Sox make little progress in closer search on Tuesday

606056.jpg

Sox make little progress in closer search on Tuesday

DALLAS -- While continuing to explore various avenues to address their closer vacancy, the Red Sox effort to replace Jonathan Papelbon seemed to stall some Tuesday, the second day of baseball's annual winter meetings.

Red Sox executives met with Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane late Tuesday afternoon, but made little progress in trade talks centered around A's closer Andrew Bailey, who is being shopped by the ever-cost-conscious A's.

According to a source, the A's believe that there are other organizations whose prospect inventory is more attractive than the Red Sox.

The Sox, meanwhile, were careful not to send any hint of desperation in the trade talks, giving the impression that they have other options to consider for closer.

"We're very fluid right now," said a Red Sox source. "We don't have anything close (when it comes to making a deal)."

Bailey, who was the American League Rookie of the Year in 2008, is 27, relatively affordable and is under control for the next three seasons, making him extremely attractive to other clubs.

The A's have received interest from a handful of teams on Bailey, including some who have established closers. Those teams could presumably either deal their current closers, or move their current closer into the starting rotation, as the Texas Rangers recently did with Neftali Feliz.

Oakland isn't necessarily seeking major league-ready talent. The A's are hopeful of a resolution to their ballpark mess, eying a move to the San Jose area for 2015. As such, Beane wants to stockpile young players who will either be ready or affordable -- or both -- by the time the A's move.

At least two other clubs are shopping relievers. Seattle is willing to move Brandon League, who made the All-Star team last year, But League is eligible for free agency after 2012, making it highly unlikely that the Sox would surrender a player who they can't control for more than one season.

The Colorado Rockies, meanwhile, continue to listen to offers for Huston Street, who once closed for the A's but has been used in more of a set-up role the last two seasons.

A Rockies official, however, said Tuesday night that the Red Sox weren't players for Street.

A number of free agent closers remain on the market, of course, including Brad Lidge, Francisco Cordero, and Francisco Rodriguez.

Moreland homers again, Red Sox tag A's to avoid four-game sweep

Moreland homers again, Red Sox tag A's to avoid four-game sweep

OAKLAND, Calif. - A five-run ninth inning for the Red Sox that lasted more than a half-hour derailed any chance Eduardo Rodriguez had of getting his first career complete game.

Not that the left-hander was complaining.

After a bitter loss to Oakland a year ago when he allowed just one hit over eight innings, Rodriguez was more than happy with the way things turned out.

Rodriguez earned his second straight win, Mitch Moreland homered in his third consecutive game and Boston beat the Oakland Athletics 12-3 on Sunday to avoid a four-game sweep.

"I wanted to go back out there but they hit the ball pretty good in that inning and I know I had to get out of the game," Rodriguez said about the long wait. "I'll take it because we score more runs, I have a chance to win. If every inning's like that, I'll get out of the game after five."

Rodriguez (3-1) allowed three runs over eight innings. He struck out eight, walked one and retired 14 of his final 15 batters.

"Where he was with the pitch count, it'd be nice for him to go out there for the ninth inning given where he was and how well he was throwing the baseball," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "But at that point you're up nine, probably about a 35-minute inning, didn't want to take any chances."

Hanley Ramirez and Christian Vazquez had three hits apiece to power a Red Sox lineup that tallied 15 hits. Every player in Boston's starting lineup had at least one hit, and eight of the nine drove in runs.

Chad Pinder homered and drove in two runs for Oakland.

Boston, which hasn't been swept in a four-game series since July 2015, trailed 3-2 before scoring 10 runs over the final five innings.

"It felt we had them on the run a little bit," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "They get the lead and then we come back and take the lead again and you feel pretty good. But they were pretty persistent today."

Pinder went deep in the fourth, his fourth home run in eight games and fifth overall.

The A's committed three errors, giving them a major league-leading 42.

BRADLEY'S DEFENSIVE GEMS

Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts gave the A's trouble with his running and defense. Betts scored twice from first base and also made a pair of strong defensive plays. He made a sliding catch on Mark Canha's sinking liner in the eighth and then slammed into the wall after catching Khris' Davis fly to end the inning.

"This place during the daytime plays very difficult," Farrell said. "What Mookie was able to do a couple times in right field, those aren't easy plays. To be able to stay with it, go up against the wall a couple of times, we played very good outfield defense here today."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: Brock Holt continues to deal with lingering symptoms from vertigo and isn't yet ready to come off the disabled list, according to Farrell. Likewise, Boston plans to keep third baseman Pablo Sandoval in the minors to get consistent at-bats while recovering from a right knee sprain. ... Farrell said LHP Drew Pomeranz, who took the loss Saturday, will start against Texas on Thursday.

Athletics: Yonder Alonso (sore left knee) sat out his fourth straight game but could be back in the lineup Tuesday when Oakland begins a two-game series against Miami. ... Sean Doolittle (strained left shoulder) threw on flat ground before making 15 pitches off the mound. The plan is for the former closer to throw 25 pitches on Wednesday. ... Melvin said the team has applied for an extension on Chris Bassitt's rehab assignment. Bassitt underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello (2-5) faces Texas on Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series at Fenway Park. Porcello has lost three of his last four decisions.

Athletics: Following an off day, RHP Jesse Hahn (1-3) starts against Miami on Tuesday at the Coliseum. Hahn leads the majors in fewest home runs allowed per nine innings at 0.19.

Sandoval goes 1-for-3, plays first game at third base for Pawtucket

Sandoval goes 1-for-3, plays first game at third base for Pawtucket


Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval played five innings at third base and went 1-for-3 (a single) in his second rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday.

Sandoval, coming back from a right knee sprain, had a hard-hit single up the middle in the PawSox' 5-3 victory in Buffalo. After DHing in his first start Friday night (0-for-3), Sandoval handled a pop-up and started a double play at third on Saturday.

Red Sox utility man Brock Holt was the DH for Pawtucket on Saturday in the 13th game of his rehab assignment as he comes back from vertigo. He went 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.