Journal photo / Gretchen Ertl
Boston Red Sox players David Ortiz and Curt Schilling, with the World Series trophy, acknowledge the crowd prior to the Patriots' game against the Miami Dolphins.
Red Sox principal owner John Henry, designated hitter David Ortiz (wearing a Laurence Maroney jersey), pitcher Curt Schilling (in a Tedy Bruschi jersey) and first baseman Kevin Youkilis (in a Tom Brady jersey) were introduced to the Gillette Stadium crowd on Sunday afternoon.
A highlight film was shown of the Sox' season to a soundtrack of (what else?) "Dirty Water," and they also had both World Series trophies with them.
Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush, responding to an investigation on drug use in Major League Baseball, said steroids have "sullied" the game.
Former Senator George Mitchell's investigation said players and management ignored evidence of drug use in the sport and recommended that the league hire an outside agency to conduct drug tests. Yesterday's report showed seven Most Valuable Players and 31 All-Stars were connected to steroids, stimulants and human growth hormone.
"I love the sport, I love the game," Bush said during a press conference at the White House Rose Garden. "Like many fans, I've been troubled by the steroid allegations. My hope is that this report is a part of putting the steroid-era of baseball behind us."
The U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has asked baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, union chief Donald Fehr and Mitchell to appear at a hearing on Dec. 18, while a U.S. House Commerce subcommittee will hold a hearing on Jan. 23.
Bush, who was managing general partner of the Texas Rangers from 1989 through 1994, noted in his 2004 State of the Union message the impact that professional players have on youth.
"I urge those in the public spotlight, particularly athletes, to understand that when they violate their bodies, they're sending a terrible signal to America's young," Bush said.
The 311-page report identified All-Stars such as Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and Miguel Tejada as having used steroids or human growth hormone. Other players cited included Chuck Knoblauch, Lenny Dykstra, Mo Vaughn, Paul Lo Duca, Eric Gagne and Barry Bonds.
Selig will determine what, if any, discipline will be imposed. The investigation was limited to events before September 2002, when the league and players agreed to ban performance-enhancing drugs.
Today's Sports cover describes the implications of the Mitchell report, particularly as they relate to one Roger Clemens. Steven Krasner writes about how Clemens changed as he advanced in years, while Sean McAdam compares Clemens and Barry Bonds.
16 current or former Yankee players, 1 former Yankee coach named in Mitchell Report
Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte headed a list of 16 current and former Yankee players who were named as potential users of performance-enhancing drugs in the Mitchell Report.
In addition, Brian McNamee, the team's assistant strength and conditioning coach in 2000 and 2001, cooperated with Mitchell and gave great details into Clemens' alleged steroids use. According to the report, McNamee -- who had been the Yankees' bullpen catcher and batting-practice pitcher from 1993 to '95 -- was the strength and conditioning coach in Toronto in 1998-99. It was there that he met Clemens, who played for the Blue Jays in 1997 and '98, and Mitchell states Clemens was instrumental in McNamee's hiring by the Yankees. McNamee was dismissed by the Yankees after the 2001 season.
Clemens and Pettitte became friends when Clemens joined the Yankees in 1999.
McNamee told Mitchell that he lied to a reporter when he denied giving steroids to Clemens and Pettitte in a 2006 interview.
Other players with ties to the Yankees named in the report, with the years they were with the team listed:
Kevin Brown, pitcher, 2004-05
Jose Canseco, designated hitter, 2000
Jason Grimsley, pitcher, 1999-2000
Glenallen Hill, outfielder, 2000
David Justice, outfielder, 2000-01
Chuck Knoblauch, second baseman/outfielder, 1998-2001
Josias Manzanillo, pitcher, 1995
Denny Neagle, pitcher, 2000
Daniel Naulty, outfielder, 1999
Hal Morris, first baseman/outfielder, 1988-89
Mike Stanton, pitcher, 1997-2002, 2005
Rondell White, outfielder, 2002
Ron Villone, 2006-07
Todd Williams, 2001
No active members of Red Sox named in Mitchell Report
While 15 players with ties to the Red Sox were identified as potential users of performance-enhancing drugs in the just-released Mitchell Report, no players currently on the team's 40-man roster were named.
