Tag:ANdrew Bailey
Posted on: March 6, 2012 6:25 pm
 

Papelbon needs a new entrance song

Jonathan Papelbon

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Jonathan Papelbon will not be shipping up to Boston anytime soon -- as the band the Dropkick Murphys say the new Phillies closer can no longer use their song as his entrance music.

Dropkick Murphys bassist and singer Ken Casey told ESPN the band doesn't want anyone other than a Red Sox closer using the song.
"He can't use 'Shipping Up To Boston,'" Casey said. "That's a Boston song. One of the Philadelphia radio guys suggested 'Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya.'

"And I have to get with the new Sox closer [Andrew Bailey] to let him know he can use 'Shipping Up To Boston,'" Casey adds. "That's not Pap's song. That's the closer's song."
Of course, as Deadspin noted, it's not a song that belongs complete to the Boston band, since the words were written by Oklahoman Woody Guthrie. According to the ever-accurate Wikipedia, it's also used by the Philadelphia Flyers, among other hockey teams, during their games.

It's not unheard of for a band to ask a closer not to use their music. After John Rocker made his infamous comments disparaging immigrants and homosexuals in 1999, Twisted Sister guitarist Jay Jay French asked that the then-Braves closer cease using the song "I Wanna Rock." He didn't and he was never the same. Phillies fans better hope the "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" isn't Papelbon's version of Sampson's hair.

So, what song should Papelbon use? Well, there's "Sailing to Phialdephia" by Mark Knopfler, Bruce Springsteen's "Streets of Philadelphia" and Hall and Oats' "Fall in Philadelphia." But in the end, there's probably only one real choice:



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Posted on: March 2, 2012 8:20 pm
 

Injury roundup: Lee, Freeman, Crawford and more

By Matt Snyder

As happens every single spring, the minor little injuries are starting to pop up all over the place. It's bound to happen when guys first start hitting the field after a long offseason, especially with older players like 35-year-old Carlos Lee.

Lee, the Astros' first baseman, has already been scratched from Saturday's lineup due to a mild right hamstring strain. (Ultimate Astros)

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman had his kneecap briefly dislocated earlier this week, but he had an encouraging jog Friday.

"I feel great," Freeman said (MLB.com). "Hopefully, they will let me start hitting [in batting practice] again tomorrow or Sunday."

Red Sox left fielder Carl Crawford is aiming for an opening day return from his offseason wrist surgery -- which he had in the middle of January -- but he had a small setback Friday. There was some inflammation in his wrist and he didn't end up taking any swings.

"I'm always concerned when there's a setback. I don't know how bad it is. But according to the doctor it doesn't look that bad," Crawford said (Boston.com). "I was feeling real good, too. I wasn't expecting this."

• Sticking with the Red Sox, closer Andrew Bailey has been limited with a lat strain, but he's "inching closer" to pitching in a spring game, after a 20-pitch bullpen session Thursday. (BostonHerald.com)

Mark Trumbo of the Angels is making progress in his recovery from a stress fracture in his right foot, to the point that he's been able to get into "more intense" workouts at third base -- where he's attempting to transition.

"We haven't been able to find out [how well he can play third], because he looks fine in some of the baby steps, but his hurdle is going to come when the game comes to full speed, [when the] ball off the bat becomes full speed," manager Mike Scioscia said (MLB.com). "We haven't been able to get close to that because of trying to fit in his rehab. He's done as much as he can, outside of the things that we're going to need him to do to evaluate him. Although those things are encouraging, the test for him is going to be much deeper as he moves on to see if he's going to be a Major League third baseman."

Phillies second baseman Chase Utley isn't necessarily injured, but after the past few seasons, the Phillies are bringing him along slowly this spring to make sure he's fine come opening day.

"It might be a little while before I play him," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said (Philly.com). "I want him to keep doing his regular workouts. Right now, I'm in no hurry to play him as long as we can have him ready when the season starts. We just want him to feel good about where he's at with his practice and hitting."

