MLB Winter Meetings Day 3 Live Blog: Red Sox’ Signing of Carl Crawford Changes Dynamic of AL East

1:17 a.m.: More from Lake Buena Vista from Tony Lee. Sink your teeth into this piece on the sudden plethora of outfield options the Red Sox are now working with.

12:59 a.m.: Still awake? So are we. Here’s some instant analysis from NESN.com’s Tony Lee on the reported signing of Carl Crawford.

11:44 p.m.: Theo Epstein told reporters on Wednesday night that the Red Sox were likely done for the night. Good one, Theo.

According to The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham, the Red Sox have signed free-agent outfielder Carl Crawford to a seven-year, $142 million contract.

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal confirmed that minutes after Abraham tweeted it.

11:03 p.m.: Yeah, about the Yankees. They’re obviously not going away quietly.

From SI’s Jon Heyman:

“sounds like rangers hope proximity/comfort win day in lee derby. not many greg madduxes in world. yanks seen as favorite.”

10:55 p.m.: The Yankees, according to Ken Rosenthal, are still in the Carl Crawford hunt. With the Angels being deemed the favorites earlier in the day by sources, are the Yankees setting themselves up for failure?Will be interesting to see if the Yankees end up missing out on both Lee and Crawford and walk away from the meetings empty-handed.

10:10 p.m.: Will Cliff Lee sign before the baseball world turns its eyes away from the winter meetings? Not likely, it seems.

However, a deal may come as early as this weekend.

According to Ken Rosenthal, Lee is expected to make his decision by the end of the weekend, per a major-league source. Rosenthal also says that a front-runner has yet to emerge.

8:20 p.m.: If you’re expecting a big move from the Red Sox before Thursday, you may be out of luck.

This, from NESN.com’s Tony Lee.

“Just met w/Theo Epstein. Likely no deals tonite. Perhaps even less likely than Tuesday. Said: ‘That could always change with a phone call.'”

Also:

“Epstein said offers still there for RPs and bats, most through free agency. In a “less advanced” position than Tues in terms of making deal”

7:40 p.m.: Adrian Beltre has yet to sign. Not coincidentally, perhaps, the Rangers are still reportedly shopping third baseman Michael Young.

Jon Paul Morosi says his sources tell him that the Rangers are still actively looking to trade Young.

However, Morosi also cites sources that told Young that on Tuesday that he wouldn’t be moved.

It’s been said that the Rangers are trying to move the veteran to free up salary to make a run at former Adrian Beltre.

7:15 p.m.: Just following up on Heyman’s report ealrier regarding Cliff Lee’s contract offer from the Yankees.

This, from New York Daily New writer Mark Feinsand via Twitter:

“Source said the Yankees’ offer to Cliff Lee was six years and $140 million, an average of $23.3 million per season.”

Still no reports of Yankees willing to go seven years for Lee. Interesting.

6:31 p.m.: The dismantling of the AL East champions continues.

According to MLBTradeRumors, the Rays have shipped shortstop Jason Bartlett to the Padres.

6:08 p.m.: Are the Phillies trying to re-acquire outfielder Aaron Rowand?

A source tells Jayson Stark that there have been talks, but the chances on the deal happening?

“Two-in-ten”

Let’s hear it for arbitrary trade chances!

6:06 p.m.: The Marlins have apparently been pretty busy on Wednesday, with their latest three-team proposed trade reportedly centered around Zack Greinke.

This, from Ken Rosenthal:

“Source: One of Marlins attempted 3-team trades would have landed them Greinke. Talks still alive, but called ‘lukewarm.'”

Interesting to say the least, especially when you consider a rotation with Greinke and Josh Johnson at the top. Scary.

5:35 p.m.: For Red Sox fans hoping to see Magglio Ordonez in left field, WEEI’s Rob Bradford has some interesting information.

According to him, the Red Sox were not among several teams represented at Ordonez’ workout on Wendesday.

5:30 p.m.: SI’s Jon Heyman now has a number for the Yankees and Cliff Lee.