Brendan Donnelly, who was not tendered a 2008 contract offer by last night's midnight deadline, was named in the report, as was Eric Gagne, who was obtained by the Sox at the July 31 trading deadline and who recently signed with the Milwaukee Brewers as a free agent. They were the only players on the 2007 team in the report.
Other players with past ties to the Sox named in the report (years they were with the Red Sox listed):
Manny Alexander, utility infielder, 2000
Jose Canseco, designated hitter, 1995-96
Roger Clemens, pitcher, 1984-96
Paxton Crawford, pitcher, 2000-01
Chris Donnels, infielder, 1995
Jeremy Giambi, designated hitter, 2003
Mike Lansing, infielder, 2000-01
Josias Manzanillo, pitcher, 1991
Kent Mercker, pitcher, 1999
Mike Spinelli, minor-league infielder in the 1990s
Mike Stanton, pitcher, 1995-96
Mo Vaughn, first base, 1991-98
Steve Woodard, pitcher, 2003
The Red Sox today announced the signings of eight free agents to 2008 minor league contracts. In addition, all eight players have been invited to Boston’s major league spring training camp as non-roster players.
The eight free agents are right-handed pitchers Scott Atchison and Lee Gronkiewicz, catcher Kevin Cash, and infielders Jeff Bailey, Tony Granadillo, Keith Ginter, Joe Thurston, and Gil Velazquez.
Atchison, 31, spent 2007 in the San Francisco organization, going 3-2, 2.01 with four saves in 38 appearances at Triple-A Fresco and posting a 4.11 ERA in 22 outings with the Giants. The righthander is 2-3 with a 4.10 ERA in 53 career major league games with Seattle (2004-05) and San Francisco (2007).
Gronkiewicz, 29, has spent the last four years in the Toronto organization. In 2007, he was 3-2, 1.80 with 11 saves in 24 games at Double-A New Hampshire and 3-1, 2.82 with two saves in 23 contests at Triple-A Syracuse. The righthander also made his major league debut with the Blue Jays, allowing one run in 4.0 innings in his lone outing on June 19 versus the Dodgers. Gronkiewicz posted a 1.23 ERA in a team high six games for the gold-medalists Team USA in the 2007 World Cup.
Cash, 30, returns to the Boston organization after hitting .176 with seven homers and 25 RBI in 59 games at Triple-A Pawtucket this season. He spent the final six weeks of the regular season with the Red Sox with a .111 average and four RBI in 12 games. Cash has a career major league average of .167 in 126 games with Toronto (2002-04), Tampa Bay (2005), and Boston (2007).
Bailey, 29, was re-signed by the Red Sox after batting .245 with 15 homers and 60 RBI in 115 games for Triple-A Pawtucket in 2007. He also made his major league debut, going 1-for-9 with a home run in three games for Boston. This will be the first baseman’s fifth year in the Boston organization. Granadillo, a 23-year-old second baseman, also returns to the Red Sox after hitting .326 with eight homers and 63 RBI in 109 games at Single-A Lancaster and .333 with four RBI in nine games at Double-A Portland in 2007.
Ginter, 31, spent all of 2007 at Triple-A Buffalo in the Cleveland system, batting .247 with 15 homers and 62 RBI in 106 games. The righthanded batter is a career .243 hitter with 38 homers and 140 RBI in 325 major league games with Houston (2000-02), Milwaukee (2002-04), and Oakland (2005) while playing both the infield and outfield.
Thurston, 28, spent most of 2007 at Triple-A Ottawa in the Philadelphia organization, batting .300 with five homers and 59 RBI in 129 games. He also had a .308 mark and two RBI in four games at Double-A Reading. The lefthanded-hitting second baseman/outfielder has a .259 average in 55 major league games with the Dodgers (2002-04) and Phillies (2006).
