Red Sox expected to make “aggressive bid” for Roy Oswalt

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The Red Sox traded infielder Marco Scutaro to the Rockies on Saturday afternoon in order to free themselves of his $6 million salary commitment for 2012. And they are expected to now channel that freed up cash into the acquisition of a new starter.

A source told ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick that the Boston front office is planning an “aggressive bid” for free agent right-hander Roy Oswalt. They could also target free agent right-hander Edwin Jackson and explore a trade for White Sox left-hander John Danks.

Oswalt, 34, registered a 3.69 ERA, 93/33 K/BB ratio and 1.34 WHIP in 139 innings (23 starts) last season for the Phillies. He’s thought to be seeking a one-year contract in the $8-$12 million range.

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

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Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.