Heyman tweets this:

“cliff lee now knows where yanks stand: 6 yrs, $140-150 mil. questions: are rangers close? are 2 7-year bidders alive?”

Of course, Heyman tweeted earlier today he was expecting six years and about $23 million per year from the Yankees for Lee. He also tweeted yesterday that Lee had two seven-year deals on the table, while reiderating that the Yankees were cautious of giving him the seventh year. This seesm to reaffirm such. Lee is said to be looking for the seven-year pact.

5:25 p.m.: A favorite in the Carl Crawford sweepstakes may be emerging, and it’s not a surprising one.

According to Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles, the Angels will “likely” sign Crawford.

Saxon cites several “high-ranking baseball sources” as saying the Anaheim will be Crawford’s likely landing place.

5:15 p.m.: The race for “Pavanostache” continues.

Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the Brewers have sat down face-to-face with pitcher Carl Pavano, but also noted that the Twins are the favorites to re-sign the veteran righty.

5:00 p.m.: The latest on Rays shortstop Jason Bartlett is that Tampa will “definitely” trade him.

Sherman notes that the deal could get done tonight and that the Orioles are out of the running. It’s down to the Padres and Pirates now.

Also, it looks like Bartlett will want an extension from the team that picks him up.

4:55 p.m.: In another blockbuster out of Disney, MLBTradeRumors reports the Mets have signed an old friend (alright, acquiantance).

New York is rolling the dice, albeit with a minor-league deal, on Boof Bonser.

Bonser, if you recall, posted an 18.00 ERA in his two innings in a Red Sox uniform.

4:36 p.m.: So much for the reported “strong six-year offer” the Yanks had for Lee on Wednesday.

This means that the mighty Yankees apparently leave the winter meetings have gained no ground with Lee.

4:34 p.m.: George Sherrill’s deal with the Braves is a for one year at $1.2 million plus $200,000 with incentives, tweets Olney.

4:25 p.m.: The second-most most popular agent has left the winter meetings.

Tony Lee is reporting that Darek Braunecker, Cliff Lee’s agent, has left the meetings already. Poor Cliff Lee remains unemployed, btu something tells me he’ll land on his feet.

4:16 p.m.:
The Nats are “being aggressive” with the Royals regarding Greinke, according to an Ed Price source.

Greinke makes a lot more sense for the young Nats than Lee does, but the Royals are asking for top prospects, while the Nats, one would assume, would like to bring up their own top prospects along with Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg as the two young studs develop. Although a Strasburg-Greinke one-two punch sounds good.

4:10 p.m.: Some of Crawford’s associates are questioning whether or not he’d be a good fit in Boston, compared to the laid-back environment on the West Coast (Anaheim), tweets Edes.

Based on the passion he displayed when he called out the Rays fans last season, I’m sure he’d fit in just fine.

You want real baseball fans Carl? Boston has a few.

4:05 p.m.: CSNNE’s Sean McAdam hears that the Sox’ level of interest in Russell Martin will be “partially determined be willingness/ability to play elsewhere, too.”

McAdam defines “elsewhere” as left field and DH.

So are the Sox looking for someone who can catch, or someone who can play catcher?

4 p.m.: Beltre isn’t the No. 1 target for the Halos this offseason, claims Heyman.

He lists the Angels pecking order as follows: (1) Crawford, (2) Lee, (3) Beltre, (3a) Soriano.

3:54 p.m.: Will replays be expanded in 2011?

One of Bud Selig’s associates tells Stark that Bud seems “more open to it than he’s ever been.”

3:52 p.m.: The Rockies have signed Mike Hampton to a minor league deal, says Nick Piecoro.

That’s nice.

3:44 p.m.: While teams fight over Carl Crawford and his price tag of about $150 million, the Red Sox are reportedly going to focus on Magglio Ordonez, reports Danny Knobler.

While this news isn’t necessarily new to anyone, it may mean the Sox are bowing out of the Crawford bidding war.

