Red Sox Free Agent Roundup: Winter Meetings Edition


The Winter Meetings are upon us and with it is sure to bring blockbuster announcements.  Jose Reyes and the Miami Marlins have gotten the week off to a great start and there is sure to be more as the days go by.

The Red Sox have been linked to numerous free agents and are likely to do something this week while in Dallas.  With that, let’s get right to it and have a look at the free agent roundup.  Here’s what we know:

Mark Buehrle – a whopping 14 teams are said to have interest in the crafty starter, including the Red Sox.  With that many teams Buehrle will without question cash in, in what is being dubbed a buyer’s market when it comes to starting pitchers this winter.  The Marlins, the most aggressive club so far, have reportedly made an offer to Buehrle but it’s the request of a no-trade clause from Buehrle that has many teams hesitating.  Again, this type of deal appears to be too rich for the Sox.  Giving him $15-$17 million per year to me is overpaying.  There are other options that Cherington should consider.

C.J. Wilson & Roy Oswalt – they’re linked together because they have the same agent.  The same agent that is set to meet with Ben C. sometime this week.  While Wilson will likely be the top paid pitcher amongst those in free agency, it won’t come from the Red Sox.  The Texas Rangers are said to also be in serious contention for their former ace, along with the Washington Nationals.

As far as Oswalt goes, it’s been rumored that the Sox are interested in the former Phillie, although to what level we’re not certain.  His woeful back is drawing some concern from teams, but this could bring his price down a tad to a more respectable level.  Still too much of a gamble for me, with Oswalt’s best year’s behind him.

Hiroki Kuroda – the set asking price is believed to be between $12-$13 million per season for the 36-year old, with the Red Sox and Diamondbacks said to be leading the charge.  This would be a bad signing on Cherington’s part.  See my article on Kuroda to see why I feel that way.  Move on to someone else, please Ben.

Michael Cuddyer – the right field option in Boston is still up in the air and a lot will depend if Big Papi returns. It’s believed that Cuddyer is still of interest to the Red Sox, but Ortiz is their priority right now.  Cuddyer is also drawing interest from the Twins and once again the Phillies.

Carlos Beltran – the line on Beltran has been fairly quiet as of late, but it’s sure to pick up this week.  Like Cuddyer, Beltran is on the Sox radar, with everything hinging on Big Papi’s situation.

Josh Willingham – a total of nine teams are in the running for Willingham, including the Red Sox.  But according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, Willingham is more of a back up plan should the Cuddyer option dry up.

Ryan Madson – still drawing interest from the Red Sox and this week in Dallas should clarify the Red Sox stance on things. This news about the Red Sox being close to the luxury tax threshold will make it tough to give a guy like Madson anything over $10 million without unloading some salary elsewhere.

More to come on the luxury tax threshold and the stranglehold it has on the Red Sox a little later.

That’s the roundup for now.  As things progress this week we’ll be sure to keep you informed so keep checking back.

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