In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe offers up a few ideas to help bolster the Red Sox. Cafardo suggests that the Red Sox need a pure middle-of-the-order hitter and writes that Joe Mauer of the Twins would fit the bill nicely. While the Twins might not be in a rush to deal him, Boston might be willing to put together an attractive offer to get a hitter of his caliber that can split time between first base and catcher. If they can't make Mauer the big get of this winter, Cafardo also suggests names like Nick Swisher, Mike Napoli, and even Josh Hamilton. Of course, the Red Sox may pass on some of the bigger names and price tags out there to avoid locking themselves into more unfavorable contracts. Here's more from Cafardo..
- Rays pitcher James Shields has a $9MM option for this year and will likely be unaffordable for the club after that. It seems likely that Tampa Bay will finally bite the bullet and trade pitching to get the offense that they need. One National League GM suggested that the Rangers would be a good partner as they could offer Elvis Andrus and someone else for Shields. Some baseball officials also haven’t ruled out the Rays moving David Price to fill a couple of positions.
- Word is that David Ortiz might accept a two-year deal from the Red Sox for $26-28MM if they offer it. If Boston won't go to two years, Ortiz may roll the dice and see what the Orioles, Yankees, Blue Jays, or Rangers offer.
- The Red Sox are trying to work out a multiyear deal with Cody Ross, but he'll have a strong market if he chooses to wait. The Braves could potentially be major players for Ross as they offered him a two-year deal last year. Ross wouldn’t mind a Western team either and the Giants may have interest if they move on from Melky Cabrera.
- Cafardo believes that the Dodgers would be willing to take on Alex Rodriguez as the Yankees would gladly eat some of his contract. The Dodgers also appear unlikely to re-sign Shane Victorino and will save some money by doing that.
- Talk is strong that Joe Torre would consider managing again and the 72-year-old has always had an affinity for Boston.