One of Red Sox GM Ben Cherington's toughest tasks this season will be finding fourth and fifth starters, writes Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe. Cherington could do it by pursuing the top free agent hurlers on the open market or try to bolster the rotation via trade. It's widely expected that the White Sox will make either Gavin Floyd or John Danks available and Cafardo wonders if the Red Sox could get Anibal Sanchez back from the Marlins. Free agent Hiroki Kuroda is a likely target but appears to be out of reach. The veteran declined a chance to be traded to the Sox last season as he didn’t want to play anywhere but Los Angeles. Here's more from Cafardo..
- Free agent Michael Cuddyer isn't as high of a priority for the Phillies as portrayed by the media. A major league source characterized him as "a middle priority" and while Philadelphia would love to have him, the club isn't going to "go crazy" to make it happen.
- It's widely believed that Grady Sizemore could be had for a bargain price but the center fielder has a few teams pursuing him, including the Red Sox. However, his talks with Boston are in very preliminary stages, and his injury history and left-handed bat mean that he's an unlikely fit.
- An agent told Cafardo that the Marlins' offers to Albert Pujols, Mark Buehrle, and Jose Reyes should be taken seriously and are not for show.
- If the Marlins land Pujols or Prince Fielder, first baseman Gaby Sanchez will be major trade bait for the club.
- If the Red Sox don't make a lot of pitching moves, we could see Alfredo Aceves moved into the rotation. The right-hander pushed to start in the past but Terry Francona thought Aceves was too valuable to remove from his bullpen role.
- A National League scout says that center fielder Yoenis Cespedes is likely to be moved to one of the corner outfield spots in the majors. Yesterday, we learned that the Cuban defector may not become a free agent for two months.