Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe spoke to nearly a dozen scouts and executives and found that there would be substantial interest in Daisuke Matsuzaka if the Red Sox made the righthander available in a trade this offseason. Most of those polled believe Boston would have to kick in some money to offset the two-years and $20MM left on his deal, but it's unclear what they would want in return. As Cafardo reminds us, there's no such thing as too much pitching depth, so the Sox could simply hold onto him.
As far as teams that could have potential interest in Dice-K, Cafardo names the Mariners, Mets, Dodgers, Brewers, Rangers, and Tigers. Here are the rest of his rumors...
- There's talk that the Red Sox might go after Yu Darvish if he's posted this winter, and there is a little bit of a New England connection there: Darvish's father attended school in the area.
- Doug Melvin said he will go outside the organization to replace departed manager Ken Macha, which rules out Dale Sveum and Willie Randolph.
- Jim Hendry and Cubs ownership likes what interim manager Mike Quade got out of his players down the stretch, so the sentiment to retain him is growing.
- Fredi Gonzalez turned down a chance to interview with the Cubbies, and it's looking more and more likely that he will take over for the retiring Bobby Cox in Atlanta.
- Alex Anthopoulos is looking at third base/bench coaches for his next manager, while Neal Huntington might dip into his Indians' roots to fill the Pirates' managerial vacancy.
- Paul Konerko indicated that contract length won't be much of a factor when he hits free agency this winter because he isn't sure how much longer he wants to play. Kenny Williams indicated that there might not be enough room in the budget for the White Sox to bring back their captain, especially if they seeks out a lefty bat as expected.
- Jason Varitek wants to return to the Red Sox but the team is thinking bigger picture with Jarrod Saltalamacchia on board. Cafardo suggests the Marlins as a potential landing spot for Varitek, where he would work with the team's young pitchers.
- Meanwhile, the Sox could sign John Buck as a stopgap while they wait for Salty to establish himself.
- Teams in need of a second baseman are very interested in Jed Lowrie, though at least one scout thinks he can stick at shortstop. The 26-year-old hit .287/.381/.526 in 197 plate appearances this year.
- Despite a strong finish (1.41 ERA in his last ten starts), the Cubs would still like to move Carlos Zambrano. Of course, they're going to have to eat some of the $55MM left of his contract to do so.
- Cafardo thinks that Carl Pavano could command a three-year deal worth $30MM as a free agent this winter, but he'd have to give a bit of a discount to return to Minnesota. The Twins have shown a willingness to spend in the last year, so this will be an interesting negotiation for them.