The Red Sox and Phillies, two teams that played each other this weekend, took very opposite paths, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. The Phillies spent $50MM over four years for Jonathan Papelbon while the Red Sox went for the low-cost approach with arbitration-eligible Andrew Bailey. So far, things have worked out for both clubs, but in different ways. Papelbon has converted all of his save opportunities while Boston saved themselves a nice chunk of change while filling in for Bailey just fine with Alfredo Aceves. Here's more from Cafardo..
- The Diamondbacks are now among the teams that may have interest in Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis, as GM Kevin Towers is looking to upgrade offensively at the infield corners. The Reds and Giants are also in need of upgrades. Of course, the Sox would have to decide whether Will Middlebrooks can handle the position.
- The Red Sox called the Nationals after catcher Wilson Ramos went down, but they said they would stay in-house. Lately, the Nats have been scouting teams who have depth behind the dish, and Boston is one. Kelly Shoppach would be available, as the Sox could call up Ryan Lavarnway.
- The initial reports on Roy Oswalt’s sessions with Boston and Philadelphia were good, but not great. "Not in midseason form by any means," said one scout. “His fastball was off a tick, but he’ll get that up. He wasn’t throwing too much secondary stuff, but he looked fluid. It probably would take him a few weeks to get ready, but everybody’s going to need pitching a month from now, so it’s a good investment for down the road."
- Mariners rightfielder Ichiro Suzuki is in the final year of his contract and there’s some reason to believe retirement is a possibility. Those who know him don’t think that he wants to play for anyone but the M's.