Velazquez, 28, was in the Minnesota system in 2007, batting .267 with one homer and 13 RBI in 17 games at Double-A New Britain and .240 with one homer and 16 RBI in 69 games at Triple-A Rochester. The righthanded-hitting infielder has also played in the Mets organization.
All of the free agents are on the Pawtucket roster with the exception of Granadillo, who was assigned to the Portland roster.
The Mitchell Report is about to be released in another 2 1/2 hours and the anticipation has reached a fever pitch.
ESPN is doing an hour-long ``pre-game'' show prior to Sen. George Mitchell's 2 p.m. press conference.
Mitchell, by the way, could find himself in the crosshairs today. With reports already circulating that a number of Yankees could be named in his report, get ready for charges that Mitchell, a New Englander and a director with ownership ties to the Red Sox, is biased against the Sox' main rival while white-washing any wrong-doing by Sox' players.
It's going to be an interesting afternoon -- to say the least.
ESPN is reporting that, according to a source close to a former Yankees trainer, Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte will be among the major league players named in the Mitchell report on performance-enhancing drugs in baseball.
The report, from ESPN The Magazine's Shaun Assael, says that George Mitchell's source is Brian McNamee, who worked for the Yankees, and as a personal trainer for Clemens and Pettitte. The source told Assael that he supplied Clemens with steroids while Clemens was with the Yankees and prior to his joining the team.
NEW YORK (AP) - Alex Rodriguez set another record for baseball's highest contract, finalizing his $275 million, 10-year agreement with the New York Yankees on Thursday.
A-Rod set the previous mark with his $252 million, 10-year deal with Texas in December 2000. Traded to the Yankees in 2004, he opted out of that contract Oct. 28, during the final game of the World Series.
Yankees senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner said New York would not negotiate further with Rodriguez because his decision eliminated the $21.3 million subsidy the Yankees were to receive from Texas from 2008-10, a figure negotiated at the time of the trade.
But Rodriguez then approached the Yankees through a managing director at Goldman Sachs and negotiated his new deal without agent Scott Boras.
Rodriguez won his third AL Most Valuable Player award last month after hitting .314 with 54 homers and 156 RBIs.
You can find live coverage of George Mitchell's press conference, scheduled for 2 p.m. today, to release his findings into performance-enhancing drugs in baseball, on projo.com via AP video. AP is also planning on providing live coverage of Bud Selig's news conference, which is scheduled at 4:30.
Sure, they had lost their closer, Francisco Cordero, to the Reds in free agency, but Eric Gagne? For a guaranteed $10 million?
Obviously, Milwaukee is hoping its gets the Gagne who pitched for the Rangers (2.16 ERA, 16 saves in 17 opportunities, a 2-0 record, and a .192 batting average against) and not the Gagne who pitched for the Red Sox (6.75 ERA, three blown saves in as many opportunities, a 2-2 record, and a .325 batting average against.)
Fortuitously, the Sox will get a supplemental choice in the 2008 draft, between the first and second rounds, because they offered Gagne arbitration, which he declined, thus entitling Boston to a compensatory pick.
Unfortunately, to obtain Gagne, Boston gave up young lefty starter Kason Gabbard, who was 4-0 for the Sox when he was traded to Texas, along with minor league outfield prospect David Murphy, a former No. 1 draft choice of Boston, who hit .340 in 43 games for the Rangers.
The deal, which seemed like a good one when it was made shortly before the trading deadline, turned out to be a disaster for the Sox.
Brewers fans (poor souls) should be reminded that they can't spell Gagne without G-A-G!
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- It's tough to figure out which free agent reserve players the Sox might be interested in.
Theo Epstein said Wednesday night that the Sox have an interest in approximately a half-dozen players, all of them role players.
Since the backup catchers pool is rather shallow -- Rod Barajas was considered, then ruled out -- it's a safe bet that most of the action centers around someone to replace Eric Hinske as the backup first baseman.
