Boston's season may have ended prematurely, but that just means the New England hot stove fires up sooner. Here's some notes from Amalie Benjamin of The Boston Globe and Joe McDonald of The Providence Journal:
- To no one's surprise, Jason Bay indicated that he'll dip his toe in the free agent waters, saying he'd be doing himself "a disservice" if he didn't look around.
- Alex Gonzalez's $6MM club option "might be a little rich for the Sox," so the two sides are likely to sit down and find a more palatable number. Nick Green could also come back, though it would strictly be a depth signing.
- Unless Boston attempts to rekindle talks with the Mariners about Felix Hernandez, their 2010 rotation looks fairly settled.
- As Benjamin notes, Boston's farm system doesn't offer much at the upper levels of the minors, so instead the team is "faced with re-signing their players, checking out a less-than-stellar free agent market, or going the trade route."
- Rocco Baldelli's future with the club is up in the air, as GM Theo Epstein said they'll "sit down and talk about what the fit looks like next year –– if there is one."
- In a radio appearance this morning, ESPN's Steve Phillips said he expects Boston to dangle Jonathan Papelbon, perhaps for an impact bat, according to WEEI's Alex Speier. The free agent market for closers isn't great, and at least Papelbon offers two years of club control. Those will be two expensive years, though.