Scratch another Red Sox offseason target off the list?
Ken Rosenthal of TheAthletic.com and FOX Sports reported that the Chicago White Sox are unlikely to trade first baseman Jose Abreu this offseason.
Note: The Abreu item is part of a notes column that readers need an Athletic.com subscription to see all of.
Abreu had been rumored to be a trade target of the Red Sox as they search for a power bat this winter. Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. was reportedly someone the White Sox were interested in acquiring.
Abreu, the Cuban emigre who turns 31 in January, hit .304 with 33 homers and 102 RBI last season and has consistently hit above .290 with 30 homers and 100 RBI in his four seasons in Chicago. He's arbitration eligible for the next two seasons before he hits free agency in 2020. He made $10.8 million last year.
The White Sox and Red Sox last winter pulled off the blockbuster deal that sent lefty ace Chris Sale to Boston for third-base prospect Yoan Moncada and pitching prospect Michael Kopech. The winter meetings begin Sunday in Orlando.
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.