MLB Winter Meetings Day 2 Live Blog: Bidding for Zack Greinke Goes Sky High, Down to Dodgers, Rangers

Ben Cherington9:45 p.m.: A year ago the Diamondbacks brought aboard former Twins left-handed bat Jason Kubel, and now they could be trying to unload him.

According to Danny Knobler, in the wake of Arizona signing bench bat Eric Hinske, the team is trying to move Kubel. Apparently the team is so aggressive that a deal could happen by Tuesday night.

Kubel had a largely productive season in the desert during 2012, hitting 30 home runs with 90 RBIs and an .833 OPS.

9:05 p.m.: The Zack Greinke sweepstakes is coming into focus.

On the back of reports by CBS’ Jon Heyman, it appears that the battle for the right-hander is down to the Dodgers and Rangers. Likewise, the bidding for Greinke is expected to extend north of $160 million, making him the highest-paid right-hander ever.

At some point today the Rangers put their talks with Josh Hamilton “on hold,” so that should indicate just how serious they are about going after Greinke.

9 p.m.: Earlier today Dan Haren signed a one-year contract with the Nationals worth about $13 million. Chances are he’s trying to reestablish his value and health, and will re-up in free agency next year.

Many in Red Sox Nation thought that the Sox should be in on Haren, and apparently they were. According to ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes, the Red Sox made a “competitive” offer to Haren, who obviously chose Washington over them.

So, the Red Sox remain in the hunt for at least one more arm to fill out their rotation for 2013.

8:30 p.m: Well, here’s one of the more interesting rumors we’ve heard today.

According to Nick Cafardo, the Red Sox are at least open to the idea of trading Jacoby Ellsbury. In this scenario, the team would then sign Cody Ross and flip Shane Victorino to center field, with Ross moving back to his customary right field.

That plan, of course, would still leave the Sox short one outfielder, but it could be interesting to see what kind of haul Boston could get in return for its center fielder.

7:35 p.m.: With the news that Alex Rodriguez may miss a large chunk of the 2013 season, the Yankees have some issues on the left side of their infield.

Well, they may be moving quickly to help bridge the gap until Rodriguez and Derek Jeter get healthy, as New York is reported to have a strong interest in former Rays utility infielder Jeff Keppinger, according to Jon Heyman.

Known mostly as a contact hitter throughout his career, the 32-year-old hit .325 over 385 at-bats last year, playing mostly first, second and third base.

7:20 p.m.: This one has been in the rumor mill for about a day, but is finally official: the Rangers have signed former Royals closer Joakim Soria to a two-year deal.

Texas had great success last year with a closer coming off Tommy John surgery in Joe Nathan, and they’ll try to replicate that with Soria. Though only 28 years old, Soria missed all of 2012 after undergoing the ligament transplant.

Funnily enough, he’s the second closer to get signed to a multimillion-dollar contract who missed all of 2012 due to Tommy John surgery, and the second in the AL West with the Angels’ acquisition of Ryan Madson.

7:10 p.m.: It’s clear that the market for certain players — Shane Victorino being one — has far surpassed initial expectations.

Add former Orioles first baseman and DH Mark Reynolds to that list. Reynolds played a pretty big role for Baltimore in the middle of their order last season. Though his penchant for striking out didn’t decrease, Reynolds hit 23 home runs and provided right-handed power for the O’s.

According to Jon Heyman, Reynolds has a wealth of potential suitors, including the Cubs, Yankees and Indians, among about eight teams. Reynolds doesn’t have much defensive value, but he does two things well: he hits for power and gets on base.

6:55 p.m.: Did the Indians actually offer more money and years to Victorino?

According to Ken Rosenthal, that appears to be exactly the case. So say his sources, the Indians actually offered Victorino $44 million over four years. So, the Red Sox outbid the field on a per-year basis to keep Victorino to a smaller commitment in terms of years. In essence, they’re biting into their financial flexibility for now to maintain their roster flexibility in years to come.

