Red Sox pursuing Beltre and shopping Lowell

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Earlier this week there was speculation that Boston would be interested in Adrian Beltre if he declined arbitration from Seattle, and now that he’s done so WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford reports that “the Red Sox might be trying to position themselves to make a run” at the free agent third baseman.
In order for Beltre to be a real option the Red Sox would likely first have to find a taker for Mike Lowell, and there are plenty of rumors about his being shopped around Indianapolis. Lowell is a 35-year-old with hip problems and is owed $12 million in 2010, but did hit .290/.337/.474 with 17 homers and 75 RBIs in the 119 games he was healthy enough to play in 2009. They may have to eat a bit of salary to get something done, but the Red Sox should be able to find a new home for Lowell if the Beltre talks get serious.

Report: Padres have made offers to both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper

Manny Machado
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Jon Heyman has been hot on the free agent trail today, reporting that the Padres have made offers both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. The offer to Machado is believed to be for eight years and about $250 million, while the offer to Harper is believed to be for more than that.

Heyman was reporting on Harper earlier, tweeting that the Phillies are the favorite to sign him. He added this evening that Harper has multiple long-term offers at more than $30 million annually. Regarding Machado, Heyman noted that while Machado was believed to have had a preference for the East coast, he will go for the best deal now, which puts the Padres firmly in the picture.

The Padres reportedly met with Machado last week. A late entrant into the sweepstakes, the club has shown the willingness to spend, signing Eric Hosmer to an eight-year, $144 million contract last year. If he goes to San Diego, Machado would be the full-time third baseman with Luis Urias handling shortstop.

Nothing appears close, but we’ll take anything resembling a spark to light the hot stove.