Russell Branyan has been talked about, though it seems he's pretty far down on the list, probably because of his high strikeout totals.
Other possibilities could include Ryan Klesko and Corey Koskie, both of whom are left-handed -- an added bonus.
From the right side, there's Jeff Cirillo -- who, like Koskie, plays third -- and Olmedo Saenz.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Red Sox GM Theo Epstein left the Opryland Hotel here this morning after the completion of the major league portion of the Rule V draft without making a deal.
But that wasn't necessarily a big disappointment.
''We ruled some things out,'' said Epstein, summarizing the week, ``and ruled some things in that we need to pursue . . . We're not disappointed. It was productive even though we didn't get anything done.''
Although they would still like to obtain Johan Santana, the Sox believe they're in a good position with a roster that blends veterand and newcomers and a farm system that continues to produce players.
''It has nothing to do with being World Series champs,'' Epstein said, stressing that the satisfaction stems from the team's current inventory of talent. ''We're not looking backward -- we're looking ahead.''
As for the Santana talks, Epstein spoke with the Minnesota Twins late Wednesday night and promises to continue to monitor the deal's status.
''We don't see the need to to put any deadlines on this,'' he said. ''We'll be there to talk (when they want).''
Projo SoxTalk with Sean McAdam: From the Nashville meetings
Sean McAdam checks before he leaves the winter meetings in Nashville to tell us where the Red Sox are with Johan Santana, and to talk about other deals around baseball. Click the play button below to listen and watch the show.
NASHVILLE -- In the traditional closing-day tradition here at the Winter Meetings, the Rule V Draft was held earlier this morning, and the Sox lost two minor leaguers.
The San Francisco Giants took 21-year-old lefthander Jose Capellan from the Sox. Capellan, who pitched at Lowell last year, was 4-3 with a 3.69 ERA for the Spinners.
Later, the Philadelphia Phillies chose 25-year-old Lincoln Hodzkom, a righthanded reliever who split time between Double A Portland (4-1 with a 3.47 ERA in 30 appearances) and Pawtucket (1-0, 1.59 in 12 outings).
Under the rules of the Rule V Draft, players selected must remain on the 25-man roster for the entire season or be offered back to their original clubs for half of the selection price ($50,000).
It's quite likely that both players will eventually be returned to the Sox, since neither seems ready to pitch at the big league level. That's especially true of Capellan, who hasn't pitched above the New York-Penn League level yet.
The Sox didn't make any choices themselves. That's due to their personnel on hand, plus the fact that the team's Japan trip further reduces time in spring training to evaluate a Rule V player.
If you liked Johan Week, you'll love Johan Month. Or Johan Winter.
It's looking more and more like the Red Sox' pursuit of Johan Santana -- or at least the Twins' shopping of him -- will continue far beyond the end of the winter meetings today. Cutting through the noise coming out of Nashville (it's close, it's not close, they're in, they're out), it seems clear Minnesota wants more than Boston is offering, but can't get anyone to top the Sox' bid. And the Sox, conversely, refuse to bid against themselves. So unless Hank Steinbrenner finally has to scratch that itch, it looks like the Twins' real decision will be to accept one of the two packages the Red Sox have on the table or hang onto Santana.
Today's cover features the latest on the Red Sox' pursuit of Johan Santana, and what that might mean for the future of phenom Jacoby Ellsbury. In addition, Shalise Manza Young tells us why Bill Belichick went easy on his Patriots yesterday.
While the Red Sox and Twins try to hammer out a possible trade, involving Minnesota pitcher Johan Santana, Boston rookie sensation Jacoby Ellsbury is eagerly awaiting word on whether he’s staying or going.
“I’m been trying not to pay too much attention to it,” he said. “But it’s hard when all your friends, my parents and brothers are calling me because they want the inside scoop on everything. It’s tough just knowing that I have no control over where I play or anything like that.”
