By Sean McAdam
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Almost before it gained any traction whatsoever, the report of the Red Sox talking to the Arizona Diamondbacs about outfielder Justin Upton was dismissed by Red Sox sources.
FoxSports.com reported that the Sox and Diamondbacks discussed the makings of a deal for Upton.
Remember that new Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers is a close friend of Theo Epstein's -- the two worked together for years in San Diego. Also remember that Towers loves to make deals, or at the very least, talk about making deals.
It's likely that Towers, knowing the Sox need outfield help, inquired about the Red Sox' interest in Upton and that the Red Sox responded by asking about the asking price.
"They'd want a ton for him,'' said a N.L. source, noting that Upton is just 23 and as recently as 2009 had an .898 OPS to go with 20 steals and strong defense. The Diamondbacks have Upton signed through 2015 on a six-year deal worth 51.25 million. That's a relatively affordable deal for a player with so much star power and potential.
Expect, however, more talk about the Red Sox inquiring on -- or at least listening to -- trade proposals for young outfielders who might be available. The Sox are said to be uncomfortable with the numbers that are being mentioned in association with the top two free agent outfielder -- Jayson Werth and Carl Crawford - and may think that pursuing an impact outfielder through a deal as a better course of action.
Sean McAdam can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam
The day after clinching the A.L. East title despite a loss, the Red Sox send out a semi-makeshift lineup Thursday night as they look to avoid a three-game sweep by the Yankees in the Bronx.
Reserve third baseman Aaron Hill is leading off, Dustin Pedroia gets the night off, Deven Marrero starts at second base, and David Ortiz is, somewhat surprisingly, back in there at DH against left-hander C.C. Sabbathia (8-12, 4.02 ERA).
Left-hander Henry Owens (0-1, 7.79) gets the start for the Red Sox in place of Drew Pomeranz, who is bothered by tightness in his left forearm and will work out of the bullpen, if at all, for the final four games of the regular season.
Aaron Hill 3B
Andrew Benintendi LF
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Chris Young RF
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Ryan Hanigan C
Travis Shaw 1B
Deven Marrero 2B
Henry Owens LHP
Brett Gardner LF
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Gary Sanchez DH
Starlin Castro 2B
Didi Gregorius SS
Chase Headley 3B
Brian McCann C
Aaron Hicks RF
Tyler Austin 1B
C.C. Sabathia LHP
One of the biggest gifts David Ortiz could get this weekend as he plays his final regular-season games is a well-traveled area right outside Fenway Park.
Massachusetts lawmakers have taken steps to name the Brookline Avenue bridge that spans the Mass Pike between Newbury and Lansdowne streets near the ballpark the “David Ortiz (‘Big Papi’) Bridge.
The House Ways and Means committee included the proposal as part of a spending bill that the full House could vote on as soon as Thursday and, if approved, send on to the Senate.
“David Ortiz’s accomplishments and heroics on and off the baseball field have made him a living legend, and his heartfelt contributions to the communities here and in his native Dominican Republic have made him an icon,” said Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker. “As a lifelong Red Sox fan, I am thrilled to be able to help our Commonwealth create a lasting ‘Thank You’ to Big Papi through the renaming of this bridge.”
The proposal calls for a “suitable marker” to be placed on the bridge bearing the new name.
“I’m so excited to be part of this process of giving David Ortiz, one of the greatest Red Sox of all time, his proper due by naming a bridge in his honor,” House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo said. “David has not only been an extraordinary baseball player, he has been an exemplary and inspirational member of our community, most notably after the Boston Marathon bombings. As a fan, I will miss his stride up to the plate followed by a clutch hit and the ballpark exploding into applause.”