• The Rays have several smallish updates. Evan Longoria will return to likely action Monday from his bruised hand. Phenom pitcher Matt Moore doesn't have lower abdominal discomfort any longer. Designated hitter Luke Scott and outfielder Sam Fuld will be delayed before appearing in any spring games. Scott had shoulder surgery last season, so it's just the club taking it slow. Fuld is in a similar situation of patience, as he had an injury in the tendon of his right wrist late last season. (MLB.com)

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Posted on: February 6, 2012 2:09 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2012 4:00 pm
 

Spring position battles: American League West



By C. Trent Rosecrans

There's nothing like the Super Bowl to remind you that spring training is just around the corner. And with pitchers and catchers packing up their bags for Florida and Arizona, we here at Eye on Baseball will look at some of the key positional battles on tap for this spring, starting with the American League West.

Los Angeles Angels
Designated hitter: Mark Trumbo vs. Kendrys Morales vs. Bobby Abreu vs. Vernon Wells

At the end of the 2011 season, it seemed first base could be a battle for the Angels heading into 2012. That position was settled pretty easily with $240 million. The two previous candidates, Trumbo and Morales are now with BAbreu looking for playing time at DH. Add the wild card of Mike Trout possibly pushing either Torii Hunter or Wells into the DH competition and the team has a lot of players for one spot. Sure, the Angels are saying Trumbo can play third, but he's still not all the way back from an ankle injury and he hasn't proven he can handle the day-in, day-out rigors of third base (look at what it did to Kevin Youkilis last season). There's also the chance that Morales won't be healthy. There are so many variables to the Angles lineup that the only thing that seems certain at this point is that Albert Pujols will be at first base, batting third.

Oakland Athletics
Closer: Grant Balfour vs. Brian Fuentes vs.  Fautino De Los Santos vs. Joey Devine

One of the many players Billy Beane got rid of this offseason was closer Andrew Bailey, who went to the Red Sox for three players, leaving an opening at closer for 2012. Fuentes recorded 12 saves in Bailey's spot last season, while Balfour picked up two as well. Those two veterans should be seen as the favorites, but De Los Santos and Devine could surprise. De Los Santos struck out 43 batters in 33 1/3 innings last season, while Devine impressed in his first action since Tommy John surgery. Even if the two youngsters don't get the call after spring training, either are just one trade away from getting their shot -- and with the A's current situation, nobody in Oakland should be buying, just renting.

Seattle Mariners
No. 3-5 starters: Blake Beavan vs. Charlie Furbush vs. Hector Noesi vs. Kevin Millwood vs. Hisashi Iwakuma

Felix Hernandez, of course, is the Mariners' No. 1 starter and Jason Vargas figures to be the other Mariner to start in the team's two-game series in Japan. After that, it gets interesting. Seattle signed Iwakuma to a $1.5 million contract in the offseason, so he figures to be in the rotation somewhere. Noesi was acquired along with Jesus Montero in the Michael Pineada trade and should be somehwere in the mix, as well. That leaves the youngsters Furbush (25) and Beavan (23), to go against the veteran Millwood (37). Furbush and Beavan showed flashes during 2011, but are hardly proven products. After stints in the minors for the Red Sox and Yankees, Millwood went 4-3 with a 3.98 ERA in Colorado and should benefit from pitching at Safeco Field.

Texas Rangers
5th starter: Matt Harrison vs. Alexi Ogando vs. Scott Feldman

Unless the Rangers do sign Roy Oswalt, it appears the first four spots in the Texas rotation are set with Yu Darvish, Colby Lewis, Derek Holland and Neftali Feliz, leaving three pitchers battling for the final spot. Last season the Rangers moved Ogando from the bullpen to the rotation with some success. They're looking to do the same with Feliz this season and possibly sending Ogando back to the bullpen. Ogando was 13-8 with a 3.51 ERA, but seemed to tire down the stretch. Harrison was 14-9 with a 3.39 ERA last season, but still has to battle for his job. And then there's Feldman, who is a long-shot here, but is used to the yo-yoing from the bullpen to the rotation. If the team does sign Oswalt, the three could be stretched out in spring, but return to the bullpen once the season starts.

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Posted on: December 28, 2011 5:24 pm
Edited on: December 28, 2011 6:04 pm
 

Red Sox get Bailey, Sweeney from A's

Andrew Bailey

By C. Trent Rosecrans


The Red Sox have their closer, acquiring Andrew Bailey from the A's, CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman reports. The Red Sox sent outfielder Josh Reddick along with minor-league third baseman Miles Head and right-handed pitcher Raul Alcantara, while sending outfielder Ryan Sweeney to Boston along with Bailey.

