The 35-year-old pitched for the Red Sox in 2012, posting a 4.50 ERA with 9.2 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 50 innings of relief work. In 14 seasons at the MLB level, Padilla has a 4.32 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9, mostly as a starter. The Twins also had some interest in Padilla this offseason.
While the top options on the free agent market may be out of the Twins' price range the club's search for pitching has Minnesota eyeing Joe Blanton as a "prime target," according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. Kevin Correia and Brett Myers are also on the team's radar, Crasnick reports.
In addition to those three names, recently non-tendered pitchers like Mike Pelfrey, John Lannan, and others could interest the Twins, according to Crasnick. Vicente Padilla has also drawn a little interest from Minnesota.
Although the Twins seem to be looking at plenty of pitching options in free agency, the team has also been more active in trade talks than expected, says Crasnick. Teams with pitchers on the block have approached the Twins about both Ben Revere and Josh Willingham.
The Red Sox’s signing of free agent catcher David Ross has fueled speculation that they will move either Ryan Lavarnway or Jarrod Saltalamacchia, but neither catcher seems particularly concerned about the prospect, tweets Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. “I haven’t talked to anyone about it,” Lavarnway told reporters, including Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. “The final roster is still so far away that you don’t know what’s going to happen. I have no control over it, at all, at this point, so I don’t think about it," said Lavarnway. Here's more out of Boston..
- General Manager Ben Cherington won't say that the club is open to trading Jon Lester, but he didn't completely close the door on the idea, writes Tim Britton of The Providence Journal. The Red Sox have reportedly had talks with the Royals centered on Lester and prospect Wil Myers.
- Abraham (via Twitter) doesn't get the sense that Vicente Padilla isn't a priority for the club based on conversations he had with Red Sox people. Last season, Padilla was one of the staples in Bobby Valentine's bullpen, posting a 4.50 ERA with 9.2 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 50 innings of work.
- Cherington says that the club will be working hard to strengthen the outfield with one or two pickups, tweets Abraham. "We’ve always felt it’s important at Fenway to have not just somebody who can play right field but really two guys that can handle center or right. I think our best teams have had that in the past. Easier said that done. That would be optimal," Cherington said.
- The GM went on to say that he expects the rotation to take a step up based mostly on the improved performance of the pitchers they have in-house, Abraham tweets.
- The Red Sox would like to re-sign non-tenders Rich Hill and Scott Atchison, tweets Alex Speier of WEEI.com.
- As we close in on the Winter Meetings, Cherington believes that it is still early in the offseason and expects to see things come together in the next week, Abraham tweets.
The last time the Red Sox played a regular season game, they lost to the Orioles and the 2011 season ended in heart-breaking fashion. They'll look to start the 2012 season off with a win when they take on the defending AL Central champions in Detroit this afternoon. Here are some links in the meantime…
- Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said on WEEI that he didn't consider putting Daniel Bard back in the bullpen this spring, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports (Twitter links). The Red Sox haven't made Bard promises going forward, but they view him as a starter for now.
- Former Red Sox scouting director David Chadd won't be watching when his current team and his former team open the season at Comerica Park today, according to John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press. "I'll be out trying to find another Jon Lester," said Chadd, who’s now a VP with the Tigers. Before Lester became a star in Boston, Chadd scouted and drafted him. "I saw a 6’4” left-hander with a great delivery with a good arm," Chadd said.
- Tony Massarotti of the Boston Globe proposes that the Red Sox could have made Vicente Padilla their closer to keep relievers such as Alfredo Aceves and Mark Melancon in their previously-assigned roles. Manager Bobby Valentine says the save opportunities will go to Aceves for now, however. Be sure to follow @closernews on Twitter for the latest updates.
If the Dodgers are worth $2.15 billion, what are the Yankees worth? Here are some AL East-related notes, starting in the Bronx…
- The Astros and Orioles have some interest in Yankees outfielder Justin Maxwell, but haven’t discussed a possible deal with GM Brian Cashman, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Maxwell is out of options and could be available in trades before Opening Day.
- Andrew Simon explores the risks and rewards of long-terms deals for unproven players in a piece for MLB.com. Left-hander Matt Moore thought his options over carefully before signing long-term with the Rays this offseason. "Matt came at it from a very, very intellectual standpoint, and we gave him all the information," agent Matt Sosnick said.
- Red Sox right-hander Vicente Padilla said through a translator that he would prefer to pitch in relief for Boston than go to another team, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com (Twitter link).
- Chris Carpenter, the right-handed reliever who joined the Red Sox as compensation for Theo Epstein, will undergo surgery to remove a bone spur from his pitching elbow, Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com writes.
1:44pm: Padilla received a minor league deal that pays $1.5MM in the Majors, reports the Boston Herald.
11:34am: The Red Sox reached an agreement with righty Vicente Padilla, tweets Peter Gammons of MLB Network. Boston's interest in Padilla was first reported by Francisco Jarquín Soto at the Nicaraguan paper El Nuevo Diario two days ago. Padilla is represented by Wasserman Media Group.
Padilla (pictured) made only nine appearances for the Dodgers in 2011, all in relief, before neck problems ended his season in June. He briefly took over the closer's job from Jonathan Broxton, though in recent years the 34-year-old has been a swingman and spot starter (he thrived as a starter as recently as 2010). He has reportedly been hitting 95-96 mph with his fastball this winter in Nicaragua, and has said he wants to fight for a rotation spot. Seeing as the Red Sox have no shortage of hard-throwing righties in their revamped pen, Padilla could get his wish if his health permits. Aaron Cook and Carlos Silva are expected to be part of that fifth starter battle.
Aside from his injury history, Padilla brings the baggage of a 2006 DWI and a reputation as a headhunter.
Nick Collias contributed to this post. Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.
