Part Two: See what sort of interest exists for Daisuke Matsuzaka.

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Part Two: See what sort of interest exists for Daisuke Matsuzaka.

2) See what sort of interest exists for Daisuke Matsuzaka.

The Red Sox weren't interested in swapping Matsuzaka for Kosuke Fukodome, but that doesn't mean they won't listen to other offers for the enigmatic pitcher.

It's expected that some West Coast teams (San Diego, Seattle and perhaps the Los Angeles Dodgers) will, at the very least, inquire about Matsuzaka, who could thrive in the National League.

The Red Sox are four-deep in their rotation (Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Josh Beckett, John Lackey) and could afford to auction off Matsuzaka for the right return. The thinking is that Matsuzaka could be a quality No. 2 or No. 3 starter on a N.L. staff.

Of course, Matsuzaka has a full no-trade clause in his contract and would have to approve any deal the Sox put together. But given that Matsuzaka has no deep ties to Boston and would be closer to Japan on the West Coast, that's not expected to be a huge impediment.

With two years and 20 million remaining on his contract, Matsuzaka would not be an inexpensive acquistion for teams. That said, the Sox are not in the mood to take some of the remaining money back in order to facilitiate a deal. If the Sox have to subsidize a trade, they'd just as soon hold onto Matsuzaka.

Consider, also, that the Sox' position is enhanced by the relative lack of starting pitching on the free agent market. After Cliff Lee, the next best starters are probably Jorge de La Rosa and Carl Pavano. That paucity of pitching only strengthens the hands of team with starting pitching to spare.

Previous: Determine the market for Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth

Next: Make alternate plans for catcher and either first or third base

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Among the reactions to the news that Bobby Valentine was possibly being considered to be the US amassador to Japan in President Donald Trump’s administration was this beauty from Kevin Youkilis. 

Valentine famously called out Youkilis early in his stormy tenure as Red Sox manager in 2012. Remember? "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Bobby V said of Youk at the time. 

The Red Sox traded Youkilis to the White Sox for two not-future Hall of Famers, outfielder Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart, later that season.

Youkilis, now Tom Brady’s brother-in-law by the way, had a 21-game stint playing in Japan in 2014 before retiring from baseball. 

 

Griff Whalen practicing for Patriots, wearing No. 14

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Griff Whalen practicing for Patriots, wearing No. 14

FOXBORO -- The Patriots took to the practice field behind Gillette Stadium on Friday with all but one player. 

Wideout Danny Amendola was the only player not present at the session. Newly-acquired receiver Griff Whalen was present and wearing No. 14. 

Safety Jordan Richards was back on the practice field for the first time since suffering a knee injury against the Jets in Week 12. Martellus Bennett (ankle/shoulder), Elandon Roberts (hamstring), Eric Rowe (hamstring) and Matthew Slater (foot) were all limited in practice on Thursday, but were on the field Friday.