3:34 p.m.: The A’s are looking at a pair of aging sluggers in Hideki Matsui and Vladimir Guerrero, according to Susan Slusser.

3:30 p.m.: Paul Konerko is back in Chicago, but the slugger would have been just as happy with his second choice (in the desert), according to his agent.

“He was very tempted,” Craig Landis told Rosenthal. “[The D-Backs] clearly were his second choice. We had already made up our mind that if things broke down with the White Sox, the next thing we were going to do was get more serious and engage the Diamondbacks to accomplish a three-year deal for Paul in Arizona.”

3:22 p.m.: Adrian Beltre talks are “gaining traction,” tweets Tom Krasovic, who also says several teams are interested and the AL West is well represented.

Will the Halos bag Beltre before the meetings come to a close?

“Obviously, Adrian has a home in Los Angeles and he’s played in L.A.,” Boras said. “He’s very comfortable in the marketplace.”

3:20 p.m.: Cafardo tweets that the Pirates have offered Bill Hall deal – and a job as he would be given the starting second baseman gig.

2:57 p.m..: The asking price for Magglio Ordonez is at two years and at least $10 million per season, says a source close to John Paul Morosi.

Despite Ordonez turning 37 before opening day next spring, Boras believes there’s a profound interest in the outfielder, especially from those who were contacting Boras for another one of his clients earlier this offseason, Jayson Werth.

“There are a lot of things about Magglio that fit a board base of teams,” Boras said. “Once Jayson signed, a lot of teams interested in Jayson are now interested in Magglio.

“Magglio is a guy that has gotten a lot of interest from a lot of teams, now that Jayson has signed, he added. “He’s a middle-of-the-order guy. Great batting average. Productive guy. A veteran player. A winner.”

Boras also told reporters that Ordonez is working out today (Wednesday) for those interested.

2:50 p.m.: The Royals are “quite specific in what they want” in exchange for ace Zack Greinke, reports Ken Rosenthal.

The Royals want a starting pitcher to go with a young, up-the-middle players (catcher, shortstop or second baseman and a speedy center fielder for top of the order) for Greinke.

They’re also in no rush to deal the hurler, but may choose to do so now in the offseason, in case he has an injury or ugly start to the 2011 season and his value drops.

The Rangers, Dodgers, Nationals and Blue Jays are rumored to be most interested in the righty.

2:19 p.m.:
Back to Boras for a second: Beltre hasn’t closed the door on the A’s just yet.

Angels are still considered favorites.

2:15 p.m.: Gordon Edes is on the Sox bullpen needs prowl.

According to Edes, the Sox are still in touch with both Hideki Okajima and Andrew Miller, and a source tells him that they’d definitely like to re-sign Miller despite non-tendering him last week.

Edes also mentions that the Sox “could commit draft choice for Downs,” whatever that means. Don’t they have to? Perhaps he meant they’re *willing to?

2:13 p.m.: Another important bit of information for Red Sox fans, coming from Boras: Carlos Beltran plans to be a Met this season.

2 p.m.: Scott Boras just held court with a slew of reporters, including our very own Tony Lee, who reports:

“There are ‘many participants’ for Beltre and that Magglio Ordonez is working out for several teams and is prepared to play right or left field. Also, that Manny Ramirez has drawn interest from multiple teams for a DH role and is fully recovered from sports hernia surgery, which he didn’t necessarily know about during the season.”

1:58 p.m.:
Shortstop J.J. Hardy could be coming to the AL East as the O’s are reportedly in talks with the Twins about bringing the six-year veteran to Baltimore,  tweets Dan Connolly.

Minnesota is said to be interested in a pair of minor-league free agents including pitcher Brett Jacobson.

1:50 p.m.: Jack Cust reportedly signed a one-year, $9.5 million deal in Seattle.

How will the M’s use Cust — as LF or DH?

1:30 p.m.: When will those A’s make a move? Oakland has some money to toss around, which they proved by offering Beltre five years and $64 million.