It also probably says something about how the Red Sox value Victorino, quite possibly his defensive flexibility, most of all.

6:20 p.m.: Because surely some in Red Sox Nation were concerned about this.

Just to confirm, according to Ben Cherington (via Nick Cafardo) the Shane Victorino signing does not preclude the Red Sox from potentially bringing back Cody Ross. Victorino can play all three outfield spots, so there isn’t a conflict there.

It stands to figure that the Red Sox need at least one more outfielder (according to Cafardo, they’d also like to add a left-handed hitting first baseman), and Ross still very much fits that bill.

6:05 p.m.: We don’t have a lot of context for this one, but apparently the Dodgers have moved to the front of the pack to land Zack Greinke.

Now, the Dodgers were already probably considered the favorite to land Greinke, but according to Jon Morosi they’ve distanced themselves from the field. That actually may be bad news for the Red Sox.

As we mentioned in our last post, the Angels are starved for pitching and were hoping to retain Greinke this offseason. If they lose out on him, that could make them more aggressive in their pursuit of potential Red Sox targets like Brandon McCarthy and Kyle Lohse.

5:55 p.m.: As we’ve mentioned earlier, the Red Sox still have at least one spot in the starting rotation open for 2013, and it figures they’ll make a move to fill that.

One player that’s been mentioned in connection with Boston is Brandon McCarthy, who had a career year with Oakland in 2012 (before being hit by a line drive in the head and missing the remainder of the season), but is another good clubhouse guy. However, the Red Sox have some competition.

According to L.A. Times beat writer Mike DiGiovanna, the Angels’ interest in McCarthy has been piqued in Nashville. The Angels already acquired one starting pitcher this offseason in former Brave Tommy Hanson, but still have at least two more open rotation slots behind Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson.

5:45 p.m.: Well, it seems to be all but official, folks.

Shane Victorino has reportedly signed (or will sign) with the Red Sox on a three-year, $39 million deal according to multiple sources. This may not be the big-haul outfielder some fans wanted, but what the Red Sox get is a guy who can impact the game in many ways, from his bat to his speed to his versatile defense in the outfield.

All this being said, the Red Sox still have several holes to fill, namely one more outfielder, shortstop and one slot in the rotation.

5:25 p.m.: Not that we didn’t already know this, but the Red Sox are far from done this offseason.

According to Jon Morosi, Boston has an “interest” in shortstop Yunel Escobar. Escobar, you might remember, was one of the major league pieces going back to the Marlins in the mega-trade that sent Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes to Toronto. You might also remember that Escobar was disciplined by Major League Baseball for writing an anti-gay slur in Spanish on his eye black late in the season.

The Red Sox do probably need a shortstop unless they’re prepared to take a serious gamble that Jose Iglesias’ hitting will improve, but Escobar is coming off a career-worst .644 OPS in 2012, and has been known throughout his career as a poor character guy.

5:10 p.m.: Who aren’t the Mariners talking to?

As has already been reported, the Mariners are one team that’s still very much in on Josh Hamilton. However, they’re thinking big beyond just one high-priced outfielder.

According to Jon Heyman, Seattle “seems to really like the idea” of signing former Astros and Braves outfielder Michael Bourn. A lot of people see Bourn as a similar proposition to Carl Crawford, except with less power and a more prototypical speedster and leadoff hitter.

Could the Mariners be the answer to last year’s showing by the Angels at the winter meetings?

5:00 p.m.: There’s at least one huge trade rumor out there, right now.

According to ESPN’s Pedro Gomez, the Phillies and Diamondbacks are discussing a Justin Upton for Cliff Lee swap. It’s known that the Phillies are looking for outfield help, and such a proposed trade (some cash would go Arizona’s way) would get them that outfield help, but also give them a little salary relief, as Lee is owed at least $75 million over the next three seasons, plus a vesting option for a fourth.

