The Red Sox pursuit of home run champ Giancarlo Stanton had presumably slowed to a crawl, but apparently, the pace has picked up.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and the Athletic.com reports that the Red Sox are one of three teams "engaged" in trade talks with the Miami Marlins for Stanton.
More from Rosenthal's story:
The Marlins, sources said, are engaged with three clubs, believed to be the San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox. Three other unidentified clubs are on the periphery, capable of entering the mix. Those clubs, however, risk losing out if they do not turn more aggressive, sources said—and it’s not out of the question that Stanton’s appeal might persuade one or more of them to jump in.
It was earlier reported that the Giants and Cardinals had made formal trade offers for Stanton. Could the Red Sox be trying to top those? Also, Stanton, who has a no-trade clause, has reportedly given the Marlins a list of teams he'd accept a trade to, with the Dodgers (Stanton's from Sherman Oaks, Calif.) topping the list.
The 28-year-old slugger, who led MLB with 59 homers in 2017, has an opt-out in 2020 from the $325 million contract he signed with Miami (he has 10 years and $295 million remaining on the initial deal), but the Red Sox willingness to take on that contract might offset the lack of top prospects they'd be able to offer.
Baseball's winter meetings are Dec. 10-14 in Orlando. Expect Stanton to be topic No. 1 there. Here's more on Stanton from NBC Sports Boston Red Sox Insider Evan Drellich.
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.