Rosenthal thinks that Scott Downs would be a good pick up for the A’s, who have their first-round pick protected (Downs is a Type A free agent).

Other big-name relievers who have yet to be signed include Rafael Soriano, Bobby Jenks, Brian Fuentes, Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier and Koji Uehara.

12:51 p.m.:
In case you’re wondering about Russell Martin’s health (hip fracture), he resumed running and full baseball activities a week ago and is even crouching, according to Rosenthal.

12:34 p.m.: Bob Dutton tweets that the Royals will announce the signing of Jeff Francoeur on Wednesday afternoon.

12:29 p.m.: The Yankees and Rangers are both looking at Mark Prior, says Heyman.

Stating the obvious, Heyman thinks it would be interesting to see the Yanks sign both Wood and Prior.

12:09 p.m.: It looks like Adam LaRoche, mentioned a few posts ago as one of the few remaining (decent) first basemen left on the market, could be on his way to joining Werth with the Nats, tweets Ed Price.

12 p.m.: The Yankees and Carl Crawford have met face-to-face, tweets Rosenthal.

The team is expected to offer Lee a “strong” six-year deal on Wednesday, and as stated earlier on the blog, the team can sign both Crawford and Lee if Pettitte retires or they trade an outfielder.

Then again, they’re the Yankees and can probably sign whoever they want regardless.

11:50 a.m.: Now that both Pena and Konerko (as well as Adam Dunn) are accounted for, the first base market is extremely thin.

Check out this list of available one-baggers, according to MLB Trade Rumors:

Garrett Atkins, Willy Aybar, Russell Branyon, Jorge Cantu, Troy Glaus, Mike Hessman, Nick Johnson, Casey Kotchman, Mark Kotsay, Adam LaRoche, Derrek Lee, Xavier Nady, Lyle Overbay, Mike Sweeney, Fernando Tatis.

Not the most admirable list, but things won’t be looking to promising next winter either, especially if Adrian Gonzalez and Albert Pujols both sign extensions before the end of the 2011 campaign. As of now, the only intriguing first baseman expected to hit the market next offseason is Prince Fielder.

11:45 a.m.: Matt Garza could be leaving Tampa as Bruce Levine is reporting the Cubs are interested in the hurler in exchange for some prospects — something the Rays are looking for.

11:28 a.m.: It sounds like the Royals are about to scoop Jeff Francoeur out of the free-agent pool on a one-year deal, reports Heyman.

This spells trouble for the Phillies, who were looking at Franc as a filler for losing Werth.

11:26 a.m.: Why do the Yankees have a better shot at signing Rusell Martin than the Sox do?

Because they need him more — that’s why. Tony Lee explains here.

11:05 a.m.: NESN’s Tom Caron checking in from Florida:

“Greetings from the final day of lobby watching at the Dolphin Hotel.

A Sox official told me ‘things could heat up’ before the front-office breaks camp tomorrow.

Bullpen help is the priority and there’s a chance a reliever gets signed by Thursday morning. The team has offers out there — some made before the meetings began, others made here in Orlando.

Word is the Sox are one of three or four teams in on Russell Martin, who was non-tendered by the Dodgers. They could keep three catchers (using Martin and Saltalamacchia at other positions from time to time, maybe DH’ing Varitek against a lefty here and there) or send Salty to Pawtucket (he still has options).

Peter Gammons reported Tuesday night that Daisuke Matsuzaka would not be part of any Carlos Beltran deal with the Mets. I’m told the Mets would love to dump Beltran and his $18.5 million salary for next year, but it won’t happen soon.  Keep an eye on the situation through the winter … the longer it takes, the more likely the Mets would eat a significant portion of the salary.  He’s well past his prime, but could certainly do some damage at Fenway.

That’s it for now, back to the lobby for a few laps around the big white Christmas tree!”

Thanks, TC.

That’s it for now, back to the lobby for a few laps around the big white Christmas tree!