Lee’s an ace-caliber pitcher who was very unlucky in 2012, and Upton is a supremely talented if underachieving star — much like his brother, B.J., who signed last week with the Braves.

4:52 p.m.: More details are emerging about the Shane Victorino pursuit as we speak.

The latest word is that the outfielder and the Red Sox are talking about a three-year, $38 million contract. The Sox currently have two corner outfield vacancies, and it just so happens that Victorino can play any of the three outfield spots, so this deal makes sense at face value.

In terms of money, it isn’t all that bad a deal, either. The question would then become what the deal means for the rest of the outfield plan, particularly Cody Ross. The Red Sox do have Jackie Bradley, Jr. coming up through the minor leagues, but he’s probably two years away from contributing in Boston. This means that the Red Sox probably won’t be looking for another outfielder to go more than three years on, but it doesn’t necessarily preclude it, either.

4:09 p.m.: The Red Sox are making a strong push for Shane Victorino, and at least one Boston baseball writer says they’re in the lead.

The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo says the Sox are the front-runners for the veteran outfielder. According to Cafardo, the Sox have a three-year, $38 million contract offer on the table for Victorino.

Cafardo then followed that up with this tweet:

“Source: Opimism a Red Sox/ Victorino deal could happen at 3 yrs 38 mil.”

3:55 p.m.: The Shane Victorino hunt appears to be down to three teams.

Jon Heyman reports that the Indians, Red Sox and a third team are still in the hunt to sign the veteran outfielder. The Cubs and Yankees were both mentioned in relation with Victorino earlier in the day by ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.

ESPN.com’s Gordon Edes passed along this interesting piece of information via Twitter about Victorino not long ago.

“Dodger source on Victorino: ‘Just tremendous in the clubhouse for us, got on guys, a real leader, but the decline [in skills] starting.'”

USA Today’s Bob Nightengale says the Indians are pushing hard for Victorino, with Terry Francona leading the recruiting charge. The two are close, Nightengale tweets.

3:37 p.m.: It was the cliche thing to say during the playoffs, but it was true. With Marco Scutaro tearing the cover off the ball and free agency looming this offseason, it was easy to see that the shortstop was going to get paid.

Uh, yup, he is. Especially if we’re to believe ESPN’s Buster Olney.

Olney tweeted that the Giants are expected to be the front-runner to retain the shortstop, but it’s going to cost them by way of a three-year contract worth $24 million.

He’ll be 37 on Opening Day.

3:28 p.m.: The Red Sox are said to still be a potential landing spot for Nick Swisher, but it sounds like the free-agent outfielder wants to head west.

CBS Sports’ Scott Miller reports (via Jon Heyman’s Twitter account) that Swisher would like to play in San Francisco. He’s also unlikely to make a move until Josh Hamilton signs. That makes all the sense in the world, of course. Because if the Red Sox are really interested in signing Hamilton and miss out on him, Swisher would presumably be able to drive up his own price for a Red Sox team that will be looking for a corner outfielder. They’ll then also have to bid again the Giants who are supposedly Swisher’s preferred destination.

All Swisher needs at this point is for the Giants to have some sort of interest in him.

However, the Giants just signed Angel Pagan to a new contract. Ken Davidoff reports via Twitter that the Giants have spoken with Swisher, but it’s reportedly more likely that they add a cheaper outfielder.

2:53 p.m.: Starting pitching, you say? The Red Sox may oblige.

Boston is at least poking around the free-agent pitching market, as Alex Speier of WEEI reports that the team has “checked in” on Ryan Dempster.

Dempster was dealt to the Rangers at the trade deadline last year. While 35 years old, he’s been decent since being moved from the bullpen to a starting role in 2008 with the Cubs, going 65-49 with a 3.74 ERA and logging 200 innings every year except last season.

2:46 p.m.: It doesn’t matter how many times the Miami Marlins tell teams they’re not interested in giving up Giancarlo Stanton. Teams are just going to keep calling.

