The Red Sox don't want to sign Bay, no matter what they say

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An unnamed executive is telling Rosenthal and Morosi that, even though the Red Sox continue to negotiate with Jason Bay, they probably don’t want to sign him as long as Matt Holliday is out there.

Why?  Compensation pick politics.  If they lose the type-A free agent Bay, they get two picks — a first round compensation pick and a sandwich pick — while signing Holliday simply costs them the first round pick. Even better: the first round pick they get back for Bay would likely be higher than the pick they give up for taking Holliday.

I think Holliday is the better choice anyway — he’s younger and plays better defense — but with the picks breaking out like they are, a BoSox push for his services makes all kinds of sense.