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Report: Red Sox among numerous teams in on Brian Fuentes

12.28.10 at 3:19 pm ET
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According to a tweet from SI’s Jon Heyman, the Red Sox “have company” as far as trying to sign free agent reliever Brian Fuentes goes.

Heyman lists the Blue Jays, Rays, Rockies, Mariners, Twins, Pirates, Phillies, Brewers, Yankees and Mets as teams with an eye on the left-hander, who remains unsigned as the new year draws closer. Fuentes has pitched for three of the teams on that list, as he broke into the majors with the Mariners before spending the next seven years in Colorado. He finished last season with the Twins after being acquired from the Angels and allowed three hits and no runs in nine appearances for Minnesota.

Fuentes had a career-high 48 saves with the Angels in 2009. His 2.81 earned run average between the Angels and the Twins last season was the third-best mark of his career. He posted ERAs of 2.73 and 2.75 in 2008 and 2003, respectively.

If the Red Sox were to bring in the 35-year-old, he would join Bobby Jenks as another major addition to the Sox’ bullpen. The Sox signed Jenks to a two-year, $12 million deal earlier this month.

Read More: brian fuentes, Daniel Bard, Hot Stove, Jonathan Papelbon

Nolan Ryan suggests Rangers may take a run at Adrian Beltre

12.28.10 at 1:02 pm ET
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During an interview on Dallas radio station SportsRadio 1310 The Ticket, Rangers president Nolan Ryan stated that his team may have interest in free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre, but would have to move some pieces around.

Ryan said regarding Beltre, “Well, when you have a player of his caliber out there, you have to have an interest if it’€™s realistic within what your budget is and how he would fit into your ball club and how you would hit him in the lineup and stuff of that nature. So, obviously with our ball club, it wouldn’€™t be nearly as clear-cut as somebody else, say whether it be the Angels and the rumor is that Oakland has made him offer. I would say if you looked at the free agent market right now, he’€™s probably the premier free agent that’€™s still unsigned.”

Beltre signing with the Rangers would be the best-case scenario for the Red Sox due to the fact that both the Angels’ and A’s first-round picks are protected, not allowing the Sox to receive them as compensation for the third baseman signing with another team. (For more on that, click here.)

To read the complete interview, click here.

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Hot Stove live chat with Rob Bradford, noon

12.28.10 at 8:47 am ET
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Join Rob Bradford in talking all things Hot Stove and Red Sox Tuesday at noon. Bring your questions, comments, and analysis as we edge further away from the offseason drama and closer to spring training. Click below to participate:

Hot Stove Chat

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Source: Former Red Sox reliever Takashi Saito to sign on with Brewers

12.27.10 at 12:59 pm ET
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According to Nikkan Sports (via NPBTracker), former Red Sox relief pitcher Takashi Saito has agreed to a one-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers worth $3 million. According to a source, the Sox expressed some interest in Saito but not to the point where any negotiations got serious.

Saito (who will turn 41-years-old on Feb. 14) pitched for the Braves last season, turning in a remarkably similar season to the one he finished with in 2009 with the Red Sox. With Atlanta, the righty went 2-3 with a 2.83 ERA in 56 appearances. He struck out 69 and walked 17. With the Sox, he also pitched in 56 games, totaling a 3-3 mark and 2.43 ERA.

The reported deal would pay Saito just $200,000 less than what he made in ’10 with Atlanta. The pitcher had signed on with the Red Sox prior to the ’09 season for one year and $1.5 million, having battled through elbow ailments.

Saito would figure to help set-up Milwaukee closer John Axford.

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Phillies reportedly have deal with J.C. Romero

12.27.10 at 8:16 am ET
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Left-handed reliever J.C. Romero re-signed with the Phillies, according to a report from CSNPhilly.com. Romero, 34, had his $4.5 million option declined by the team two months ago, and the new deal is expected to be for much less.

The onetime Red Sox reliever went 1-0 with a 3.68 ERA in 60 games last season. He has pitched just 53.1 innings the last two seasons, walking 42 batters and striking out 40. He has done well against lefties, though, holding them to a .174 average over the past three seasons. He joined the Phillies in the middle of the 2007 season after being released by the Red Sox, who had signed him as a free agent six months earlier.