Danny Knobler of CBS Sports now writes that a source within the Marlins says “it would be easier to list who hasn’t called” about the 23-year-old.

The Marlins have said they don’t want to trade Stanton, but they’ve hedged since, saying they would consider it if a team offered up three top prospects, according to reports.

2:43 p.m.: More and more signs are pointing to Adam LaRoche staying with the Nationals.

FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi said the team is working on a deal between two and three years, while Jerry Crasnick of ESPN says Davey Johnson is talking big.

“Adam LaRoche is gonna come back,” Crasnick reports Johnson as saying. “If I have to go to Kansas and take him and all his cattle to Florida, I will.”

2:37 p.m.: The Yankees have become considerably weaker over recent days, but knowing whether general manager Brian Cashman is about to flip a big deal is always hard to figure out.

One player the Yankees haven’t shown much interest in retaining is last year’s closer, Rafael Soriano. His value has jumped since he took over after Mariano Rivera’s injury, and with Rivera back, the Yankees don’t need two closers — and especially not at the price Soriano was looking for. Peter Gammons now reports that the Tigers are also out of the discussion for Soriano.

In good news for the Yankees, it turns out the one way they can get out from under that horrible Alex Rodriguez contract is if he’s seriously injured — which he now is. The Yankees are insured for 75 percent to 80 percent of Rodriguez’s remaining $114 million if he can’t play out his contract due to injury, according to CBS Sports. That’s a pretty good insurance policy.

2:30 p.m.: Shane Victorino is getting a lot of attention today, and it’s not hard to guess why. He was flipped to the Dodgers last season after seven-plus years in Philadelphia and is considered to still have plenty left in the tank for teams needing a capable outfielder.

The major question, though, is whether the reported three- or four-year deals, at $12 million a year, for a 32-year-old center fielder who hit .255 last season makes a lot of sense. A few teams have expressed reservations.

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN now reports that the three teams rising to the top in this mini-race are the Cubs, Yankees and Red Sox. That’s common company for the Sox, who are used to seeing the Yankees battle them for similar pieces and are familiar with what the Cubs’ Theo Epstein is usually looking for, too.

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington has said he would like the Red Sox’ right fielder to be able to play some center.

Both Boston and New York have been looking at Nick Swisher, who played with the Yankees last year, and Cody Ross, who played for the Red Sox last year. Victorino takes the discussion in a different direction.

2:24 p.m.: Eric Hinske is playing for yet another team.

Hinske, who pretty much defines “journeyman,” has signed with the Diamondbacks for his 12th season, according to CBS Sports. It will be his seventh team.

Hinske played in Boston for part of 2006 and all of 2007 before heading to the Rays. He spent the last three seasons in Atlanta.

2:18 p.m.: Hold your horses on Josh Hamilton.

According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Hamilton may be staying home.

Rosenthal says Hamilton and the Rangers are “making progress” — on a four-year deal, no less. That’s a big drop from what Hamilton was originally reported to be seeking (seven years at $25 million a year).

The Red Sox are said to be interested in Hamilton, but only for three years or so. If this is the benchmark Texas is setting to keep the slugger, you’d have to think that plenty more teams are going to be interested, because that’s a much more desirable contract length.

2:12 p.m.: Think the winter meetings are just for baseball? The hotel that’s hosting the festivities would suggest otherwise. Check it out.

1:48 p.m.: We’ve got this, the latest on the Texas Rangers’ offseason plan, from ESPN’s Jim Bowden.

“Rangers considering signing [Josh] Hamilton then trading [Elivis] Andrus for [Justin] Upton and playing [Jurickson] Profar at SS despite present position of not trading Andrus.”

That would be a pretty strong lineup, even with the loss of Mike Napoli. Where do the Rangers go, though, if Hamilton signs elsewhere?