Josh ReddickBailey is the third pitcher the A's have traded this season, along with starters Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez

Bailey, 27, will replace Jonathan Papelbon, who signed with the Phillies, as the Red Sox closer. A two-time All-Star, Bailey has 75 saves in his first three seasons with a 2.07 ERA. He had 24 saves and a career-high 3.24 ERA in 2010.

Reddick, 24, has struggled to find time in the Red Sox lineup, but managed to play 87 games in 2011, logging 278 plate appearances, hitting .280/.327/.457 with seven home runs and 28 RBI.

The 20-year-old Head hit .299/.372/.515 with 22 homers and 82 RBI at both Class A levels, splitting his time almost equally between Greenville and Salem. Alcantara, 19, started 13 games in the rookie league and short-season Class Am going 1-4 with a 2.20 ERA, striking out 50 batters in 65 1/3 innings.

Boston also gets the 26-year-old Sweeney, who hit .265/.346/.341 last season for the A's, but has hit just 14 homers over parts of six seasons with the White Sox and A's. Sweeney is arbitration-eligible, as is Bailey.

Last week after the Gonzalez trade, A's general manager Billy Beane said the team was looking to rebuild in hopes of having a young, talented team in time for a new stadium.

Bailey joins the new-look bullpen in Boston along with recently acquired Mark Melancon, while Sweeney will work in a platoon role in the Boston outfield.  

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Posted on: December 23, 2011 10:30 pm
 

Beane expects A's to make more deals

Billy BeaneBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Billy Beane's Oakland swap meet is open and ready for business -- just don't show up on Christmas Day.

"We won't do [any moves] on Christmas, as a matter of principle," Beane said Friday night on a conference call after making the Gio Gonzalez trade official. "We're still having conversations and I anticipate on having conversations [Saturday]."

The team sent Gonzalez to Washington for a package that included left-hander Tom Milone, right-handers A.J. Cole and Brad Peacock, along with catcher Derek Norris. Oakland also send right-hander Rob Gilliam to the Nationals, as part of the deal agreed upon Thursday and finalized Friday. It wasn't the team's first deal, sending Trevor Cahill to Arizona earlier this month, and it's unlikely to be the last.

"We're trying to collect as many young players as we can," Beane said. "I think that's our best long-term strategy."

Beane made no bones that Oakland would have a hard time competing with the Rangers or Angels this season, or really in the next couple of seasons. The A's, instead, are building for the future and know times will be difficult in the next couple of years.

"We've been through this cycle numerous times and it gets shorter and shorter because the gap between us and everyone else grows and grows. For us to compete, we need a new stadium," Beane said. "I don't think there was a move we could make to compete with the Angels and Texas in the moves they're making. They're going to be somewhere around $150 million payroll. We're not a business that can put that payroll on the field. For us to catch up to Seattle we'd have to spend an extra $40 or $50 million. From our standpoint, I don't know that there's a move we could make to compete with them this year."

While Beane said he hopes to hear soon about a new stadium, the team will continue to build for an opening of a new stadium a couple of years down the line and would like to follow the model set forth by the early-to-mid-'90s Indians, who had a core group ready in the big leagues when they opened Jacobs Field.

"That's the blueprint, the template," Beane said. "They went through some pain there. That was when I had just quit playing and was scouting. They had the guts to do it right and they did it best."

As for closer Andrew Bailey, Beane wouldn't discuss individuals, but made it clear he's open to trading just about anyone on the roster, and Bailey would be an obvious candidate.

"We're still going to be very open-minded," Beane said. "The fact of the matter is, we're putting together the team with the idea that we're going to get a new stadium. We don't have any other choice."

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Posted on: December 20, 2011 10:56 am
Edited on: December 20, 2011 2:18 pm
 

Homegrown Team: Oakland Athletics



By Matt Snyder

What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.

"Moneyball" hit movie theaters everywhere late this past summer and Brad Pitt-as-Billy Beane told us the A's have to be creative to compete in an unfair baseball landscape. There are haves and have-nots, the protagonist would tell us. And we all know the Oakland Athletics are have-nots in the salary-capless land of Major League Baseball. So what if the A's could afford to keep all their own guys? Surely they'd be much better, right? Uh ...

