Crawford (hamstring) pleased with latest workout

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Crawford (hamstring) pleased with latest workout

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.comFollow @maureenamullen
BOSTON Left fielder Carl Crawford was pleased with the workout he had early Monday morning at Fenway Park and the progress of his strained left hamstring, which has kept him on the disabled list since June 18. He did a series of 90-feet sprints and plans to progress to running bases Tuesday. After that changing directions and increasing the distance while running will be his next milestone.

But Red Sox manager Terry Francona is unsure if Crawford will be activatedduring this six-game homestand.

He had a really good today and its not an easy day to have a good day, Francona said. We got off the plane at 10:30, 11 p.m. and had a quick turnaround. But he increased the intensity a little bit. He changed the direction. So hell get looked at by team medical director Tom Gill today and the next thing will be base running. So I dont know.

I just told him Ill check with him every day and see how hes doing. Thats kind of where were at. Then he has to do baseball activities but the base running, hes got to go full speed on the bases.

The lengthening out I think is real important. As the muscle fatigues, 100 foot,120, 150 . . . But hes in great shape. This kid . . . hes so in tune with his body. Hell conquer this easily. We just dont want to get in his way.In the meantime Josh Reddick has filled in nicely. He was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket Reddick on June 18, his second call-up this season, and is batting .422 (.333 against righties, .778 against lefties).The one nice thing about Crawfords absence is that Redd had stepped in and basically hit about .440, Francona said. Thats certainly not going to stay that way. But so often how much you miss a guy depends on who has filled in and Redds done an unbelievable job.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Market for Encarnacion is shrinking, yet Red Sox still don't seem interested

Market for Encarnacion is shrinking, yet Red Sox still don't seem interested

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- As the annual winter meetings get underway today, the market for arguably the best free-agent hitter may be -- against all logic -- lessening.

Edwin Encarnacion, who has averaged 39 homers a year over the last five seasons, should be a player in demand.

But in quick succession, the Houston Astros and New York Yankees, two teams thought to be in the market for Encarnacion, opted to go with older hitters who required shorter deals -- Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday.

Further, the Toronto Blue Jays' signing of Steve Pearce to a two-year deal Monday, coupled with their earlier acquisition of Kendrys Morales, closes the door on a potential return to Toronto for Encarnacion.

Seemingly, all of that would position the Red Sox, in search of a DH to replace the retired David Ortiz, to swoop in and land Encarnacion for far less than they could have imagined only weeks ago.

And yet, it appears as though things would have to change considerably for the Red Sox to reach agreement with Encarnacion.

While the first baseman-DH is known to be Ortiz's first choice as his replacement, for now, the economics don't work for the Sox -- even as Enacarnacion's leverage drops.

Encarnacion is expecting a deal of at least four years, with an average annual value around $20 million.

The Red Sox, industry sources indicate, are very much mindful of the luxury tax threshold. The Sox have, however modestly, gone over the threshold in each of the last two seasons, and even with a bump due to last week's new CBA, the Sox are dangerously close to the 2018 limit of $195 million.

Should the Sox go over for a third straight year, their tax would similarly ratchet up.

That, and the fact that Encarnacion would cost the Sox their first-round pick next June -- for this offseason, compensation for players given a qualifying offer comes under the old CBA rules -- represents two huge disincentives.

It's far more likely that the Sox will seek a cheaper option at DH from among a group that includes Pedro Alvarez and Mike Napoli. Neither is in Encarnacion's class, but then again, neither would cost a draft pick in return, or the long-term investment that Encarnacion is said to be seeking.

Boomer Esiason witnessed Pete Rose hire people to sign autographs

Boomer Esiason witnessed Pete Rose hire people to sign autographs

Boomer Esiason tells Toucher & Rich a story from his early days in Cincinnati when he witnessed Pete Rose overseeing five guys he paid to sign a stack of photographs for fans.