1:44 p.m.: Michael Bourn is one of the more puzzling players so far this week, as we haven’t heard much of him, especially in winter meetings chatter terms.

Jon Heyman — of course — has at least a little information regarding the free-agent outfielder, who is expected to make himself some good money, especially following lucrative deals for Torii Hunter, B.J. Upton and Angel Pagan.

According to Heyman, the Mariners have interest in Bourn. The Phillies are also interested, according to the report.

The M’s have been reportedly linked to the Bourn, Josh Hamilton, Justin Upton and Nate McClouth all in the last day. So yeah, they’re probably looking for an outfielder.

1:24 p.m.: It turns out all those Kevin Youkilis musings aren’t completely erroneous — but they’re now tilting in the Yankees’ favor (much to the chagrin of Red Sox fans who thought Bobby Valentine leaving meant Youk should be strolling back into town).

The Yankees, now without Alex Rodriguez for a good chunk of the 2013 season thanks to some hip surgery, are reportedly talking with Youkilis about helping out at third base on a one-year deal.

Yankees-Red Sox hasn’t been too dramatic lately, but that would be quite the twist.

1:07 p.m.: The interest in free-agent outfielder Shane Victorino appears to be picking up.

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick says that Victorino could find a new home before the end of the winter meetings.

The Indians appear to be the front-runner, Crasnick tweets, adding that new manager Terry Francona already reached out to the outfielder earlier this offseason.

While the Tribe may be the “prime suitor” at this point, the Red Sox, Cubs and Yankees are in, as are the Braves and Reds, although to a lesser extent.

Victorino is expected to get a three- or four-year deal.

1:02 p.m.: If you want your team to trade for Giancarlo Stanton (he probably wants that to happen, too), then it’s going to take a major, major haul to land the prized outfielder.

Stanton is no doubt upset with all of the things going on in Miami — primarily the team trading away anyone who has any sort of All-Star potential not named Giancarlo Stanton — and you have to think that he’d love to get out of that cesspool.

Unfortunately for the power-hitting outfielder, it’s not always that simple, especially when you’re one of the best young players under team control. ESPN.com reported that the Marlins are going to look for three top prospects in any deal for Stanton.

Makes sense, too. The Marlins have no reason to trade Stanton. He’s really, really good, and he’s really, really cheap. He’ll make $480,000 next season, and Stanton won’t reach free agency until 2016.

Add it all up, and you can see why there’s little to no chance the Marlins move him any time soon.

12:49 p.m.:  More on the Hamilton front, this time a report from Ken Rosenthal late Monday night.

Rosenthal reported Monday night Hamilton met with the Seattle Mariners on Sunday. The report reasons that Seattle could make sense as a destination for the All-Star outfielder because of a few reasons that don’t have a lot to do with dollars and cents — or wins even.

Rosenthal points out that Hamilton has said in the past that he’ll listen to God when it comes time to make a decision, which could mean money might not be the driving factor. Then again, God could tell Hamilton to take the most money; so there’s also that.

Hamilton’s wife has also said in the past that they intend on donating most of the money from this new contract to charity. Pro Athletes Outreach, which Rosenthal describes as “a Christian organization that ministers to athletes,” is located just outside of Seattle. So the pieces of the puzzle are definitely there.

However, as Jim Bowden pointed out Tuesday, it doesn’t sound like the Mariners are going to end up with Hamilton, as the ESPN Radio host said he believes the Hamilton market is down to the Red Sox and Rangers with the Yankees as a darkhorse.

The Mariners’ reported interest in Nate McClouth (via Jon Morosi) could potentially corroborate that.

12:36 p.m.:  The Yankees are in need of help on the left side of the infield, with the injuries to Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter expected to extend into the regular season.

One potential option could be Marco Scutaro. Ken Rosenthal reported that the Yankees are mulling over the free-agent options, and Scutaro could be a fit for the Pinstripes.

