Theo Epstein has apparently told Padres GM Kevin Towers that he wants to first talk to Wells in Fort Myers before pursuing a deal. Wells's agent Gregg Clifton says the fat lefty will report to camp regardless: "David has always been the consummate professional."
Uh, yeah -- this is the same David Wells who weasled out of hand-shake deal with the Diamondbacks when it suited his selfish purposes.
Alex Gonzalez signed a one-year for $3 million. It's a nice pickup for 2006 -- great glove, nerf bat -- then it'll likely be Pedroia-time.
From the Journal's Sox Talk with Sean McAdam:
I think Clement will stay. He only would have gone in a deal to get them a CF, and now that and SS have been filled, there are no more obvious holes. ... I'm not sure there are going to be any roster spots up for grabs [this spring]. ... The decisions will come at backup catcher, fourth outfielder and maybe the 11th pitching spot. ... DiNardo is a good bet to make the team as the long man/spot starter. I think he impressed them in the final month or so of the season. ...If Foulke can't get it done right away, I could see Papelbon as the closer in April. He was impressive last season and the front office has said he'll likely start the year in the pen, anyway.
If Foulke isn't effective, the Red Sox are in trouble -- period. They won't ask Timlin to do what he did last year, and I don't think Tavarez is the answer ... In my view, they would do one of three things: try Papelbon; trade for a veteran closer; or rush Hansen.
But even if that doesn't happen, there is no reason why the club would have to go get a "veteran closer". It goes against their current philosophy and, in fact, none of their moves this spring have shown that type of sensibility. Maybe 2006 is the year to finally try the closer-by-committee approach the right way (God knows Gump never figured it out).