Rob Bradford of WEEI.com has the scoop:
According to multiple baseball sources, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington and manager John Farrell met with free agent outfielder Josh Hamilton at the winter meetings Wednesday.
Bradford probably has that timeline wrong, as Hamilton tweeted a picture from the Nashville airport on Tuesday night with accompanying text that read “heading home.”
So we’ll just go ahead and assume the meeting happened sometime Tuesday.
Hamilton has also been in touch recently with the Mariners, Orioles, Phillies and Brewers. The Rangers are keeping tabs on the negotiations but are currently focused on free agent right-hander Zack Greinke.
Hamilton, 31, batted .285/.354/.577 with 43 home runs and 128 RBI this past season for Texas.
UPDATE, 7:55 PM: MLB Network’s Peter Gammons says the meeting happened off-site on Monday.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.