Lineup

1. Jemile Weeks, 2B
2. Nick Swisher, CF
3. Andre Ethier, RF
4. Jason Giambi, 1B
5. Ryan Ludwick, LF
6. Kurt Suzuki, C
7. Ramon Hernandez, DH
8. Mark Teahen, 3B
9. Cliff Pennington, SS

Starting Rotation

1. Tim Hudson
2. Trevor Cahill
3. Dallas Braden
4. Tyson Ross
5. Joe Blanton

Yes, Braden was out for the season in real life, but we've got Rich Harden waiting in the wings. Oh, and yes, Harden is hurt all the time. So then we'd turn to Barry Zito.

Bullpen

Closer - Andrew Bailey
Set up - Huston Street, Santiago Casilla, Henry Rodriguez, Joel Peralta, Sam Demel
Long - Harden, Zito

Notable Bench Players

Miguel Olivo, John Baker, Gerald Laird -- yes, those three are all catchers, just like our DH -- Eric Chavez and Travis Buck.

What's Good?

Hey, at least we'd never run out of catchers with this group. There are four major-league caliber starters, even if some are lower-tier, and one quality backup in Laird. So the Athletics churn out catchers. Really, though, the strength of this team is unsurprisingly the pitching. The starting rotation is good, but not great. Hudson is steady and Cahill was very good in 2010. Blanton was good in 2009 but has battled injuries and ineffectiveness since then. Ross did show great promise before his injury last season, though. The bullpen is pretty good, too. Bailey is a solid closer and Street would be a fine eighth-inning man with Casilla and fireballer Rodriguez also setting the table.

What's Not?

Giambi and Ludwick in the middle of the order isn't near as potent nowadays as it would have been a handful of years ago. Plus, could Giambi even play everyday anymore? If not, our next option is playing a catcher, Chavez or Buck at first base. That's weak. In fact, at this point in time, there aren't many spots where the hitter is well above average for his slot. Swisher and Ethier are good, but they aren't elite second or third hitters. Weeks could prove an elite leadoff hitter as soon as 2012, but we don't have a large enough sample yet to declare that. Ramon Hernandez had a good past two offensive seasons, but take him out of the NL Central and Great American Ball Park and put him in the AL West in Oakland. That's a big difference. So while the offense isn't atrocious, it's not very good either -- and there is no bench depth anywhere but catcher. Also, Swisher's out of position in center, but, again, we don't have any other options.

Comparison to real 2011

While the rotation and bullpen are good, they are far from great, and the position players here just aren't enough. This team would be below average, an 85-90 loss ballclub. The real-life A's went 74-88, so I'd say it's just about the same result.

And we can now see the biggest problem. Of course it's tough to compete as a small-market team in a football stadium, but the A's haven't been drafting very well. They've made some good trades, sure, but also some pretty bad ones. For example, they spun Carlos Gonzalez, Huston Street and Greg Smith for Matt Holliday back in 2008, but then dealt Holliday at the next trade deadline for Brett Wallace, Clayton Mortensen and Shane Peterson. So, yes, one reason the A's can't compete anymore in the AL West is because they don't have the money to retain or sign new expensive veterans. But another reason is they just aren't churning out draft picks like the Rays, for example, are. 

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Posted on: December 7, 2011 10:16 am
Edited on: December 7, 2011 10:41 pm
 

MLB Winter Meetings rumors: Wednesday

By Matt Snyder

MLB Winter Meetings
DALLAS -- We're live from the media room, lobby or anywhere else in the Dallas Hilton for Major League Baseball's annual Winter Meetings. Tons of rumors will continue to circulate throughout the meetings, so we'll keep this as a landing spot for anything and everything. Check back for updates all day Wednesday. We'll timestamp updates made after the initial post.

6:54 p.m. ET: Breaking news: The Marlins are out of the running to sign Albert Pujols, per Scott Miller of CBSSports.com.

Buehrle, Marlins, Nats

10:48 a.m. ET: If the Marlins lose out on the Albert Pujols sweepstakes, they'll go hard after free agent left-hander Mark Buehrle, reports Clark Spencer.

