Red Sox GM says landing free agent pitcher is “unlikely”

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The Red Sox have been linked recently to free agent pitchers Edwin Jackson and Roy Oswalt. But E-Jax apparently has better deals on the table from other clubs and Oswalt is thought to prefer a team in the middle of the country, like the Cards or Rangers.

Which leads us to the following report…

According to WEEI’s Alex Speier, Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said Wednesday night that it’s “unlikely” a new pitcher joins the team’s rotation mix before the start of spring training later this month.

“We wouldn’t rule out adding a starter, but I think it’s unlikely at this point,” said the Red Sox general manager. “We’re going to keep looking for ways to improve the team, including the pitching staff, (but) I wouldn’t expect any major changes. … We think the lineup is pretty balanced and I think we have some options in the bullpen and that can be a strength. We like the front of the rotation. We’re going to find out more about the end of the rotation in spring training and see if guys step up.”

Jon Lester, Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz are locks for Boston’s 2012 starting rotation. Alfredo Aceves, Daniel Bard, Andrew Miller, Vicente Padilla and Aaron Cook will compete for the other spots.

Giancarlo Stanton is out of the Yankees lineup again

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Giancarlo Stanton is out of the lineup for today’s Astros-Yankees game for the second consecutive day due to a quad strain. The Yankees have yet to take him off the roster completely because, if they did so, he’d be ineligible to play in the World Series should the Yankees advance, so for the time being New York will play shorthanded once again.

The lineups for this afternoon’s ALCS Game 3, in which Gerrit Cole will face Luis Severino:

Astros

1. George Springer (R) CF
2. José Altuve (R) 2B
3. Michael Brantley (L) LF
4. Alex Bregman (R) 3B
5. Yuli Gurriel (R) 1B
6. Yordan Álvarez (L) DH
7. Carlos Correa (R) SS
8. Josh Reddick (L) RF
9. Martín Maldonado (R) C

Yankees

1. DJ LeMahieu (R) 1B
2. Aaron Judge (R) RF
3. Brett Gardner (L) LF
4. Edwin Encarnacion (R) DH
5. Gleyber Torres (R) 2B
6. Didi Gregorius (L) SS
7. Gary Sánchez (R) C
8. Gio Urshela (R) 3B
9. Aaron Hicks (S) CF