The Red Sox selected him in the first round (23rd overall) in the 2005 draft and because of that he has a certain comfort level within the organization that extends from the front office to his teammates, managers, coaches and fans.
“It’s something I hope gets done sooner rather than later and I’m sure Johan feels the same,” he said. “I’m just working out here in Oregon and staying in shape for anything possible. Where ever I go I’ll obviously give them my 100 percent.”
Do you want to stay in Boston?
“Definitely,” he answered. “Definitely. Coming through the minor-league system, winning the World Series and with the team we have coming back, I want to be a part of that next year. I would love to come back but unfortunately I don’t have any say, whatsoever, where I end up next year. Where ever I do I will definitely give 100 percent, but I would like to stay a Red Sox.”
The one thing that reportedly the Twins do not like about the highly talented outfielder is the fact he just switched agents and is now represented by Scott Boras. The super agent represents nine Red Sox players, including Ellsbury so the rookie felt it was in his best interest to make the change.
“Theo (Epstein) and Scott have a very good relationship and I was basically looking for the best representation available to me,” said Ellsbury. “Going with Scott allows me to be the best player that I can be. [Now] I can just go out there and play and not worry about too much.”
Boras actually contacted Ellsbury while he was in college, according the center fielder. At the time Ellsbury felt being represented by Boras was not the right fit for him, but after this past season things have changed dramatically.
“We’ve talked for a while,” said Ellsbury. “This wasn’t a rash decision. A lot of thought has gone into it.”
Ellsbury said he has talked with other Boras clients, including his teammates and decided it was finally a good fit.
The overnight watch: The latest on Santana, and what's to come today
Waiting for Johan . . .
There was no overnight public movement on the Santana-to-the-Red Sox negotiations, which means we'll spend another day on Trade Watch. So the most interesting reading on the topic is now on the margins . . .
--- Curt Schilling, who's been positively expansive over the last few days, chimes in with a monster post that's part statistical analysis (a fairly sophisticated comparision of Melky Cabrera and Coco Crisp that leans heavily in Coco's favor) and part insight as to what it's like to be a player in the midst of these rumors. He also gets emotional on the topic of Jon Lester (''I’m biased, I know him. His character is off the charts.'') and waxes poetic about Jacoby Ellsbury. Great stuff.
-- Seth Mnookin, like many in the Nation, is especially fond of the Red Sox youngsters and thinks the notion of trading them away for a superstar is just so . . . Yankee-like. But he also admits that if they get Santana, the Sox ''will have to be the pre-season favorite . . . through, say, 2010.''
-- ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick says that if the Alex Rodriguez saga taught us anything, it's that 'never' is a relative term with Hank Steinbrenner. Which is why there are those of us -- me included -- who find it incomprehensible that the Yankees would sit back and let arguably the best pitcher in baseball go to the Red Sox without putting up a fight and think New York isn't out of all this just yet.
-- But the Daily News' Bill Madden says the Yanks are, indeed, out, and that money is the reason. ''Once Andy Pettitte announced he was returning to the fold for $16 million,'' Madden wrote, ''it meant the Yankees had committed $408.4 million this winter to retain six players. The acquisition of Santana would have meant tacking on another $125 million to that figure, and [general manager Brian] Cashman, who never wanted to do the Santana deal in the first place, blanched at the prospect of adding another $20 million to a payroll that was already on the cusp of $200 million, again.'' Madden also says Cashman wants his legacy to be a homegrown rotation of young stars that he thinks, in the end, will be stronger than Boston's.
-- But the New York Post's Joel Sherman thinks Cashman and the Yankees are wrong, simply because they can't let Santana go to the Red Sox. He quotes an AL executive as saying, ''If the Yankees had gotten Santana, the race is real interesting. But if the Red Sox get him, the gap [between the Sox and Yanks] is really significant."
Stay tuned. Sean McAdam will be reporting from Nashville all day and Joe McDonald is scheduled to talk this afternoon to Jacoby Ellsbury. We'll report what he says immediately.
