Red Sox GM Ben Cherington, manager John Farrell met with Josh Hamilton at the Winter Meetings

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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.

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UPDATE, 7:55 PM: MLB Network’s Peter Gammons says the meeting happened off-site on Monday.

Giants, Cardinals reportedly have offers on the table for Giancarlo Stanton

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We’re entering what is typically one of the slowest news weeks in the baseball calendar. Occasionally some big free agents sign around now. For example, it was 20 years ago today Andres Galarraga signed with the Braves, and I still remember being in an airport on the way home to visit my parents when I heard the news. I’m an old man.

The biggest news that is likely to happen this offseason is Giancarlo Stanton being traded. That hasn’t happened yet, but here are the latest bits of news on that:

Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Cardinals have made a formal trade offer to the Marlins for Stanton. No word what they’re offering, but the clubs have been in discussion for some time and it has been reported that the Marlins are the most interested in doing a deal with St. Louis due to the prospects they could send to Miami. There is a sense, however, that Stanton would be hesitant to approve a trade to the Cardinals because he prefers to play on the West Coast;

The Giants play on the west coast, and over the weekend they were reported to be the “most aggressive team” in trade talks for Stanton at the moment. Ken Rosenthal reports that the Giants have likewise made an offer. Their farm system is nowhere near as stocked as that of the Cardinals, so it’s unclear whether they have the prospects to make Miami happy. They could, of course, eat a lot of Stanton’s $295 million contract to make up for that, of course, but (a) doing so would put them over the luxury tax; and (b) the Marlins no doubt want to spur a rebuild with a Stanton trade, so if they can’t get some blue chip prospects back in return, what’s the point?

UPDATE: Who knows if this is anywhere close to enough — I’m guessing not — but this is what the Giants reportedly have on the table:

Anyway, that’s where we are as we begin Thanksgiving week.