10:58 a.m.:
The Yankees are expected to offer Lee a “very strong” six-year deal on Wednesday, says Heyman.

The SI.com reporter predicts about $23 million per season.

10:43 a.m.: The White Sox have agreed on a three-year deal with Paul Konerko, reports Nightengale.

Konerko will take back first base and DH duties alongside newly signed slugger Adam Dunn.

Scott Merkin tweets that the deal will end up paying him $37.5 million, and breaks it down as such: $12 million in 2011, $12 in 2012 and $13.5 million (although only $6.5 million will be paid out in 2013, and he’ll make $1 million per year, from 2014-2020.

10:28 a.m.: More on the Russell Martin front: Gordon Edes hears from an NL scout that the Sox are “making a strong push.”

Here’s some interesting stuff on Martin’s escape from L.A.,thanks to Steve Henson of Yahoo Sports:

“Russell Martin turned away from the Los Angeles Dodgers because they insisted on cutting his guaranteed salary from the $5.05 million he was paid in 2010. The Dodgers’ final offer was a guaranteed $4.2 million with incentives worth from $1.5 million to $1.7 million if he played in 125 games, a source said. Martin wanted a guaranteed $5.5 million, a raise of nearly 10 percent.”

10:16 a.m.: How can Andy Pettitte ruin Red Sox Nation’s winter?

By retiring.

Stark tweets that if the southpaw retires this offseason, it will free up money for the Yanks to fire down on both Lee and Crawford.

10:11 a.m.: Jayson Stark says the Angels aren’t ready to count on Scott Kazmir as the team’s fifth starter, which may cause hesitation to get in on Lee sweepstakes.

10:08 a.m.: The Yankees may be getting fed up with Cliff Lee’s corner, as Buster Olney is reporting that the Yanks may “zig off Cliff Lee if necessary.”

The Bombers may have already turned their attention to Carl Crawford as Olney claims Brian Cashman had a Crawford-related meeting on Tuesday.

9:58 a.m.: Most Red Sox fans are wondering why the Sox would even consider Russell Martin, now that the team has both Jason Varitek and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Why bring on a third catcher?

According to Heyman, the Sox have an option to demote Salty to Triple-A.

Does Salty need a full year in Triple-A before taking on the task of being a full-time catcher in Boston? Share your thoughts below.

9:47 a.m.: Think things were awkward on Tuesday during the Derek Jeter news conference?

Check out this photo for the answer.

9:39 a.m.: Expect to see CC in the Bronx for at least four more years.

According to George King, Yankees ace, CC Sabathia, will not opt out of his deal following the 2011 season, no matter what Cliff Lee signs for this winter.

“It has no effect on me at all,” Sabathia told King on Tuesday.

Some feel that if Lee grabs a deal with an annual salary in $25 million range, Sabathia, who is two years younger than Lee but owns 55 more wins in his career, may test the market next winter to see what he could get.

Sabathia will have four years and $97 million remaining on his seven-year deal following the 2011 season, when he has the chance to opt out.

9:12 a.m.:
Apparently there was “nothing close” in the Dice-K-Beltran trade talks on Tuesday, reports Sherman, who claims the Sox only view the switch-hitting outfielder as a fall-back option.

Many view the amount of money being tossed around as a concern for the Mets, who would likely have to eat at least half of Beltran’s contract ($18.5 in 2011). This doesn’t appear to be a problem for the Amazins as new GM Sandy Alderson is willing to open his wallet if it means improving the staff.

“I think we’re realists,” Alderson told Newsday. “If we felt given all of the components of the transaction that it was in our interest, yeah. Eaten money before and prepared to eat it again.”

9 a.m.: The Pirates won the Matt Diaz sweepstakes, according to Jenifer Langosch.

Langosch claims the deal is for two years and about $4.25 million.

8:53 a.m.: Jack MaGruder tweets that there’s a market for Diamondbacks outfielder Gerardo Parra.

