The Red Sox haven't spent much on free agents this offseason, but new GM Ben Cherington did improve his bullpen via trade while also clearing salary by moving shortstop Marco Scutaro. The latest on the team:
- Commissioner Bud Selig still hasn't received written arguments in the Cubs-Red Sox Theo Epstein compensation case, tweets MLB Network's Peter Gammons. Gammons moderated the Hot Stove Cool Music panel on Monday with both Epstein and Cherington. Cherington said that he expects direction from the commissioner's office soon, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Explained Cherington, "There was an expectation when Theo left that the Red Sox would receive significant compensation for allowing the Cubs to hire him and we haven’t been able to agree on what 'significant compensation’ means.'"
- The Red Sox have potential arbitration hearings for Alfredo Aceves and David Ortiz, and Cherington told MLB.com's Evan Drellich he'd prefer not to publicize the dates. Ortiz's hearing is tentatively scheduled for mid-February, reported Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports yesterday. Cherington doesn't think the potential impact of the hearings would be significant, but a $3.85MM spread on Ortiz does seem significant to me for a club that recently unloaded its starting shortstop in a trade that appeared financially motivated.
- As part of a Sacred Heart University lecture series last night, Epstein said that in retrospect it wasn't necessary for him to leave the Red Sox for three months during the 2005-06 offseason as a means of determining what the organization stood for (WEEI's Ryan Hannable reporting). Yankees GM Brian Cashman, now a potential trading partner for Epstein, also attended the event. Tyler Kepner of the New York Times has quotes about the executives' observations of each other while competing in the AL East.
- I've begun collecting lists of 40-man roster players with less than five years of service who are out of options. For the Red Sox, I've confirmed it's Michael Bowden, Felix Doubront, Andrew Miller, Darnell McDonald, Franklin Morales, and Matt Albers.