Sox still in talks, but preparing for arbitration hearings

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Sox still in talks, but preparing for arbitration hearings

BOSTON -- Salary arbitration hearings are set to begin Tuesday in Florida and run for the next three weeks. The Red Sox have two unsigned players -- David Ortiz and Alfredo Aceves -- threatening to end their 10-year streak of avoiding arbitration hearings.

General manager Ben Cherington wouldn't reveal when the players' hearing are scheduled.

"I'd prefer not to make them public," said Cherington, "but we're preparing for them."

Ortiz filed a request for 16.5 million, with the Red Sox filing at 12.65 million. Aceves, meanwhile, filed at 1.6 million, with the Red Sox countering at 950,000.

"I wouldn't want to handicap (the odds of avoiding a hearing)," said Cherington. "We're just going to prepare for the cases. We'll continue to talk right up to the hearing. We'll see what happens. But as soon as you exchange (figures), you have to be prepared to go to a hearing. That's what we're doing."

The Sox and Ortiz are almost 4 million apart -- arbitrators must pick one number or the other, with no middle ground -- but Cherington said the should the Sox go to a hearing and lose, it wouldn't necessarily affecttheir budget.

"I don't think significantly, no," he said. "If you go to a hearing, there's a chance you win and a chance you lose and it changes your payroll to some degree. To that extend, it can affect things a little bit, but Iwouldn't say it's significant."

Patriots won’t have to deal with Bills WR Sammy Watkins on Sunday.

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Patriots won’t have to deal with Bills WR Sammy Watkins on Sunday.

FOXBORO - Scratch the estimable Sammy Watkins from the Bills roster for Sunday. 

Buffalo shared via Twitter that their long, tall wideout is out for Sunday with a foot injury. Also down are wideout Greg Salas and left tackle Cyrus Kouandijo.

The Bills' starting left tackle Cordy Glenn has been dealing with an ankle injury that caused him to miss last week's game. 

Robert Woods will be the Bills best outside threat with Watkins taking Sunday off. The Bills' talented corner Ronald Darby is also trying to get back this week from a hamstring injury that caused him to miss last week's game with Arizona.