NASHVILLE -- Just because the New York Yankees are out of the picture on Johan Santana doesn't mean the Red Sox necessarily have a clear path for the Twins' ace.
This afternoon the Twins were meeting with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who have jumped into the Santana negotiations at the eleventh hour. Previously, the Angels had been focusing on Florida Marlins third baseman Miguel Cabrera, but have been stuck trying to complete a deal.
There is said to be a division among Angels executives over which player to pursue -- Cabrera or Santana.
The Twins have told the Angels that Jared Weaver would have to be part of a deal for Santana to give Minnesota another young starter as part of the mix. Other names expected to be talked about include shortstop prospect Brandon Wood.
The Twins and Red Sox have not spoken since early this morning.
Sox, Twins on hold -- for the moment -- but deal for Santana getting closer
BY SEAN McADAM
Journal Sports Writer
NASHVILLE -- After an action-filled night, the Red Sox' trade talks with the Minnesota Twins have been temporarily suspended as all 30 of the general managers meet to talk about industry topics and discuss the possible introduction of limited instant replay.
Late last night and earlier this monring, the teams exchanged medical records on the principals of a multi-player deal that could send ace Johan Santana to the Red Sox.
The Twins apparently are being offered the choice between a package headed by Jon Lester and Coco Crisp or one fronted by Jacoby Ellsbury. The Sox would also include other prospects, believed to be infielder Jed Lowrie and at least one more pitcher -- probably Justin Masterson or Michael Bowden.
Either way, Clay Buchholz will not be part of the deal.
The recent turn came after the Yankees, holding their ground, dropped out of the talks late last night, reportedly at the insistence of GM Brian Cashman. While some Yankee officials urged the Yanks to be more aggressive in the club's pursuit of Santana, Cashman was steadfast in his refusal to include additional top prospects beyond the package of Phillip Hughes and Melky Cabrera.
Yankee officials were resigned Tuesday that Santana would probably be going to the Red Sox and they did not anticipate getting back into the negotiations.
After a quiet day yesterday, with little communication between the Sox and Twins, the Red Sox front office got a late-night phone call from Twins' GM Bill Smith, asking for medical records on Lester. Lester was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lyphoma in August of 2006, but returned to pitch last season.
From there, the pace of the talks quickened, with the Twins deliberating on which group of players to choose from the Sox, a process that's been put on hold -- for the time being -- by other business here.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Hank Steinbrenner's deadline for a Johan Santana trade with Minnesota passed without an agreement.
Minnesota came off its demand that the Yankees include pitcher Ian Kennedy along with pitcher Phil Hughes and center fielder Melky Cabrera, but the Twins still were asking for more than the Yankees were willing to offer.
"It's still something that we can't do," Steinbrenner said Tuesday morning. "As far as I'm concerned, it's probably off."
Steinbrenner, a senior vice president and son of owner George Steinbrenner, planned to speak with general manager Brian Cashman later Tuesday to assess the team's stance.
New Twins general manager Bill Smith didn't seem concerned about the deadline. Of course, baseball teams let deadlines pass all the time only to resume talks later.
"We've got good players. We have players that maybe other clubs would like to acquire," he said. "We've had a lot of years where we keep going over and picking up the phone receiver to make sure the dial tone was still (there). We couldn't get the phone to ring."
Boston is thought to have offered Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz or Jacoby Ellsbury - but only one of them - as part of a deal.
Santana's agent, Peter Greenberg, said his client was angered by a report that he has told the Twins to only trade him to the Yankees or Red Sox. Santana has made no such request, Greenberg said, and also hasn't ruled out returning to the Twins next season.
"He was very adamant about that. He wanted to make sure we clarified that. That upset him," Greenberg said. "He's been very clear all along that he wants Bill to make the best deal possible."
Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein didn't express any time pressure. He said there was no expiration date on any of his trade talks.
