Sox Busy At Meetings. According to the Courant, the Red Sox "were the talk of the winter meetings Saturday, with deals for David Wells, Edgar Renteria, Pedro Martinez, Jason Varitek and John Halama all reported as either done or 'on the verge' of completion."
Speaking of financial risk, Theo Epstein said, "One way you can potentially mitigate the risk is to try to find a pitcher, when healthy, who performs at a high level and is a really good fit, and to try to structure a contract that mitigates the risk for you." He didn't specifically mention Wells. ... He added: "There is only so much pie and we have to decide how we're going to cut it up," Epstein said. "You can't just say, 'I want him, him and him.' When you sign someone, you foreclose on another opportunity. ... We're not going to have a perfect team."
It looks like Jaret Wright failed his Yankees physical, so New York's 3/21 deal may be canceled. ... The Washington Post reports that Boston, Baltimore, Detroit and Seattle all offered Carl Pavano more money than the Yankees did. The Herald says Boston's offer was for four years and "at least $9 million a year."
Both the Red Sox and Yankees are eyeing Carlos Delgado. ... In a possible deal with San Diego that involves Dave Roberts, Jay Payton and Ramon Vazquez, Byung-Hyun Kim's name has also come up. ... The Edgar Renteria deal remains in limbo.
After Boston inquired about the availability Kaz Matsui, the Mets allegedly asked about getting Manny Ramirez and Doug Mientkiewicz for Matsui and Mike Piazza. According to Newsday, "the Sox "viewed extensive video of [Matsui's] play with the Mets last year and concluded that the bulk of his 23 errors at shortstop could be attributed to Mike Piazza's poor play at first base."
Elsewhere, the Arizona Diamondbacks have shown that they are truly insane. After pleading poverty and dumping payroll for the last few years after overpaying for dubious talent, the Snakes are back to their old tricks. They handed Russ Ortiz a 4/33 deal, then signed the oft-injured Troy Glaus to a 4/45 guaranteed package that also includes a $250,000 stipend for Glaus's wife's equestrian hobby. ... Tim Hudson to the Dodgers? Not yet.
From Out Of Town:
New York Daily News: "Funny how one Red Sox championship seems to have changed everything in baseball's world order. Suddenly the Yankees seem to be chasing their hated rivals in the offseason now too ... No sooner had Theo Epstein found another way to tweak The Boss, making a serious offer to David Wells yesterday, than word spread through these winter meetings that the Yankees were pursuing their old friend as well."
NYDN: "Red Sox Arms Getting Old Fast" and "Bosox Give Wells Fat Deal" and Dominican Is Sox Country
Toronto Sun: "Boston's Animal House Has Found Its Bluto"
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "Boston Cornering Market On 'Idiots'"