Red Sox shopping Daisuke Matsuzaka and others?

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The Red Sox may be looking to unload some of their depth at various positions before the start of the 2011 regular season schedule.

According to Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston, the Sawx have let other major league teams know that starters Daisuke Matsuzaka and Tim Wakefield are available via trade and that outfielders Mike Cameron and Darnell McDonald can also be had for the right price.

The Red Sox are looking to add a young catcher in case backup Jason Varitek breaks down and they would also like left-handed relief help in the event that Dennys Reyes doesn’t pan out.

Now it’s all about finding the right trading partner.

Matsuzaka isn’t going to be very attractive to other clubs given the 4.79 ERA that he registered in the second half of the 2010 season and the 11.42 ERA that he’s posted across three Grapefruit League starts this spring. On top of all that, he is owed $20 million over the next two seasons.

Wakefield isn’t going to be easy to move either because of his old age and stated intentions to retire soon, and Cameron and McDonald would only start in the outfield on a handful of non-contending clubs.

The four veterans may intrigue some GMs around the big leagues, but any trade is going to be difficult. Also, Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein has already vehemently denied Edes’ report, labeling it “false.”

The Mets expect Tim Tebow to come back next year

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Mets assistant general manager John Ricco told Newsday today that he expects minor league outfielder Tim Tebow to return for a third season in professional baseball.

Tebow, 31, broke the hamate bone in his right hand while swinging a bat in late July, ending his season. It was a fairly successful season for him all things considered. After being promoted to Double-A Binghamton to start the year he hit .273/.336/.399 with six home runs, a stolen base and a .734 OPS in 298 plate appearances and made the Double-A All-Star team. That’s not the stuff of a top prospect — he strikes out far too much and the power numbers aren’t fantastic given that power would figure to be his strongest tool — but it’s pretty respectable for a guy his age and with his relative lack of baseball experience. As I said back in July, you can believe the Mets’ interest in Tebow is more marketing than baseball, but that does not preclude you from giving the guy a deserved tip of the cap for working hard and sticking it out in the bush leagues.

Assuming he does come back, the Mets are likely to start him at Triple-A Syracuse in the hopes that he’d eventually get to the bigs as a late season callup if the Mets aren’t in contention. Indeed, many believed that was the plan for him this year had he not been injured.