Dave Dombrowski told the Boston Herald he can't talk about specific players, of course, but responded to reports of the Red Sox being in on Giancarlo Stanton trade talks by saying they "try to do our due diligence in every regard.”
This comes after a Saturday report where a source told the Miami Herald of the Red Sox, “They’re definitely in play,” on Stanton, 28, the right-handed slugger who hit 59 homers for the Miami Marlins last season but carries with him a contract due to pay him $295 over the next 10 seasons, with an opt-out after the 2020 season.
There's also the matter of what young players the Red Sox would part with to make a deal and beat out the other suitors. Mookie Betts? Rafael Devers? Andrew Benintendi? Xander Bogaerts? Other prospects?
An earlier report from MLB.com Friday said the Red Sox had been in on "preliminary talks" on Stanton, along with the Cardinals, Phillies and Giants.
Red Sox owner John Henry said after new manager Alex Cora's introductory press conference last week that the team was prepared to add payroll even if it meant exceeding the luxury tax threshold. Dombrowski also has made no secret of the Sox' need for a power bat. The Marlins, with ex-Yankees legend Derek Jeter among their new owners, are looking to shed payroll. Dombrowski, the former Marlins and Tigers executive, dealt with his old team before with a blockbuster trade that sent Miguel Cabrera from Florida to Detroit in 2007.
LOS ANGELES - Matt Kemp is returning to the place where he began his major league career, reacquired by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday as part of a five-player trade with the Atlanta Braves that sent former Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from L.A. to Atlanta.
The Dodgers sent Gonzalez, oft-injured starting pitchers Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy, infielder Charlie Culberson and cash to Atlanta for the 33-year-old Kemp. Gonzalez then was designated for assignment by the Braves.
After sitting on the sidelines during the recent winter meetings, the Dodgers moved quickly to dump nearly $50 million in salary committed to Gonzalez, Kazmir and McCarthy for 2018. Kemp is owed about $43 million over the next two seasons. Click here for more.
Free agent slugger J.D. Martinez has told the Red Sox he would DH and play the outfield for them, a baseball source said Friday. The flipside: teams are offering Martinez a full-time outfield job, and he enjoys playing the outfield.
Martinez, the best bat available via free agency, visited with teams at the winter meetings this week.
Michael Silverman of the Herald wrote Friday that Martinez has been telling teams he prefers to play the outfield, and suggested the Sox will have to pay a bit more to land Martinez.
“Martinez remains open to being a DH so his preference to play defense regularly does not eliminate the Red Sox from signing Martinez,” Silverman wrote. “It does, however, put them in a position of having to make an aggressive offer that would distance themselves from competing offers where teams can present a corner outfield position.
“Just what defines aggressive is something only Martinez and his agent Scott Boras will ultimately determine.”
The market could start to move a bit now, although that doesn’t mean anything is necessarily imminent. Another baseball source on Friday night noted that the market has started to thaw with Carlos Santana off the board. He agreed to a three-year, $60 million deal with the Phillies.
The Red Sox made an offer for Santana, but the offer made clear that Santana was not their primary choice. In other words, it wasn't close to what Santana ended up with.
A scenario in which Jackie Bradley Jr. is traded to make room for Martinez in the outfield seems reasonable, even if the Red Sox and Boras, who represents Bradley, have both downplayed that possibility.