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Red Sox winter meetings Day 2 roundup

12.05.12 at 10:10 am ET
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Another day, another three-year, $39 million deal.

One day after the Red Sox added Mike Napoli on a three-year, $39 million contract, the team reached an agreement with Shane Victorino on a deal for the same terms. It’s costly. The Red Sox spent top-of-the-market money in order to add a former Gold Glove center fielder who projects, barring a trade, to play right field for them. Still, from the Sox’ vantage point, he was worth the cost of admission given his positional versatility, the fact that the commitment is capped at three years and that he has — despite a career-worst 2012 season — a strong track record as a player capable of making an impact in the batter’s box, in the field and on the bases.

Victorino represented a fit for what the Sox are trying to do, finding ways to upgrade the team in various areas without giving up prospects or tying the team’s hands with onerous long-term deals that would prevent it from responding to new emergent realities. His deal also signals the kind of marketplace that is emerging in center field. For more on why Victorino was a fit for the Sox, click here.

More Victorino links:

‘€¢ Victorino, by virtue of his ability to play center field and hit leadoff, improves the Sox’ flexibility to make a trade involving Jacoby Ellsbury. But that doesn’t mean that the team has any plans to make a deal involving the center fielder, at least not yet.

‘€¢ Even with the addition of Victorino, the Sox still have money to burn.

‘€¢ Victorino’s former manager, Don Mattingly, said that Red Sox fans will love the outfielder.

‘€¢ Victorino is happy.

‘€¢ Kirk Minihane writes that Victorino’s deal is the worst of GM Ben Cherington‘s tenure.

OTHER PLAYERS

‘€¢ Sox GM Ben Cherington wouldn’t confirm the Victorino deal (which has yet to be finalized; it’s pending a physical), but even after it had been concluded, he suggested that the door remains open for a return by Cody Ross. Still, it’s hard to see a fit for Ross unless the Sox were to deal Ellsbury and move Victorino to center.

‘€¢ The Red Sox are among the teams that have checked in on right-hander Ryan Dempster. The 35-year-old veteran is looking for a three-year deal and using Dan Haren‘s $13 million AAV as something of a guideline.

‘€¢ The Red Sox are in need of a backup first baseman, and would prefer one who can play multiple positions. The team has interest in Eric Chavez, who fits that profile.

MINOR LEAGUES

‘€¢ The Red Sox will reinstitute their Rookie Development Program, at a time when a number of top prospects can see the big leagues on the not-too-distant horizon.

‘€¢ The Sox signed right-hander Anthony Carter with an invitation to spring training. A bit on the reliever here.

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