McAdam: The Red Sox' Winter Meetings wish list

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McAdam: The Red Sox' Winter Meetings wish list

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Now that the Red Sox have finally taken care of getting the trade done for Adrian Gonzalez and can put off contract discussions without an eye on the clock, they're likely to focus on smaller issues here at the Winter Meetings.

Among them:

Finding an outfielder, preferrably one who hits right-handed
You can effectively cross the Red Sox off the list of suitors for Carl Crawford. All along, the Sox had a feeling Crawford's market price would be beyond their interest, and the incredible seven-year, 126 million deal signed by Jayson Werth Sunday only rammed that point home.

To wit: If Werth is getting that much, Crawford will surely be asking for at least eight years and perhaps as much as 20 million per season. Given that the Sox are still trying to work out a nine-figure deal with Gonzalez, they aren't about to commit to another one for Crawford.

Any chance of landing Justin Upton is probably gone, too. For one thing, the Sox' inventory of prospects was thinned out for Gonzalez, although Arizona was more interested in young major-leaguers with service time.

In any event, Arizona GM Kevin Towers told reporters Monday afternoon that a deal involving Upton was "highly unlikely."

So where does that leave the Sox in pursuit of an outfielder?

They've always liked Washington's Josh Willingham, dating back to his time with Florida. The Nationals have indicated that they would move Willingham, but their asking price is said to be Felix Doubront, which the Sox find prohibitive.

They would love to re-acquire Matt Murton, who was Theo Epstein's first-round pick in his first year as Red Sox GM before being sent off the following summer as part of the blockbuster, four-team deal which send Nomar Garciaparra to the Chicago Cubs.

But Murton, who just set a record in Japan for most hits in a season, is under contract with the Hanshin Tigers for 2011 and it would seem difficult, if not impossible, to get Murton out from his deal.

Adding bullpen depth
Thanks to the three-year, 16.5 million deal given to Joaquin Benoit by the Detroit Tigers, a number of veteran set-up relievers on the free-agent market are seeking three-year deals.

The Red Sox don't want to commit that long to set-up types and are also said to be averse to giving up compenation draft picks -- especially a first-rounder for Type A free agents who were offered salary arbitration by their previous teams.

That would seem to take them out on Scott Downs.

More likely targets for the Sox: Brian Fuentes, who was not offered arbitration by the Minnesota Twins. The Sox had discussions with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim last July before deeming the asking price too high. Fuentes later went to Minnesota.

Former Red Sox reliever David Aardsma, eligible for arbitration, is said to be available from the Seattle Mariners as his arbitration-determined salary climbs. But the Mariners are looking for young starting pitching in returns and would again balk at giving up Doubront.

Other options include non-tendered relievers from last week, the most intriguing of which is former White Sox closer Bobby Jenks.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Pomeranz gives up three runs in Red Sox loss to Blue Jays

Pomeranz gives up three runs in Red Sox loss to Blue Jays

Starter Drew Pomeranz gives up three runs on five hits in four innings of work in the Red Sox' 3-2 loss to the Blue Jays on Friday.

Lou Merloni breaks down Pomeranz's start and explains why he should be in the starting rotation to begin the season.

Sox' lack of homegrown starters an understandable problem to Yanks' Cashman

Sox' lack of homegrown starters an understandable problem to Yanks' Cashman

The dearth of homegrown starting pitching for the Red Sox is talked about almost as much as every Tom Brady post on Instagram.

Red Sox fans may take some solace in knowing their team isn’t the only one dealing with this problem.

In an interview with MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman didn’t talk about his team’s pitching problems in context of the Red Sox. But the explanation the longtime Yanks boss offered should sound familiar. 

In the biggest of markets, time to develop properly is scarce.

“Yeah. It's a fact,” Cashman said when asked if criticism of their pitching development was fair. “I think part of the process has been certainly where we draft. Because we've had a lot of success, we've not been allowed to tank and go off the board and therefore get access to some of the high-end stuff that plays out to be impactful. Part of it is we can't get out of our own way because we don't have the patience to let guys finish off their development, because if you possess some unique ability that stands out above everybody else -- whether it was Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, now [Luis] Severino and before that [Bryan] Mitchell and Shane Greene -- we're pulling them up before their development is finished.

“Teams like Tampa Bay, for instance, they're going to wait until they have their four pitches down and their innings limits are all exceeded at the minor-league level; they're very disciplined in that approach as they finish off their starters. For us, if I'm looking at my owner and he says, ‘What's our best team we can take north?’ 

“Well, ‘We could take this guy; he's not necessarily 100 percent finished off, but we can stick him in our 'pen. He can be in the back end of our rotation, because he's better than some of the guys we already have,’ and then you cut corners, so I think that probably plays a role in it.”

Not everything is circumstantial, though -- or a deflection. 

“And sometimes we don't make the right decisions, either, when we're making draft selections and signings and stuff like that,” Cashman continued. “On top of it all, playing in New York is a lot different than playing anywhere else.”

We’ve heard that last part about Boston too, here and there.

Cashman was complimentary of his current Sox counterpart, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, whose team Cashman has compared to the Golden State Warriors.

On his feelings when he first heard the Sox were getting Chris Sale:

“When that trade was consummated, that was the first thing I thought about, which was, 'Wow, look at what they've done,' ” Cashman said. “I know how it's going to play out for them. Listen, Steve Kerr does a great job managing that team -- oh, I mean John Farrell. It's a lot of talent and with talent comes pressure to perform. I think Dave Dombrowski has done everything he possibly can to provide that city with a world championship team. They've got 162 games to show it.”