching|Arrest warrant issued then revoked for Vicente Padilla