12:59 p.m. ET: Buehrle talks are "heating up" and he's narrowed the list to three teams, Danny Knobler reports.

4:19 p.m. ET: The Nationals have made what they believe is a "legit, fair, market-value offer" to Buehrle that they are hoping he expects, general manager Mike Rizzo told Washington beat writers (Amanda Comak).

5:11 p.m. ET: Buehrle has signed with the Marlins. Full story.

7:39 p.m. ET: Rizzo told the Washington beat writers he wasn't willing to go to a fourth year on Buehrle. Now the club will shift its focus to free agent pitcher Roy Oswalt or trading for Gio Gonzalez (Bill Ladson).

Red Sox, A's talk Bailey

• The closer-less Red Sox appear to be interested in Bailey, but the price could be too high, as Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes the A's are asking for a package including prized third base prospect Will Middlebrooks in exchange for the closer. Peter Gammons of MLB Network says the Red Sox are dangling outfielder Josh Reddick in return for Bailey.

Rangers, Angels, Wilson

• The Rangers met with Bob Garber, the agent for free-agent lefty C.J. Wilson, on Tuesday. Garber told ESPNDallas.com that he was "pleasantly surprised" by the Rangers' offer to keep their former No. 1 starter.

12:55 p.m. ET: The Angels are pushing hard for Wilson, Knobler has learned. Full story.

Rockies, Street, Padres, Lidge


11:31 a.m. ET: The Rockies have agreed in principle to trade Huston Street to the Padres. The deal is basically done, but not yet finalized. Full story.

12:05 p.m. ET: The Rockies have "mild" interest in free agent reliever Brad Lidge, reports Danny Knobler.

Dotel

12:07 p.m. ET: The Tigers have interest in free agent reliever Octavio Dotel, but he prefers to stay with the Cardinals, Knobler reports.

Phillies, Tigers, D-Backs, Gio Gonzalez

• The Athletics are one of the prettiest girls at this ball, dangling starter Gio Gonzalez and closer Andrew Bailey, and apparently both the Tigers and Phillies are looking to get in and bust a move on Billy Beane. The Tigers are in on Gonzalez, but aren't sure they can match the package the Yankees can offer for the left-hander, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. And then there's the Phillies, who are dangling perpetual outfield prospect Domonic Brown in exchange for Gonzalez, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network.

10:44 a.m. ET: Two reporters say Middlebrooks' name never came up in talks between A's and Red Sox.

12:24 p.m. ET: Knobler reports the Tigers asked about Gonzalez but didn't like the price. Cross them off the list of serious suitors.

12:25 p.m. ET: The Diamondbacks are pushing hard for Gonzalez, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

2:51 p.m. ET: The A's will not trade Gonzalez during the Winter Meetings, per Joel Sherman.

Kuroda

1:31 p.m. ET: The Cubs, Rockies and Diamondbacks are all after free agent starter Hiroki Kuroda, reports Jon Heyman. It had been previously believed that Kuroda would either stay with the Dodgers or go back to Japan -- and a return to Japan is still entirely possible.

2:50 p.m. ET: The Yankees and Red Sox are also in on Kuroda, reports Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.

Cubs, Rockies, Stewart, Colvin

2:52 p.m. ET: The Cubs and Rockies are discussing a swap of Tyler Colvin (Cubs' outfielder) and Ian Stewart (Rockies' third baseman), reports Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

Mets

4:11 p.m. ET: The Mets are shopping everyone on the roster except David Wright, Joel Sherman reports. Andy Martino circles back and says Ike Davis is also off limits, though. Sherman now reports that the Mets are mostly talking about moving Jonathon Niese, not Davis.

5:56 p.m. ET: The Mets are "talking to three or four teams" about Niese, reports Heyman, who notes they seek "multiple pieces" in return, such as an infielder, catcher or prospect.

7:36 p.m. ET: The Mets are "absolutely" listening to trade proposals on Niese and Daniel Murphy, but "their asking price is high," reports Andy McCullough.

Dotel

5:45 p.m. ET: The Tigers are the frontrunner for Octavio Dotel, reports Ken Rosenthal, who also notes an NL team is involved as well. It's very possible that team is the Cardinals, but the Reds and Brewers have been connected to Dotel also.

