ESPN Ticker

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Red Sox Inching Towards Next Move

The Red Sox made a splash this week acquiring Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney for Josh Reddick and two minor league players.

The addition of Bailey completes a Red Sox bullpen, which also added set-up man Mark Melancon via trade.

With Bailey moving in to the closer role for the Red Sox, Daniel Bard, the hard throwing set-up man for Jonathan Papelbon in 2011, can move in to the starting rotation.

Bard's move to become a starter gives Boston a potential CY Young hopeful in years to come. Packed with a dominant fastball, Bard also has three other plus pitches, which make him a good fit as a starter.

Boston's starting rotation, however still remains unfinished with the lack of a fifth starter.
Names like Roy Oswalt and Hiroki Kuroda have been linked to the Sox because both are only seeking one year deals, but at $10-13 million.

The Red Sox have hinted that they do not want to go over the luxury tax threshold, and signing a player at $10-13 million is likely to do that.

One agent told Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe that the team is unlikely to change it's mind. “[GM Ben Cherington] is listening with free agents, but that’s it so far,’’ said the agent. "I don’t think it’s an act, either. They’re hoping somebody falls to them and that may be it."

One intriguing possibility is a trade for the Cub's Matt Garza.
The Red Sox and newly hailed Cub's President Theo Epstein have close ties linked to Epstein's tenure as Red Sox GM.

The two teams have yet to agree on compensation for Epstein, who bolted Boston to revamp Chicago.

According to the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo the Red Sox have asked for Garza as compensation for Epstein. "Garza is a nice fit for Boston. He'd be an excellent piece to their rotation and they know it."

Garza could be the reason for the stalled compensation talks, as well as the reason why the Red Sox have not moved to sign one of the free agent starters available.

We know this, that GM Ben Cherrington has so far been methodical in the teams move this season, and his patience has payed off.

With the holidays over, a move could be made relatively soon.

What that move is remains to be seen, but Red Sox fans only hope the winter of 2011-12 is one that makes them forget about the infamous September collapse.

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