"I think we've only done that when we thought it was in our best interest," Epstein said. "We don't have current discussions ongoing for which I think that would be in our best interest. We're pretty content with where we are and we don't think anything major is getting held up."
Both ESPN.com's Jayson Stark and Foxsports.com's Ken Rosenthal report the Twins approached the Sox late last night about reviving the Johan Santana trade talks, apparently after the Yankees made good on their threat to walk away from the negotiations if a decision wasn't made regarding their offer for Santana by Monday. According to Stark, the Sox' brass was watching the Patriots-Ravens game when Minnesota GM Bill Smith called, asking to see Jon Lester's medical records.
The Red Sox reportedly had an offer of Lester, Coco Crisp, Jed Lowrie and a minor-league pitcher -- believed to be Justin Masterson -- on the table late last week, an offer the Yankees were thought to have trumped when they agreed to include Phil Hughes in their proposed package for Santana. The Red Sox responded by offering outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, whom the Twins covet, in their next proposal, but pulling back Crisp and Lester. The Twins, wanting major league-ready pitching in any trade for Santana, were lukewarm.
That appeared to put the Yankees back in the drivers' seat, but Yankee owner Hank Steinbrenner declared the Twins had until midnight Monday to accept their offer or they were pulling it off the table. According to various reports, Minnesota pressed New York to put pitcher Ian Kennedy into a package that included Hughes and outfielder Melky Cabrera. The Yanks refused.
With that, the Twins turned back to the Sox. According to the Newark Star-Ledger's Ed Price, the Red Sox have changed their offer to Lester, Crisp, Ellsbury and Lowrie, even though they had said all along they would not part with more than one of the troika of Lester, Ellsbury and Clay Buchholz. That particular deal seems unlikely, as it would leave the Red Sox with no center fielder, although several -- Andruw Jones, Aaron Rowand -- are available via free agency. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports the Twins asked for Ellsbury, Lester and Lowrie.
Day One of the baseball meetings: Nothing new to report on Santana, other notes
BY SEAN McADAM
Journal Sports Writer
NASHVILLE -- Notes from the first day of baseball's winter meetings . . .
-- General manager Theo Epstein had nothing new to report on trade talks with the Twins for Johan Santana. When asked if he would set a timetable for Minnesota to accept or reject the Sox' offer, as the Yankees say they've done, Epstein replied: ''We're pretty content where we are. I don't think anything's being held up (by talks with the Twins). If that changes, we wouldn't hesitate putting a timetable on it. But that doesn't apply right now.''
--- Epstein is less busy at these meetings than he's been in the past, and he admits, ''The phone's ringing less -- with the exception of a few players of ours thought to be available -- than in previous years.'' He was seen in the lobby today, a rarity, and said, ''We decided to walk the lobby and try to get something started. It didn't work.
''Obviously, we made some calls and talked to a couple of teams about deals, and to some agents. For us, most of our roles to be filled are reserve roles. That part of the market usually settles later.''
-- When asked if he'd be disappointed if the Red Sox left here without making a deal, he said, ''We don't have to execute transactions to make us feel good. We're satisfied as long as we explore the possibilities.''
-- Reliever Craig Hansen had a surgical procedure to correct sleep apnea. He can't work out in the immediate aftermath of the surgery, but after Jan. 1 he's going to be in California working out daily.
-- Minor-league outfield and baserunning coordinator Lou Frazier has taken a job with the Pirates as first-base coach.
-- All members of the Sox' coaching staff have agreed to new contracts. Not all have signed, but all will return.
-- Terry Francona was named Manager of the Year today by Baseball America. ''That's very well deserved,'' said Epstein. ''Sometimes for teams that are expected to contend, the manager gets overlooked. I'm glad Baseball America didn't overlook Tito. He did a fantastic job, as he has every year, and we're very proud of him.''