The 23-year-old (left-handed stick — don’t get your hopes up Red Sox fans) declined a bit in his second  year in the bigs as he dropped from .290 to .261 in BA and from 60 to 30 RBIs. Although he played in more games in 2010 (133 compared to 120 in 2009) he started fewer games (93 starts compared to 106 starts in 2009).

The 2009 All-Star can play all three positions but is considered a left fielder.

8:37 a.m.: In the span of about eight hours, from Tuesday evening around 5 p.m. to a little after 1 a.m. Wednesday morning, Michael Young was rumored to be packing his bags to Colorado.

Early Wednesday morning, however, the Rangers told the slugging infielder that he wasn’t going anywhere, according to Bob Nightengale.

Rosenthal reports that Young can block 22 of 30 teams, but the Rox weren’t one of them, meaning he can be sent to the Rockies without his permission. That’s perfectly fine to him, as Nightengale said he would gladly accept the move, as the USA Today reporter claims the Rox are on his no-trade list.

8:26 a.m.: According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, teams have inquired on Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka.

Cafardo stresses that general manager Theo Epstein doesn’t want to weaken his rotation, unless, of course, he gets “a big return.”

On Tuesday, the Mets were rumored to be interested in the righty and willing to dish Carlos Beltran (along with a reported $10 million of his $18.5 million salary in 2011).

8:13 a.m.: The Red Sox, Yankees and Blue Jays’ interest level in Russell Martin is “Intensifying,” claims Rosenthal.

Martin and the Sox were mentioned in Tuesday’s blog, but was never considered anything serious. The Stocky backstop hit .248 with five homers and 26 RBIs in 97 games over the summer in La La Land (and somehow made the All-Star Game).

His best year came in 2007 — the 27-year-old’s second season in the bigs — when he hit .293 with an OPS of .843 to go with 19 homers and 87 RBIs. He also grabbed both a Golden Glove and NL Silver Slugger Awards that summer.

8 a.m.: According to Rob Bradford at WEEI, the Blue Jays were speaking with Jason Varitek before the backstop re-signed with the Sox. Looks like Farrell was trying to smuggle some familiar help north of the border, although the talks weren’t too serious.

Fellow catcher A.J. Pierzynski tells Bradford that Tek “deserves it” and that he was pleased the captain re-joined the Sox.

7:58 a.m.: Ken Rosenthal and John Paul Morosi heat things up in the Lee rumors by wondering if the Angels would get in on the action and trade either Weaver or Santana to free up some cash.

7:53 a.m.: Good news for Sox fans (bad news for Yankee fans): Cliff Lee has reportedly received seven-year offers from two teams, reports Joel Sherman.

As of now, it’s still believed that the Yanks are sticking to their promise of six years and no more.

Both offers are believed to be of at least $20 or more. Yes, two teams are willing to give a 38-39-year-old pitcher $20 million.

7:50 a.m.: The Cubs and Carlos Pena have agreed to a one-year, $10 million deal.

Sound familiar? Pena is hoping to work some magic out of the one-year deal just like Adrian Beltre did in Boston.

6 a.m.: In golf, they call Saturday, the third day of a tournament, “moving day.” After a couple of relatively quiet days, will Day 3 of the MLB winter meetings be moving day?

Things have been quiet in terms of moves that have actually been made, but there have been plenty of whispers about players on their way to different teams.

And as Tuesday slowly crept into Wednesday, there were still plenty of big names still uncertain where they’ll be playing baseball in the 2011 season and beyond. Obviously, the two biggest names still on the free-agent market are Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford. In both cases, we’ve yet to hear much in the way of formal offers for either and it’s beginning to look like a real possibility that the meetings end with neither finding a new home.

For the Red Sox, any move made at the meetings will pale in comparison to the move to acquire Adrian Gonzalez, but Theo Epstein has made it crystal clear that his team is looking for bullpen help — something they have yet to acquire.

Will Wednesday be the day the Red Sox do so?

Follow along all day for NESN.com’s live blog of the winter meetings and find out the answer to that and many more questions.

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