12:12 p.m.:  If you like the idea of Josh Hamilton in a Red Sox uniform, you may be in luck. At the very least, you’ll probably be encouraged.

ESPN Radio’s Jim Bowden just tweeted this about the pursuit of Hamilton:

“Josh Hamilton realistic FA Market looks like Rangers or Red Sox with Yankees a dark horse…doubtful Hamilton goes to SEA even if best offer”

So there’s that.

11:48 a.m.: The Mariners have said over and over and over again that they are not trading Felix Hernandez, arguably the best right-handed pitcher in baseball.

CBSSports.com reports that Seattle is doing all it can to make the ace a “Mariner for life.” The M’s have approached Hernandez about the idea of a long-term extension, and according to the report, King Felix and his people are expressing a mutual interest.

He still has two years and $39.5 million left on his current contract.

11:37 a.m.: We’ve hit a temporary lull in rumors, so here’s a video of a kid crying his eyes out because Mike Napoli is reportedly coming to Boston.

11:06 a.m.: An already solid Washington Nationals pitching staff just got even better it seems.

FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reports the Nats have signed free-agent starter Dan Haren to a one-year deal worth $13 million. That’s pending a physical.

11 a.m.: OK, so it’s the winter time, which means there are Justin Upton trade rumors.

The Diamondbacks sound like they’re taking a pretty aggressive stance in regards to just about everything this offseason, but they have nothing to show for it at the moment.

USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that’s not for a lack of trying. According to him, the D-Backs have been real aggressive in trying to trade outfielder Justin Upton. However, Arizona would like a shortstop in return, and they’ve yet to find a suitable trade partner in that regard.

Texas would seem to make sense, with established shortstop option Elvis Andrus and top prospect Jurickson Profar ready to make his mark. However, Nightengale says that the Rangers are reluctant to part with either right now.

10:46 a.m.: The Red Sox are making it clear — at least through reports — that they’re looking to add starting pitching now.

We told you about the reported interest in Brandon McCarthy in our last post, and now it looks like the Sox have poked around on former Boston farmhand Anibal Sanchez.

The free-agent starter is one of the best arms in a relatively light pitching market, and because of that, he’s looking for a pricey payday. Initial reports at the beginning of the offseason indicated he was looking for a deal in the neighborhood of six years and $90 million.

The Sox are reportedly among a handful of teams interested in Sanchez, along with the Dodgers, Angels, Tigers and Royals, as well as a mystery team, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.

Of course, we’ll probably have to wait for Zack Greinke to sign — and set the market — before we know what kind of haul Sanchez can really pull in.

10:24 a.m.: The Red Sox have addressed one need by signing Mike Napoli, and you have to think they’ll grab an outfielder at some point to address another need. But what about the obvious need for more starting pitching? They’re working on that one, too, it sounds like.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Sox are one of a handful of teams who are showing preliminary interest in pitcher Brandon McCarthy. Boston is reportedly joined by the White Sox, Cubs, Royals, Diamondbacks and Twins in their pursuit, and the Angels and Rangers may show interest as well.

McCarthy is seen as a solid arm, but the 29-year-old does have an injury history. He’s had arm problems in the past, and he’s in the midst of rehabbing and returning from emergency brain surgery he underwent being struck in the head with a line drive last season.

9:57 a.m.: The Mets have reportedly been very busy in their talks surrounding Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey, and they’ve got a pretty long list of interested suitors, it seems.

CBSSports.com reports that the Mets have spoken with eight clubs about Dickey, for whatever that’s worth.

The eight teams are: the Red Sox, Orioles, Royals, Rangers, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Blue Jays and Nationals.

That’s all we really know at this point. What it would take to land Dickey and how interested these teams are really interested in the knuckleballer is obviously unknown.

9:46 a.m.: Jon Heyman is back at it, this time talking about the pitching situation in another part of Florida in Tampa.

Heyman writes that there’s an increasing chance that the Rays will trade a starter. The Rays, Heyman writes, are seeing the absurd prices being paid for starting pitchers on the open market, and they would like to cash in.

