Notes: Sox interested in Kerry Wood

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Notes: Sox interested in Kerry Wood

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Add Kerry Wood's name to the long list of set-up relievers in which the Sox have some interest, an industry source said.

Wood was not offered salary arbitration by the Yankees and would not require compensation.

The Sox engaged in trade talks with the Cleveland Indians for Wood at the July 31 deadline, but ultimately, the Yankees were prepared to take on more of Wood's remaining salary obligations and they dealt for him.

Wood pitched well for the Yankees and, despite not offering him arbitration, are interested in re-signing him.

On Thursday morning, the Red Sox will take part in the Rule V draft in which players not protected on the 40-man roster are eligible to be taken by other organizations for 50,000.

The players must then remain on the 25-man major league roster for the entire year, or be offered back to their original club at half that price.

Since Theo Epstein became general manager, the Red Sox have obtained Daniel Stern, Lenny DiNardo and Javier Lopez -- among others -- through the Rule V draft.

"We still haven't decided if we're going to take someone or not,'' said Epstein. "But if we do, we have a list of players prioritized for us.''

In recent years, the Sox have tended to concentrate on selecting pitchers over position players, operating on the theory that it's easier to nurse along a young pitcher as the 12th man on the staff than it is to carry a position player.

"That general rule still applies for us, for sure,'' said Epstein.

Among the minor leaguers exposed by the Red Sox include Pawtucket outfielder Bubba Bell and reliever Daniel Turpen, who was obtained in the deal that sent Ramon Ramirez to the San Francisco Giants.

"We'll probably have one player taken at least,'' said Epstein. "But the assessment is we'll probably get those guys back because they won't be ready to make a major league roster for an entire year.''

The Red Sox will be at 39 on their 40-man roster once the Carl Crawford signing is official, so they'll have one spot available.

The Sox met with Andrew Miller here, the pitcher they acquired from Florida before non-tendering last week, making him a free agent.

They are hopeful of re-signing Miller -- without the prospect of salary arbitrtion hanging over them. Since Miller was acquired, he's visited the Red Sox in Boston, been visited by some staff members and had newly-hired pitching coach Curt Young speak with him by phone.

"It's going pretty well,'' said Epstein of the nature of the talks. "We'll continue to talk to him. There's been good dialogue. We're continuing to get to know him and see if it's a good fit for both sides.''

The Boston Globe reported that Miller has also been talking with the San Francisco Giants.

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

As expected, Red Sox send Swihart to Pawtucket

As expected, Red Sox send Swihart to Pawtucket

Blake Swihart wasn't going to win a job. Monday merely made that official.

Swihart was optioned out as the Red Sox made further cuts, sending a player who could still be the Red Sox catcher of the future -- well, one of them anyway -- to Triple-A Pawtucket, where he's expected to work on his receiving.

Swihart hit .325 in 40 Grapefruit League at-bats.

"Had a very strong camp and showed improvements defensively. Swung the bat very well," manager John Farrell told reporters in Florida.  "For the player that he is and the person that he is, you love him as a person. He's a hell of a talented player.

"He made some subtle adjustments with his setup [defensively]. That gave him a different look to pitchers on the mound. Pitchers talked positively about the look that they got from him behind the plate. I think it softened his hands somewhat to receive the ball better. And there were a number of occasions where he was able to get a pitchers' pitch called for a strike, so the presentation of the umpire was a little bit more subtle and consistent then maybe years' past."

Sandy Leon's hot hitting in 2016 earned him an automatic crack at the lead catching spot for this year. Combined with the fact that Christian Vazquez looks great defensively, went deep on Sunday and is out of options, Swihart was the obvious odd man out.

He had options, the others didn't.

Deven Marrero was also optioned to Pawtucket. Sam Travis -- who, like Swihart, could break camp with the 2018 team -- was reassigned to minor-league camp, as was catcher Dan Butler.

The Sox have 38 players left in camp, 32 from the 40-man roster.

Red Sox reliever Tyler Thornburg likely headed to disabled list

Red Sox reliever Tyler Thornburg likely headed to disabled list

Righty Tyler Thornburg seems a guarantee to join David Price on the disabled list to start the season.

Thornburg, the biggest acquisition Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski made for the bullpen this winter, was scratched Monday because of a spasm in his upper right trapezius — not a great sign for a pitcher who already had throwing shoulder issues this spring.

Sox manager John Farrell told reporters in Florida the spasm was “not shoulder related.”  But the trap, a large muscle along the neck and back, does extend to the shoulder blade.

Dombrowski told reporters it is most likely that Thornburg starts the year on the disabled list. More is expected to be known Tuesday, possibly after an MRI.

Robby Scott could be a replacement for Thornburg. If so, the Sox would likely have three lefties in the bullpen, along with Fernando Abad and Robbie Ross Jr.

"Possibly. Possibly," Dombrowski said of Scott. “We still have to make those decisions. But possibly.”

Dombrowski didn’t indicate a desire to go outside the organization for now.

Thornburg had barely enough time to get ready for Opening Day prior to Monday’s setback. If he indeed starts the season on the DL, Joe Kelly would be the eighth-inning reliever for the Sox — a role Kelly was headed for anyway given Thornburg’s shaky spring.

Thornburg, 28, had a 2.15 ERA last season for the Brewers. The Sox picked him up at the winter meetings in a deal that sent Travis Shaw and prospects to the Milwaukee Brewers.