7:17 p.m. ET: It's between the Tigers and Cardinals, says Knobler.

9:50 p.m. ET: The Tigers are nearing a deal with Dotel. Full story.

Madson, Phillies

10:40 p.m. ET: Ryan Madson has declined arbitration, so he's definitely available for bidding (Knobler).

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Posted on: December 3, 2011 8:39 pm
Edited on: December 3, 2011 9:39 pm
 

Saturday rumors: Kuroda, A's and more

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Saturday's the last day at home for a couple of days for most in baseball, as the winter meetings kick off Monday in Dallas -- and that goes for reporters, as well. That meant a rather light day in rumors, but expect things to pick up on Sunday and then go fast and furious on Monday. Last year news of Jayson Werth's deal with the Nationals came on the day before the start of the meetings, so that goes to show things don't just go down in the hotel lobby.

Hiroki KurodaThe news of Chris Capuano's signing with the Dodgers seemed to signal the end of Hiroki Kuroda's time in Los Angeles, and maybe even his time in the United States. However, the Rockies are pursuing Kuroda (Denver Post). Kuroda's also been mentioned as a possibility for the Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers, Angels, Rangers and others. Kuroda blocked deals to the Tigers and Red Sox last season. WEEI.com reports Kuroda is open to pitching in Boston. His former team in Japan, the Hiroshima Carp, have also offered him a contract.

The A's could be popular in Dallas, as the team has pitching for sale. "I wouldn't rule anybody out," assistant GM David Forst told the San Francisco Chronicle. The A's are looking for an outfielder in return. Closer Andrew Bailey is among the most popular trade targets on the team, already drawing attention from the Rangers, Blue Jays, Reds, Padres, Mets and Mariners. (Chicago Tribune)

Someone put in a bid for Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima. The Seibu Lions are expected to accept the bid, regardless of the amount. (Kyodo News)

Matt Garza's agent told the Cubs' right-hander to prepare for "an active winter meetings." Garza told him he'd be in Italy. Garza was dealt from the Rays to the Cubs last offseason and is under team control through 2013. The Cubs have let it be known that they're open to trading just about anyone. (MLB.com)

The Rockies are interested in Japanese second baseman Kensuke Tanaka. The left-handed hitter played in just 49 games this past season for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters because of an ankle injury, but is said to be healthy now. (FoxSports.com)

The Red Sox will meet with Bob Garber, the agent for C.J. Wilson and Roy Oswalt, during the winter meetings. (Boston Herald)

Not many have thought that Rays general manager Andrew Friedman would consider taking the Astros' GM job, but free agent outfielder Johnny Damon seems to think it's a possibility. "He's not going to sign me and then leave," Damon told the Boston Globe of Friedman. "If he goes to Houston, his hometown, he's going to try and bring me along with him. That's where my waiting game is." Damon also said he told David Ortiz to play in New York and take advantage of the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium.

Casey Blake is drawing interest from nine teams, including the Indians. He can play both corner outfield spots and both corner infield spots. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

The White Sox are looking to trade for a starter and an outfielder and are dangling John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Carlos Quentin and Matt Thornton. Among the teams that could be a match are the Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers, Nationals, Reds and Braves. (Chicago Tribune)

Tim WakefieldKnuckleballer Tim Wakefield said he has a "strong desire" to pitch for the Red Sox next season. The 45-year-old needs seven wins to surpass Roger Clemens and Cy Young as the franchise's all-time leader. (Boston Herald)

The Reds held their annual RedsFest in Cincinnati this weekend, so there's plenty of news from the banks of the Ohio thanks to the media availability of GM Walt Jocketty, manager Dusty Baker and most of the team's roster and top prospects. Jocketty said the team is looking for a "top of the rotation" starter and have targeted six different players, but didn't name any of them. Jocketty also said the team had looked at Detroit infielder Ramon Santiago as a backup shortstop, and would ideally like to sign a left-handed hitter or switch hitter to back up Zack Cozart (Cincinnati Enquirer). Baker said the team is looking both internally and externally for a closer, but will not have a closer by committee to replace Francisco Cordero (MLB.com). 

Follow all the moves with the CBSSports.com free agent tracker.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com