Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald covers a handful of Red Sox topics in his latest column. Here are some of the highlights:
- Silverman expects Jason Bay and the Sox to haggle more about the length of a new contract than the dollar amount. Bay will want to guarantee himself a minimum of four or five years, while the Red Sox would rather stick to three years, plus an option.
- Matt Holliday is an alternative to Bay, but he'll likely be looking for six years and more money per season than Bay. Plus there's no guarantee Holliday can thrive in Boston, while Bay has proven he can.
- Even if they were to sign Bay or Holliday, the Red Sox would just be maintaining their offense, not upgrading it. Silverman thinks they need to add a big left-handed bat too, though he implies that may have to wait until David Ortiz's contract is up, a year from now.
- One lefty hitter that Silverman notes is currently on the trading block: Brad Hawpe.
- Ortiz is committed to improving his conditioning and fitness this winter, hoping to avoid another slow start in 2010.
- While the Sox likely won't pick up Takashi Saito's $6MM option, there's "mutual interest" for the reliever to re-sign.