GM Meetings notes: Red Sox expect more calls on Scutaro


GM Meetings notes: Red Sox expect more calls on Scutaro

By Sean McAdam

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The GM meetings are traditionally where ideas for future deals germinate and Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, on his way out of the meetings and headed back to Boston Thursday morning, expressed hope that something may soon come of some of the talks he held here.

"Time will tell," said Epstein as he departed the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. "I hope so, anyway. There was plenty of talk. Whether it was effective or not, we'll see. But yeah, I think there was a good exchange of information."

Epstein said most of the trade talks here were a continution of things started, via phone calls, before the meetings began.

"Most of it was following up on discussions we had previously," said Epstein. "There was nothing really brand new."

Expect the Red Sox to field additional calls on shortstop Marco Scutaro, who has attracted interest from a half-dozen clubs.

Scutaro stands to make an affordable 5 million in 2011 and a number of teams -- including the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants - are searching for shortstop help.

The Giants would like to re-sign Juan Uribe, but if that falls through, Scutaro could be an option.

The Sox would move Scutaro if they could acquire some bullpen help for him. They would then start the season with Jed Lowrie as their shortstop, with Jose Iglesias perhaps ready to jump to the big leagues by midseason.

Commissioner Bud Selig, who briefed owners and general managers Thursday morning, met with reporters and answered questions on a number of issues.

Selig said his on-field committee will meet at the winter meetings next month to discuss a possible expansion of the current playoff format, adding an additional wild card team in each league, probably for the 2012 season.

"I have said we will consider it and we are," said Selig. "It has a lot of different of variations. My committee will meet at the winter meetings and that will be a primary topic of discussion. We'll continue the discussion.

"We have a lot of constituencies. We'll continue to pursue that. There were a lot of differences about the right format in the room. But we'll move ahead, and move ahead pretty quickly."

Selig wouldn't comment on whether he believed a one-game wild-card faceoff would be "too radical." Others have proposed a best two-of-three series.

"I don't want to comment on specifics until, in my own mind, we've decided what we want to do," he said. "I don't want to rule anything out."

Mike Hazen, the director of player development, has been traveling across the country, interviewing candidates for the Pawtucket managerial opening.

The organization will meet Friday to further discuss candidates.

"We're still maybe looking to interview additional candidates," said Epstein. "We're looking for either experience, or someone really dynamic. It's always an important job. It's kind of an extension of the major league staff."

The Sox still have to finalize some roster moves by Saturday, including placing some minor-league players on the 40-man roster so as to not leave them exposed for the Rule V draft which takes place next month at the winter meetings.

Sean McAdam can be reached at Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Report: Trump won't throw out first pitch

Report: Trump won't throw out first pitch

One White House tradition will have to wait, if it’s in fact maintained.

President Donald Trump is not going to throw out a ceremonial first pitch for the Washington Nationals this season, according to the Washington Post.

Post reporter Barry Svrugula wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that the White House declined an invitation from the Nats.

POLITICO reported early Tuesday morning that Trump was in talks to throw out the first pitch and that it was also possible he could spend an inning in the MASN booth.

President William Howard Taft began the custom of U.S. presidents throwing out a first pitch on April 14, 1910, at National Stadium in D.C.

According to The Week:

“Since Taft, every president not named Jimmy Carter has thrown out at least one Opening Day first pitch. The executive guests of honor followed in Taft's hefty footsteps, throwing the first ball from the stands, until the late 1980s when Ronald Reagan sauntered onto the mound and improved upon the tradition."

The most famous presidential pitch in recent memory is George W. Bush’s toss during the 2001 World Series at Yankee Stadium.

The Nats open their season on Monday at home in Washington D.C., in a 1:05 p.m. game against the Miami Marlins. A Nationals Magic 8 Ball is to be given away to the first 20,000 fans.

The Red Sox happen to play the Nats in a pair of exhibitions right before the season, on Friday and Saturday. Friday’s game is at the Nats’ home park in D.C. Saturday’s game is to be played in Annapolis, Md., at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Christian Vazquez or Sandy Leon...who's the starting catcher?

Christian Vazquez or Sandy Leon...who's the starting catcher?

Evan Drellich talks with Toucher and Rich about who the starting catcher will be and should be for the Red Sox. Christian Vazquez appears to be all the way back from Tommy John surgery. Can he hit?