Are the Red Sox gearing up for Adrian Gonzalez?

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Boston signing John Lackey and Mike Cameron has Bill Center of the San Diego Union Tribune thinking that the Red Sox are preparing to make another run at Adrian Gonzalez.
And sure enough FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal wrote this morning that they’re “working hard to obtain” the Padres first baseman.
Center tosses out Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz, and Daniel Bard as obvious Padres targets, while Rosenthal mentions Casey Kelly and Ryan Westmoreland as other fits if the Red Sox haven’t made them untouchable.
Of course, Center writes that “at the moment the Padres and Red Sox are not talking” and Rosenthal admits that “a deal is not close and might not happen at all.” San Diego is under no real pressure to deal Gonzalez, because he’s a 27-year-old, MVP-caliber player under contract for just $4.75 million in 2010 and $5.5 million in 2011. Obviously dealing Gonzalez would jump-start the Padres’ rebuilding efforts, but he’s young enough that they could also try to rebuild around him.
The presence of Kevin Youkilis and now Mike Cameron give the Red Sox lots of defensive flexibility, because Youkilis can play either corner infield spot and Cameron is willing to be a starter anywhere in the outfield. All of which is why the Red Sox could potentially part with Ellsbury in a deal for Gonzalez or forget the whole thing and simply sign Adrian Beltre.

Cubs to activate Craig Kimbrel on Thursday

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The Cubs will activate reliever Craig Kimbrel ahead of Thursday afternoon’s game against the Braves, Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic reports.

Kimbrel, 31, ended a seven-month stint in free agency, agreeing to a three-year, $43 million contract with the Cubs earlier this month. He has made four minor league appearances, allowing one earned run on two hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.

With an aggregate 3.96 ERA entering Wednesday, the Cubs’ bullpen has been among the better bullpens in the league. Adding Kimbrel, one of the greatest closers of all-time, certainly can’t hurt and will give them some stability in save situations.