Terry Francona is happy: "I know them both [Hoyer and Cherington] really well. I have worked with Jed more in the past, but as far as comfort level goes, I’m thrilled with the way things are now."
The Times reported that Epstein "is expected to return to the organization", but Larry Lucchino said: "It's premature to discuss exactly what role, if any, Theo would have. All we're saying is, we'll keep a light on in the window, the door ajar, and if there's a fit, we'd like to see it happen."
Gordon Edes of the Globe notes that it
defies credulity to believe [Epstein] will come back with any less authority than he had when he left Oct. 31. In some ways, Epstein never has left: Both Cherington and Hoyer freely admitted yesterday they have been in regular contact with Epstein, who hasn't been afraid to weigh in on the personnel moves the club has made. One team source said that Epstein had lobbied the previous Gang of Four to explore a trade with Seattle that would send Matt Clement to the Mariners for center fielder Jeremy Reed, a possible fallback plan in case Johnny Damon doesn't re-sign.More on a possible Seattle-Boston deal. (The Yankees are also looking at Reed.)
The Red Sox are also discussing a trade with Cleveland -- outfielder Coco Crisp for either Arroyo (who Cleveland would prefer) or Clement (who Boston would rather shop). ... Seattle also likes Arroyo more than Clement.
Re Johnny Damon: An "East Coast baseball official" told the Seattle Times that "last year, Boras and Boston were far apart on Varitek and they got that done. But right now it doesn't look real good. And don't forget the Yankees haven't been heard from yet. ... It's tough to see the Yanks planning to sit tight in center. Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and now Bubba Crosby?"
The Newark Star-Ledger, citing "a person who has spoken to [Damon] recently", stated that Damon is wary of returning to Boston because of the turnover in the front office.
Joe Torre has spoken to both Damon and Nomar. ... Yankees reliever Mike Myers would love to see Damon in New York: "I've talked to him, and he does have strong interest in playing there. ... I think he'd fit in real well in the clubhouse, even though I don't know what the clubhouse is like ..."
Baltimore is also interested in Damon.
The Yankees are thinking Garciaparra could play first base. ... The Times says the Yankees "have held off on signing another utility player, Miguel Cairo, because they want to see if Garciaparra ... chooses them." Which is a painfully sad indication of how far Nomar's stock has fallen.
Although Miguel Tejada said he wanted "a change of scenery," now he claims: "I never said I wanted to be traded. I said I want to see a better team." The Herald reported on Friday that Baltimore wants "at least another pitcher in addition to [Manny] Ramirez, and the Baltimore Sun reported that the Red Sox balked at giving up a hurler as well as a pitching prospect."
Ken Huckaby agreed to a minor league deal. His agent said the Sox told him that if Huckaby makes the club, he'll "have to catch [Wakefield] every fifth day."
Boston made a one-year offer to right-handed reliever Rudy Seanez; Atlanta, Tampa and Texas have also made offers.
The main reason Edgar Renteria "wanted out of Boston"? The infield. ER:
The ball bounces too much in the field of the shortstop, where I play. The field is not good like other stadiums. One day it's bad, the next day, it's worse ... I was uncomfortable the whole year. ... [But] the city fascinated me. I really liked it.The next day, Renteria said:
This was my first time. I didn't know how to handle it. Nobody likes to get booed. You see me play, I always start slow. Maybe the fans didn't know anything about me. ... It's a little tough there. ... I'm not making excuses. I always say I make errors. The field doesn't make errors.Boston has dropped its suit against Doug Mientkiewicz (who has signed with the Royals) and the World Series ball dispute will go to arbitration.