According to the report, the Rays could move David Price, James Shields or Jeremy Hellickson. Tampa has a surplus of good young arms, so it makes sense that they would look to unload one, especially given the market’s climate at the moment.

9:37 a.m.: Could the Yankees be in position to move some of their big names this winter?

The New York Post’s Joel Sherman just tweeted that the Yankees could entertain moving Curtis Granderson or Phil Hughes to “gain prospects/salary relief.”

The problem with that, of course, is that the Yankees expect to contend every season, and it will not be easy to replace that kind of production in both facets of the game.

That being said, both are set to become free agents following the 2013 season, and Granderson will make $13 million this season.

9:23 a.m.: This is starting to have all the feelings of a busy day for the Miami Marlins. We already touched on the Mark Reynolds rumors, but it sounds like the Marlins could be looking to do some more wheeling and dealing.

ESPN’s Jayson Stark has the latest on the Ricky Nolasco situation. The Marlins pitcher’s agent said Monday that Nolasco wants out of South Florida following Miami’s latest firesale. However, Stark reports that Marlins are telling teams that they’re not trading the right-hander. This could be nothing more than a bluff, though, considering Nolasco apparently hates life with the Marlins now, and that front office would trade its own mothers if it saved money.

Stark also reports that the Marlins will look to trade shortstop Yunel Escobar, and he says that the A’s, Yankees, Rays and Cubs are “definitely” in on the young infielder.

9:04 a.m.: We’re through our first cup of coffee here, so let’s really dig in and get ready to go for Day 2.

A few things to report on that have already been reported on by other people, mostly Heyman.

The CBSSports.com insider says that he spoke with an agent that said Zack Greinke could be looking at an absurd seven-year contract worth $175 million. It’s worth noting, too, that Heyman noted that figure came from a competing agent.

ESPN’s Buster Olney just said that the Phillies are beginning to be viewed as desperate. How, if at all, does that pertain to the Red Sox? Well, the Phillies do need a center fielder. So if Ben Cherington were to trade Jacoby Ellsbury (and there’s nothing that says they’re even thinking about it at this point), you’d have to think Philadelphia might be a place where he could end up. But maybe not. ‘Tis the season for speculation.

8:12 a.m.: Apparently the Marlins have interest in bringing legitimate major league talent to Miami and not just selling it all away.

CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reports that the Fish have expressed interest in free-agent first baseman Mark Reynolds. The slugging infielder was non-tendered by the Orioles, declining to pick up his $11 million option for 2013.

According to Heyman, Miami would prefer to put Reynolds in the middle of its lineup rather than Yunel Escobar, who they acquired in that blockbuster trade with Toronto.

8 a.m. ET: There wasn’t much movement in the first day of the MLB Winter Meetings, but there was plenty of action and talking between teams.

Fortunately for Red Sox fans, Boston was part of the biggest move of the day as Mike Napoli was reportedly signed to a three-year, $39 million contract on Monday. Angel Pagan was also reportedly re-signed by the Giants to a four-year, $40 million contract.

Besides those two signings, there was some major trade talk with some intriguing players being shopped. The Mets are actively dangling knuckleballer R.A. Dickey to MLB teams, with the Red Sox, Blue Jays and Dodgers all being potential suitors for the 2012 NL Cy Young’s talents. The Marlins are shopping shortstop Yunel Escobar, who could be a future Ray or Athletic.

Ricky Nolasco isn’t happy in Miami after he saw most of his teammates traded away to the Blue Jays, and if he gets his way, he could be gone soon as well.

There’s sure to be plenty more action throughout the week down in Nashville, so keep your eyes peeled to NESN.com’s MLB Winter Meetings live blog through Thursday afternoon. We’ll be updating all day with the biggest news and rumors as they come through.

Click here to check out NESN.com’s Day 1 live blog >>

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