Read More: Hot Stove, J.C. Romero,

History says there are still moves for the Red Sox to make

12.27.10 at 12:50 am ET
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The immediate needs for the Red Sox 25-man roster appear to be dwindling. Priorities most likely reside in seeing what might be available in another lefty reliever, and perhaps a jack-of-all-trades, infielder-outfielder. But just because the meat and potatoes of the offseason may seem to have come and gone, that doesn’t mean a few meaningful transactions won’t be in the mix before the truck heads to Fort Myers.

Thanks to MLB Trade Rumors’ Transaction Tracker, the following is a list of notable moves made by the Red Sox between Dec. 25 and Feb. 10 since Theo Epstein became the team’s general manager. (Note: Many of the deals were agreed to well before the announced date. An example of this came when the Red Sox came to terms with free agent Bill Mueller on Dec. 20, 2002, but chose not to announce it until two weeks later, having hoped to avoid an uncomfortable dynamic by trading starting third baseman Shea Hillenbrand. No deal could be struck, and it wouldn’t be until five months later that Hillenbrand was finally traded to free up a starting spot for Mueller.)

Brad Penny (Dec. 28, 2008): Coming off an injury-plagued ’08 campaign, Penny signed a one-year, $5 million deal to become a part of the Sox’ rotation. He would make 24 starts before being released on Aug. 27.

Ramiro Mendoza (Dec. 31, 2002): After a solid ’02 season with the Yankees, making 62 appearances, Mendoza was inked by the Sox to become part of their bullpen-by-committee. The righty struggled in ’03, finishing with a 6.75 ERA in 37 appearances.

Joel Pineiro (Jan. 4, 2007): Having been non-tendered by the Mariners, the righty was signed to a one-year, $4 million deal by the Sox to potentially become a late-inning reliever with Jonathan Papelbon having been temporarily been moved to the starting rotation. He would be traded to St. Louis midway through the ’07 season after making 31 relief appearances.

Adrian Beltre (Jan. 4, 2010): The third baseman agreed to the much-publicized “pillow contract,” signing on with the Sox for one year at $5 million (with a vesting option that kicked it up to $10 million). Up until Beltre’s commitment, the Red Sox were prepared to start Casey Kotchman at first base with Kevin Youkilis moving to third. Beltre turned in one of the best offensive seasons in the American League, hitting .321 with 28 homers and a career-high 49 doubles.

Nick Green (Jan. 5, 2009): Signed as a minor-league free agent, Green was scheduled to start the ’09 season in Triple-A Pawtucket, but when both Julio Lugo and Jed Lowrie went down with injuries, the infielder was pressed into service as the Sox’ starting shortstop for much of the season’s first-half. He would play in 103 games with the Sox before suffering a season-ending back injury.

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The Texas Rangers find their Plan B: Brandon Webb

12.26.10 at 7:20 pm ET
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According to multiple reports, free agent pitcher Brandon Webb has agreed to a one-year deal with the Rangers, with only a physical standing in the way of the acquisition being completed.

The 2006 National League Cy Young Award winner (and runner-up in ’07 and ’08) is far from the top-of-the-rotation no-doubter Cliff Lee represented, but Webb could represent significant upside for the Rangers. The 31-year-old has thrown just four innings over the last two seasons due to surgery on his right shoulder.

It is believed that Webb ultimately decided on the Rangers over the Reds.


In case you forgot, the Sox play the Rangers in both teams’ first series of the 2011 season, in Arlington, Texas. While it is far from a certainty that Webb will pitch in one of the series’ three games, we can look at how the sinker-baller has fared against some of the players who figure to be on the Sox’ roster when the teams meet. (Webb has never faced the Red Sox.)

Carl Crawford: 4-for-6 (.667), 2B, BB, K

J.D. Drew: 6-for-12 (.500), 2B, RBI, 2 BB, K

Adrian Gonzalez: 12-for-33 (.364), 4 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 8 BB, 6 K, GDP

Mike Cameron: 9-for-36 (.250), 2 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, BB, 10 K, GDP

Marco Scutaro: 0-for-2 (.000), BB, K

It will be interesting to see if Webb’s presence allows Texas to keep closer Neftali Feliz (who has allowed one run in 7 innings against the Red Sox, striking out six and walking one) in the back of its bullpen. Currently, the Rangers’ rotation also consists of C.J. Wilson, Tommy Hunter, and Colby Lewis.

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