Patriots

Sox still in the market for a closer

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Sox still in the market for a closer

DALLAS -- At the start of this week, no fewer than three teams in the American League East were in the market for closers. As of Tuesday morning, that number has been reduced to two.

The Toronto Blue Jays sent pitching prospect Nestor Molina to the Chicago White Sox and obtained Sergio Santos to close games. Santos, a converted position player, struck out 92 in 62 13 innings last year for the White Sox.

That leaves the Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles in the East still in the market for closers.

Around baseball, the New York Mets, San Diego Padres and another team or two are also in the market.

That's fewer than the number of free agent closers available, a list which includes, among others, Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson and the three Franciscos - Francisco Cordero, Frank Francisco and Francisco Rodriguez.

The Red Sox are of the belief that prices for free agent closers is absurdly high now, spiked by the huge deals signed by Jonathan Papelbon and Heath Bell.

Their stance is to wait for some of those salary demands to come down before engaging. Now that the Blue Jays -- who had money to spend, but filled their opening cheaply with Santos -- are out, the options for some free agents are narrowing.

Of course, while they wait, the Red Sox are also continuing to explore trade possibilities, led by Colorado's Huston Street and Oakland's Andrew Bailey.

Bailey would presumably come at a high player cost. The former A.L. Rookie of the Year is just 27 and under control for three more seasons, which should enable A's GM Billy Beane to get several top prospects in exchange.

Whether the Sox would package multiple prospects for Bailey or prefer to sign a veteran closer to a short-term deal and use the prospects elsewhere to address other needs will be a decision worth watching in the next few weeks.

Patriots-Jaguars practice participation/injury report: Brady sits out

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Patriots-Jaguars practice participation/injury report: Brady sits out

Thursday's practice participation/injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Jaguars game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
QB Tom Brady (right hand)
OT LaAdrian Waddle (knee)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
DL Alan Branch (knee)
RB Rex Burkhead (knee)
RB Mike Gillislee (knee)

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
FS Tashaun Gipson (foot)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
SS Barry Church (shoulder)
RB Leonard Fournette (ankle)
DT Malik Jackson (ankle)

FULL PARTICIPATION
QB Blake Bortles (right wrist)
OL Patrick Omameh (illness)
LB Paul Posluszny (abdomen)

Morning Skate: PK Subban rightly recognizes O'Ree as a hockey pioneer

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Morning Skate: PK Subban rightly recognizes O'Ree as a hockey pioneer

Here are all the hockey links from around the world, and what I’m reading, while wondering when my video tribute is coming.

*Great interview with PK Subban, who appropriately lauds Willie O’Ree for his trailblazing, pioneer accomplishment of breaking through the NHL’s color barrier 60 years ago today. It was very cool that O’Ree did it with the Bruins and even cooler that he was in Boston last night from the Bruins-Habs game at TD Garden.

*Speaking of the Canadiens, old friend Joe Morrow decided to show the Canadiens digital people around Southie this week. That was his big accomplishment in these last two Bruins-Habs games.

*The Winnipeg Jets are having some big success this season, but they’ve also got some serious financial considerations coming up.

*The Colorado Avalanche continue to see attendance issues in their building, but at least there’s a reasonably better product on the ice.

*What is the value for power forward Patrick Maroon on the trade market as a rental? It certainly matters who is asking.

*Jack Johnson and John Tortorella are talking out their issues after it surfaced that the Columbus D-man wants a trade out of town.

*With Victor Hedman injured, it looks like young Tampa Bay D-man Slater Koekkoek is finally going to get a featured look with the Lightning. Per Elliotte Friedman, this is a player that the Bruins have eyed in trade possibilities in the recent past.

*For something completely different: Liam Neeson is open to returning as Qui Gon-Jinn, which adds another interesting piece to a standalone movie for Obi-Wan Kenobi.

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