SATURDAY: Padilla is getting closer to a deal with Boston, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
THURSDAY: Despite the report that the Red Sox are “moving toward a deal” with Padilla, the Red Sox are merely “talking to [Padilla] among others” and there is “nothing to report” about the team’s interest, a major league source told Alex Speier of WEEI.com. Padilla would be fit the mold of a buy-low pitcher for Boston and an industry source tells Speier that the right-hander is "healthy and throwing hard".
3:22pm: The Red Sox and Padilla are moving toward a deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets.
12:28pm: Two days after signing Aaron Cook, the Red Sox are scouting another low-risk righty looking to rebound from injury. Vicente Padilla took leave of his native Nicaraguan winter league yesterday in order to fly to Boston, where he will be checked over today by team doctors, reports Francisco Jarquín Soto at the Nicaraguan paper El Nuevo Diario.
Padilla made only nine appearances for the Dodgers in 2011, all in relief, before neck problems ended his season in June. He also briefly took over the closer's job from Jonathan Broxton, though in recent years the 34-year-old has been a swingman and spot starter (he thrived in the role as recently as 2010). He has reportedly been hitting 95-96 mph with his fastball this winter in Nicaragua, and has said he wants to fight for a rotation spot. Seeing as the Red Sox have no shortage of hard-throwing righties in their revamped pen, Padilla could get his wish if his health permits.
Earlier today we learned that two Central teams were having trade talks about Matt Garza, as the Tigers are attempting to acquire the Cubs right-hander. Here's the latest from baseball's two Central divisions…
- The Pirates will not scout Vicente Padilla next week, reports Rob Biertempfel of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (on Twitter). Last week we heard that the 34-year-old righty was throwing 95-96 mph in winter ball.
- David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com says (on Twitter) that the Tigers have received calls about their veteran players and will listen to offers. Just speculating, but a spare reliever like David Pauley would figure to draw some trade interest.
- In the wake of the Sean Marshall and Anthony Rizzo trades, Baseball America's Jim Callis looked at the current state of the Cubs farm system. He says Rizzo is their third best prospect behind Brett Jackson and Javier Baez.
Links are in Spanish…
- Rumors have been circulating in Carlos Zambrano's home country of Venezuela about a possible trade to Miami, writes Marlins beat writer Luis Rangel at El Nuevo Herald, the Spanish-language counterpart to the Miami Herald (via Twitter). Rangel adds that he's heard from the team that "it's not true."
- Asdrubal Cabrera will begin contract negotiations with the Indians next week, his agent Jose Mijares of Octagon told Jose Manuel Fernandez at El Universal in Venezuela. Tim Dierkes analyzed Cabrera as an multiyear extension candidate yesterday, though Mijares didn't mention any prospect of a long-term deal. "The team will send us a figure, and we'll respond," he said. "I don't think there will be any problems in signing soon. My experience with Cleveland tells me that there won't be any need to go to arbitration."
- In the same piece, Mijares said that another of his arbitration-eligible clients, Miguel Montero, is close to agreeing with the Diamondbacks on a figure for 2012. "Montero has more points in his favor than Cabrera," Mijares said. "He was the leader many offensive categories among National League catchers." Montero's strong 2011 campaign led MLBTR's Mark Polishuk to identify him as an extension candidate back in September. For 2012, Matt Swartz projects a $5.3MM salary.
- Vicente Padilla told Edgard Rodriguez C. at La Prensa in Nicaragua that three teams have showed interest in him recently. Two days ago, another Nicaraguan paper reported that the Marlins were eyeing Padilla, but the pitcher said there is nothing firm between him and any team. More importantly to the 34-year-old righty's Major League prospects, his neck is pain-free and his fastball has reportedly been up around 95-96 mph this winter.
- Miguel Tejada told Pappy Perez at El Nacional in the Dominican Republic that he wants to invest in the Dominican Winter League team the Aguilas Cibaeñas when his Major Leauge career is through. But he emphasized that he's not retired yet. "I've had a bad season, but that's not to say that I'm done, and my goal is to show that I can still be a player at the highest level. That's my goal these days," Tejada insisted.
- Sources close to Amaury Sanit tell Fernando Ballesteros at Puro Béisbol in Mexico that the Dodgers are interested in signing the 32-year-old Cuban reliever. Sanit logged just seven innings out of the Yankees' pen last season before being released in June, but he has seen more action as the closer for the Culicán Tomateros in the Mexican League this winter, pitching to a 0.62 era in 36 appearances.
Links are in Spanish…
- Hanley Ramirez gave his clearest statement yet on a possible position change, telling the AP's Dionisio Soldevila on Friday, "I've talked with [Ozzie] Guillen, and what we both want is to win with the Marlins. When January arrives, we'll see what happens with the position change and everything else. If it's at third, fine. Wherever they put me, I'll do it in order to win." As for his surgically repaired shoulder, Ramirez described it as responsive and 95 percent healed.
- Cubs closer Carlos Marmol has heard the rumors of his availability, and he told Julio E. Castro C. at Multimedios del Caribe that he's resigned to whatever the team decides to do with him. "It's their business," he said. "For good or bad, I have to accept it. My job is to pitch, not to handle team business. If I stay with the Cubs, great for me, and the same if not. I repeat: This is a business."
- Vicente Padilla has been dominating hitters in his native Nicaraguan league over the last month, and the 34-year-old pitcher told Osman Rosales Cruz at El Nuevo Diario that he wants to sign as a starter with a Major League team. Yesterday, Cruz reported that the Marlins were eyeing Padilla, and in today's piece he describes asking the pitcher about the rumor: "'Truthfully, I can't talk about that,' Vicente insisted at first, but later he came up to me without the recorder and told me, 'Maybe.'"