Every morning, 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.
According to a major league source, the Red Sox haven’t set a deadline for any of their unsigned free agents to accept the club’s offers, but are “certainly working on other options, also.”
Another source has confirmed that the Red Sox have told at least one of the free agents whom they have offered a contract to that the team is nearing a point where they hope to decide between alternatives.
The Red Sox have already expressed interest in bringing back free agents Stephen Drew, Mike Napoli and Jacoby Ellsbury — first by extending qualifying offers, before circling back with alternative contract offers after the one-year, $14.1 million deals were rejected –along with Jarrod Saltalamacchia. (While the catcher wasn’t offered a qualifying offer the Sox have extended a two-year deal at a lower annual average.)
What are the Sox supposed to do? Wait around for these guys to make up their minds, probably go elsewhere, then make their moves on the now lack of free-agents. Sure. That's a great plan.
They need to make some moves now. Focus on getting Mike Napoli back, and that's it. Move on.
Stephen Drew and Jacoby Ellsbury are not coming back, and the Sox other options to replace them. Whether the replacements come from the minors or via free-agent signing/trade, the options are there.
Mike Napoli is the Sox' best option at first base and they have to make him a sweet deal. We don't want Daniel Nava or Will Middlebrooks at first next season. Nothing against them, especially Daniel Nava, but I want those guys staying where they are.
I haven't forgotten about Salty. Replaceable. Plenty of options on the farm for the near future. If he comes back, great. If not, great. I'll be ok parting with all those strikeouts.
Hasn't this off-season been boring? Not just here, all around the league.
The rest of the links:
Globe: Red Sox hope to stick to the offseason plan that earned them a championship | Red Sox raffle will help hospice | WEEI: Rafael Furcal says Red Sox among teams interested in him | Herald: Three strikes for Sox in pitch, woo | Notebook: Sox, Cards stay flexible