Red Sox now wait for Cook's decison on opt-out

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Red Sox now wait for Cook's decison on opt-out

BOSTON -- The Red Sox allowed the May 1 midnight deadline on minor league pitcher Aaron Cook to come and go without purchasing his contract, which, in effect, puts the ball in Cook's court.

Cook has 24 hours -- or, until midnight Wednesday -- to inform the Red Sox whether he'll choose to opt out of his current minor league deal and become a free agent.

If he chooses to do so, the Sox will then have an additional 48 hours from the time they're notified to either release Cook or add him to the 25-man major league roster.

The Sox have informed Cook and his agent, Joe Bick, that they intend to pitch Cook out of the bullpen, at least for the time being. Cook, meanwhile, would prefer to start.

It's possible that should Cook wait until midnight Wednesday to inform the Red Sox of his decision to opt-out, that the pitcher could remain in limbo until midnight Friday -- or 48 hours from notification -- before the issue is resolved.

In the meantime, the Red Sox optioned Lars Anderson to Pawtucket after the game, signaling that a pitcher to replace him on the roster will be by game-time Wednesday.

The Sox earlier Tuesday optioned Junichi Tazawa to Pawtucket to create room for the addition of shortstop Jose Iglesias. The Sox felt they needed an extra infielder available to them to Tuesday night with Kevin Youkilis (back) still unable to play.

Manager Bobby Valentine had Youkilis with a bat in his hand on the top step in the ninth inning, but Valentine later admitted that Youkilis was just a decoy and was unable to hit.

If Youkilis has to go on the disabled list, the Sox would presumably replace him with Will Middlebrooks, who is off to a terrific start at Pawtucket.

Middlebrooks would have gotten the call Tuesday rather than Iglesias, but he had jammed his thumb in at-bat Sunday and the Red Sox wanted him to prove that he was healthy at Pawtucket before promoting him to Boston.

Red Sox clinch AL East with Orioles victory over Blue Jays

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Red Sox clinch AL East with Orioles victory over Blue Jays

NEW YORK -- The Boston Red Sox have won the AL East, clinching the division championship when the Toronto Blue Jays lost to Baltimore.

David Ortiz and the Red Sox, who had already secured at least a wild-card spot in the playoffs, will open their postseason schedule Oct. 6 seeking a second World Series crown in four years. The team's first opponent has not been determined yet.

Boston's game against the New York Yankees in the middle of the ninth inning Wednesday night when the Orioles finished off their 3-2 victory at second-place Toronto. The Red Sox began the night needing a win or a Toronto loss to wrap up their eighth AL East title.

Merloni: 'One good start' could change things for David Price in playoffs

Merloni: 'One good start' could change things for David Price in playoffs

Gary Tanguay and Lou Merloni talk all Boston Red Sox postseason and cover David Price's bad postseason pitching, Drew Pomeranz heading to the bullpen, and if the Sox should feel pressure to clinch AL East sooner than later.