The Red Sox may be looking to unload some of their depth at various positions before the start of the 2011 regular season schedule.
According to Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston, the Sawx have let other major league teams know that starters Daisuke Matsuzaka and Tim Wakefield are available via trade and that outfielders Mike Cameron and Darnell McDonald can also be had for the right price.
The Red Sox are looking to add a young catcher in case backup Jason Varitek breaks down and they would also like left-handed relief help in the event that Dennys Reyes doesn’t pan out.
Now it’s all about finding the right trading partner.
Matsuzaka isn’t going to be very attractive to other clubs given the 4.79 ERA that he registered in the second half of the 2010 season and the 11.42 ERA that he’s posted across three Grapefruit League starts this spring. On top of all that, he is owed $20 million over the next two seasons.
Wakefield isn’t going to be easy to move either because of his old age and stated intentions to retire soon, and Cameron and McDonald would only start in the outfield on a handful of non-contending clubs.
The four veterans may intrigue some GMs around the big leagues, but any trade is going to be difficult. Also, Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein has already vehemently denied Edes’ report, labeling it “false.”
Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.
Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.
Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.
Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.