Sox unsuccessful in landing starter Gonzalez


Sox unsuccessful in landing starter Gonzalez

The Red Sox were involved in trade talks with the Oakland A's for lefty starter Gio Gonzalez right until the end -- when the A's opted for the Washington Nationals' package of three pitching prospects (plus a position player) over the Red Sox' offer, which was more titled toward position players, an industry source confirmed.

Gonzalez, 25, was sent to Washington in exchange for pitchers A.J. Cole, Brad Peacock, Tom Milone and catcher Derek Norris.

A deal with the Red Sox, meanwhile, would have required the Sox to part with four prospects -- each a high-level prospect, the source indicated.

It's believed that Oakland was asking for names such as third baseman Will Middlebrooks and outfielder Ryan Kalish -- among others -- to get a deal done with Boston.

Gonzalez, 26, will be joining the fourth team in his career, after stints with the A's, Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies. He's won 31 games over the last two seasons and pitched 200 innings in each of those seasons with a combined ERA of 3.18. But he's also walked 183 batters over the last two seasons and his 91 walks in 2011 led all American League pitchers.

Boston's options are now dwindling when it comes to trading for a starting pitcher. John Danks, another A.L. lefty in whom they had an interest, was re-signed by the Chicago White Sox Wednesday, taking him off the market.

A handful of starters remain available in deals, but most have question marks. Houston is willing to move Wandy Rodriguez, but he has approximately 35 million remaining in salary obligations. Atlanta is willing to move Jair Jurrjens, but the Sox are said to have concerns about his health after Jurrjens missed significant time in each of his last two seasons.

Still available are Gavin Floyd with the White Sox and a few members of the Tampa Bay Rays rotation (Wade Davis, Jeff Niemann) could be moved, though the Rays are telling teams they don't need to move either. One American League executive dismissed the chances of the Red Sox and Rays, division rivals, making a deal together.

Even after the Gonzalez trade, the A's aren't done moving pitching this winter. And they're unlikely to be done talking to the Red Sox.

Boston is still very much interested in closer Andrew Bailey. The A's have asked for a package which includes Josh Reddick and others.

For a time this week, a source said, the Red Sox and A's talked about a mega-deal which would have landed the Sox both Gonzalez and Bailey, but A's GM Billy Beane ultimately decided against putting both assets in the same deal, reasoning that he could get a bigger haul if he made separate trades involving the two.

Patriots acquire linebacker Kyle Van Noy from Lions


Patriots acquire linebacker Kyle Van Noy from Lions

The Patriots acquired Kyle Van Noy, who was the Lions’ 2014 second-round pick and starting linebacker this season, on Tuesday. 

Why former Pats executive Bob Quinn would send a starter East for what is reportedly just a conditional draft pick is something we’ll try to ferret out.

The Patriots were no doubt interested because they lost Jonathan Freeny to IR with an injury, rookie Elandon Roberts is an undersized thumper (Van Noy is 6-3, 252) and Shea McClellin is well, just… there so far.

Van Noy has two years remaining on his rookie deal so -- provided he shows something -- he could be around awhile. The move -- one week before the trade deadline -- is a familiar one from the Patriots who added players like Jonathan Casillas and Akeem Ayers in 2014 prior to their Super Bowl run.

This story from last season indicates that Van Noy’s lack of production in his first two seasons with the Lions was merely a matter of circumstance. 

Perhaps. We’ll find out soon enough. Meanwhile, the name Van Noy made me perk up because I remembered him as having a central role in the excellent book The System by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian.

Read the excerpt on Van Noy here. It will give you a better understanding of the road he’s traveled.

Report: Patriots trade for Lions LB Kyle Van Noy


Report: Patriots trade for Lions LB Kyle Van Noy

The Patriots have added more depth at linebacker, and they've reached out to an old friend to do it.

According to ESPN, the team has agreed to a deal with the Lions in order to acquire linebacker Kyle Van Noy. The compensation has not yet been disclosed. 

Van Noy, who was a second-round pick out of BYU, is listed at 6-foot-3, 243 pounds. He played 36 snaps in Detroit's win over Washington on Sunday, recording two tackles.

The Patriots lost depth at linebacker when veteran Jonathan Freeny landed on injured reserve with a shoulder issue before New England's Week 6 game in Cleveland. Van Noy will fill in behind Dont'a Hightower and Jamie Collins, providing insurance alongside rookie Elandon Roberts, Barkevious Mingo and Shea McClellin. Defensive end Rob Ninkovich has also seen time at linebacker this season. 

Collins and Hightower have both dealt with health issues over the last two seasons, often pressing reserves into action. Collins returned to the field over the weekend after missing Week 6 with a hip issue. Hightower missed Weeks 2 and 3 due to a knee injury he suffered in Week 1 against the Cardinals. 

Van Noy has played in 30 games since entering the league. His seven career starts have all come this season. He has 32 career tackles and one sack. Going into the draft in 2014, the All-Independent Defensive Player of the Year was viewed as a stand-out athlete with good quickness, a high football IQ and an ability to run with backs and tight ends in coverage. 

That the Patriots and Lions were able to work out a deal comes as little surprise. Detriot general manager Bob Quinn has a close relationship with Bill Belichick and Nick Caserio as he worked in New England from 2000-2015. Quinn began with the team as a personnel assistant, worked his way up the ladder, and from 2012 through 2015 he served as the director of pro scouting.