Jackie Bradley Jr. Rumors

AL Notes: Rays, Dice-K, Indians, Red Sox, Boesch

Gary Shelton of the Tampa Bay Times expressed concern the Rays don't have enough power in their lineup to compete over the long haul. As if to add an exclamation point to Shelton's column, the Rays were stymied this afternoon by Jon Lester of the Red Sox, who was perfect for six innings (79 pitches, 53 for strikes) with six strikeouts. The Rays were on the verge of being the victim of a Spring Training perfect game until an infield single by non-roster invitee Jason Bourgeois with one out in the top of the ninth. In other American League news and notes:

  • One solution to the Rays' power shortage could be Wil Myers, who was sent to Triple-A yesterday. Manager Joe Maddon told reporters, including the Tampa Bay Times' Marc Topkin, that he believes the timing of Myers' recall will be a baseball decision and not based on service time considerations in order to avoid an extra year of arbitration eligibility.
  • The Indians have yet to make a decision on Daisuke Matsuzaka even after a meeting this morning between manager Terry Francona and the front office, tweets the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Paul Hoynes. Francona could speak with Dice-K tomorrow.
  • The Indians will approach Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley about contract extensions at some point this spring, writes Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
  • The trade market for Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who will be a free agent after this season, is not good, tweets the Boston Herald's Scott Lauber.
  • "The door's not locked. It may not even be cracked open, but it's not locked, either," a Red Sox source told Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com about the chances of Jackie Bradley Jr. making the Opening Day roster.
  • The Yankees only signed Brennan Boesch because he has minor league options remaining, according to ESPN's Buster Olney in his Insider blog (subscription required). Olney added, given the apparent lack of interest in Boesch, the Yankees might have the ability, if he struggles in the next few weeks, to get him through waivers, take him off the 40-man roster, and outright him to the minor leagues. 
  • The Angels have acquired minor league pitcher Mike Cisco from the Phillies for no compensation.  Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com explains the Phillies had an excess of pitching in Double-A and Triple-A and they wanted to make sure he’d go somewhere he’d have an opportunity to pitch. The Angels liked him and have a spot for him in their system.

Red Sox Notes: Bogaerts, Bradley, Cherington

On this date 12 years ago the Red Sox purchased Jorge De La Rosa from Monterrey of the Mexican League. De La Rosa, now a starter with the Rockies, never pitched for the Red Sox but he did play an important role in their history. Two years after acquiring De La Rosa the Red Sox traded him and three others to Arizona for Curt Schilling. Here are today's Red Sox-related links…

  • Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr.  offer a "glimpse into the future" of the Red Sox in the words of manager John Farrell, Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com reports. Farrell expressed confidence that Bogaerts will be able to handle either third base or shortstop from a defensive standpoint. However, both players are set to open the 2013 season in the minor leagues. 
  • Bogaerts ranked eighth on Baseball America's list of the game's top prospects and Bradley ranked 31st. Both project to reach the MLB level in 2014, according to BA.
  • Red Sox GM Ben Cherington knows it takes more than character to compete in the AL East, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. "It has to start with talent," Cherington said. "You can have a bunch of good guys in spring training, but if you're not winning in May, you're not feeling good anymore.'' As others in the Red Sox organization explained to Nightengale, winning and strong clubhouse culture are often closely linked.
  • It's finally time for the Red Sox to focus on baseball instead of off-field distractions, Jon Paul Morosi writes at FOX Sports.com. Farrell said he's been impressed with the attention to detail displayed by some newcomers.

R.A. Dickey Rumors: Monday

A reigning Cy Young winner is on the trade block, and we've got all of today's updates on R.A. Dickey right here, with the newest items added to the top throughout the day:

Earlier updates:

  • The Dodgers have talked to the Mets about Dickey, reports MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.  Gurnick notes that Dickey could be a fallback for Zack Greinke, or maybe the team will just sign both to have three Cy Young winners on the staff.  The question is whether the Dodgers have the right players to pull off a deal.
  • Talks for Dickey between the Mets and Red Sox were "very preliminary," a Major League source tells WEEI's Alex Speier, and a deal is extremely unlikely.
  • There has been strong interest in Dickey today, tweets Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, but he's heard the Mets did not ask the Red Sox for specific players.
  • The Mets met with eight teams today about Dickey, according to Adam Rubin and Joe McDonald of ESPN.  The Red Sox were one of those teams, and the Mets wanted Xander Bogaerts andJackie Bradley Jr. in return. We heard earlier that the Sox didn't have interest in Dickey, so perhaps the Mets' exorbitant asking price is playing a part in that lack of interest.
  • GM Sandy Alderson acknowledged that he's had "preliminary talks" with multiple teams about Dickey and other players, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. According to Alderson, there have been more conversations about Dickey than Niese, though that could change (Twitter link).
  • Fair or not, Dickey's age and repertoire is making teams reluctant to give up significant talent for him, tweets Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Of course, as Martino adds in a second tweet, it just takes one club to step up and change that. Still, for now, Jonathon Niese is viewed as the more appealing Mets arm, according to Martino.
  • Although the Mets are "more than willing" to discuss Dickey, the Red Sox haven't shown any interest, says Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com, noting that the Mets could do better than Jarrod Saltalamacchia (Twitterlinks).
  • The Mets have gotten "serious" about trading ace knuckleballer Dickey as soon as this week, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark after hearing from a source.  Stark says the Rangers and Royals are seen as the most logical fits.
  • Earlier today, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News tweeted that he believes the Mets "genuinely don't know right now if they'll sign or trade" the NL Cy Young winner.  The 38-year-old can become a free agent after the 2013 season.