Red Sox release statement congratulating Dick Williams on his selection to the Hall of Fame
The Red Sox released the following statement tonight:
''The Boston Red Sox extend their congratulations to Dick Williams on his election today to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
''We are proud that his Hall of Fame managerial career began right here in Boston. It was 40 years ago that a 38-year-old manager in his first major league season guided a club that finished in ninth place in 1966 to the American League pennant and to within one game of a World Championship.
''That 'Impossible Dream' season changed baseball forever in Boston, creating a passion that continues to live four decades later.
''Dick Williams was selected to the Red Sox Hall of Fame a year ago. Today, he has received the ultimate tribute with enshrinement in Cooperstown. And hopefully, he will be joined by another Red Sox great, Jim Rice, when the induction ceremony takes place in July.''
RED SOX HALL OF FAMER CARL YASTRZEMSKI ON DICK WILLIAMS’ ELECTION TO COOPERSTOWN: "I want to congratulate Dick Williams on his election to the Hall of Fame. It was long overdue. He worked hard, and he proved to me and my teammates that 1967 was a year we will never forget. It was an honor to play for him."
Pettitte coming back to Yanks; Steinbrenner says he won't be 'played' by Twins
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Andy Pettitte decided to pitch for the New York Yankees in 2008 and put off retirement.
Pettitte's agent, Randy Hendricks, said Monday that the 35-year-old left-hander had started telling teammates on Sunday. Hendricks then informed Yankees general manager Brian Cashman of the news.
Hendricks said Yankees captain Derek Jeter and catcher Jorge Posada had lobbied Pettitte to return, and the pitcher consulted his wife.
"Players such as Jeter and Posada told him how much they needed him back, as did Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi," Hendricks said. "Andy decided this weekend that he didn't want to keep the Yankees on hold as they sought to determine their team for next year."
The decision came as the Yankees set a Monday deadline for the Minnesota Twins to decide whether they will trade them two-time AL Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana for pitcher Phil Hughes, center fielder Melky Cabrera and a midlevel prospect.
Pettitte had declined a $16 million option last month, saying he needed more time, and Posada said last week that Pettitte was leaning toward retirement. The pitcher had said late in the season that it had become increasingly difficult to be away from his family during the season.
Pettitte was 15-9 with a 4.05 ERA this year in his return to the Yankees following three seasons with his hometown Houston Astros. He went 11-3 after the All-Star break and was New York's most effective starter during the first-round playoff loss to Cleveland, pitching 6 1-3 scoreless innings in Game 2.
New York had said it could wait until next month for Pettitte to make a decision. Cashman said the $16 million option Pettitte declined was a standing offer.
All of the Yankees' major free agents have now decided to return, with Pettitte following Posada, third baseman Alex Rodriguez and closer Mariano Rivera. The only major change thus far as been replacing manager Joe Torre with Girardi.
New York's projected rotation now includes Pettitte, Chien-Ming Wang, Mike Mussina, Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, with Ian Kennedy in reserve. But Yankees senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner said Sunday his preference was to make the deal for Santana, which would give New York a stronger ace as it competes to regain the AL East title from the World Series champion Boston Red Sox.
Still, Steinbrenner said he wasn't going to wait until past Monday for the Twins to decide.
Boston also is competing for Santana. The Red Sox are thought to have offered a package that would include pitcher Jon Lester or center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury but not both. Center fielder Coco Crisp also could be part of a trade.
"I'm not going to be played against the Red Sox. That's not something I'll do. That's not something the Yankees should ever do, and that's I think what they're trying to do now," Steinbrenner said. "So if they want the best offer that has been offered to them, then they need to make up their minds."
Steinbrenner wouldn't set a specific time Monday for pulling out.
"We'll see how it goes, but this is not an act. It's not a bluff. It's just reality," he said. "Because as much as I want Santana, and you can make that clear - for his sake, to know that I do want him - but the fact is that I'm not going to play the game. We've made them the best offer. And at this point, it's not going to get any better. So they can decide. At this point, it's up to them. I don't think they want to lose us in this thing, obviously. Nobody wants to lose the Yankees in a negotiation."