The Red Sox are among “four or five” teams in on Hamilton, but all of those teams only want the former Ranger on a short-term deal, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.
The teams interested in Hamilton are reportedly only sending out three-year offers.
11:19 p.m.: Before the Red Sox decide whether they want to sign Nick Swisher or not, they’ll have to consider whether he’s work a second-round draft pick.
Ben Cherington told Sean McAdam of Comcast Sports Net that giving up a pick for a player is “a factor, but not the only factor” in deciding whether to make an acquisition.
11:10 p.m.: The Cubs could be shopping their closer.
The team has told Carlos Marmol that he could be traded, but Chicago won’t “give him away,” according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.
9:09 p.m.: Though the Red Sox reportedly contacted the Mets about knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, a trade between the two teams is unlikely.
Alex Speier of WEEI reports the talks were preliminary between the two teams and compensation was not discussed, though the Mets would want Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts as Joe McDonald previously reported.
8:30 p.m.: Add one more high-profile starting pitcher to the Dodgers’ wish list: R.A. Dickey.
Ken Gurnick of MLB.com is reporting the Dodgers have talked to the Mets about trading for the 2012 NL Cy Young winner. There have been reports the Mets have also been contacted by the Red Sox and Blue Jays about Dickey.
8:27 p.m.: The Dodgers met with Zack Greinke on Monday, but they did not offer him a contract.
Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times met with Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, who said the team hasn’t offered contracts to any free agents at this point.
7:52 p.m.: The Red Sox aren’t the only team reportedly looking into trading for Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.
The Blue Jays are “serious suitors” for Dickey, according to Jim Duquette of MLB.com. Duquette mentioned that catcher J.P. Arencibia would have to be included in the deal.
7:22 p.m.: The Yunel Escobar trade talks are heating up.
According to Ken Rosenthal, the Rays are looking to acquire Escobar and make the former Blue Jay their everyday shortstop. Rosenthal also reports the Athletics are interested in his services.
Escobar is set to earn $5 million this season and it appears the Marlins will stop at nothing to get rid of every player they control.
7:18 p.m.: The Marlins may be trying to trade Yunel Escobar, but they may be forced to trade Ricky Nolasco.
Nolasco’s agent said the pitcher wants to be traded after the team’s recent payroll-clearing trade that sent Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, John Buck and Emilio Bonifacio out-of-town, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.
Nolasco is set to earn $11.5 million next season, making him Miami’s highest paid player.
7:14 p.m.: Contract details are leaking out about the Mike Napoli-Red Sox deal.
According to Sean McAdam of Comcast Sports Net, Napoli will be earning $13 million in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
7:07 p.m.: Surprise, surprise, the Marlins are shopping one of the most expensive players on their roster.
According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Marlins are trying to trade shortstop Yunel Escobar. Escobar is due $5 million in 2013.
6:46 p.m.: After staying quiet in the early part of the offseason, Mariners rumors are heating up all of a sudden.
Seattle and Kansas City have had talks regarding Billy Butler, according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports. Butler is signed through 2015. He had 29 home runs and a .882 OPS in 161 games with the Royals in 2012.
6:44 p.m.: The Rangers have made their Geovany Soto deal official. The catcher signed a one-year, $2.75 million contract with incentives.
Soto batted .196 in 47 games with the Rangers last season with five home runs and 25 RBIs.
6:23 p.m.: The Phillies are interested in multiple outfielders this offseason including Cody Ross, Shane Victorino and Dexter Fowler, but there’s one more free agent they’ve been in contact with.
According to Jim Salisbury of Comcast Sports Net, the Phillies and Ichiro Suzuki have talked. Salisbury said it’s not clear whether the Phillies reached out to Ichiro or vice versa.
6:10 p.m.: The Mets may not be interested in retaining Scott Hairston, but they are in on another free-agent outfielder.
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Mets have interest in Ryan Ludwick. Ludwick batted .275 last season for the Reds with a .877 OPS and 26 home runs.
The Reds and Mariners are also in on Ludwick.
5:55 p.m.: A big 2012 season for Scott Hairston has apparently drawn a lot of suitors to the free agent outfielder.
Adam Rubin of ESPN.com reports the Giants, Cardinals, Indians, Tigers and Yankees all have “real interest” in Hairston.
Hairston had a career-high 20 home runs last season for the Mets, while batting .263 with a .803 OPS.
5:47 p.m.: The Mariners haven’t done much this offseason so far, but they are in on a troubled outfielder.
According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, Seattle has “checked in” with Delmon Young. Morosi also reports that Young isn’t expected to sign until January after he’s worked out for teams proving that his ankle is fully healed.
5:39 p.m.: If the Red Sox want Josh Hamilton, they’ll have some more competition.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Brewers have some interest in the free-agent outfielder. The Rangers and Yankees are both potential suitors for Hamilton as well.
5:12 p.m.: The Rangers are getting some late-inning relief help.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com, the Rangers are close to signing Joakim Soria to a two-year contract. Soria has pitched his entire five-year career with the Royals, where he compiled 160 saves and 341 strikeouts with a 2.40 ERA.
Soria missed all of the 2012 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in April.
Danny Knobler of CBS Sports is reporting the deal could be worth $8 to $9 million.
4:53 p.m.: The Red Sox are talking about acquiring a new knuckleballer.
Boston has met with the Mets about trading for R.A. Dickey, according to Joe McDonald of ESPN.com. Dickey was the 2012 NL Cy Young winner after leading the league in strikeouts.
Dickey had a 2.73 ERA, going 20-6 with 230 strikeouts last season. The Mets want Red Sox prospects Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts for Dickey’s services.
4:11 p.m.: Angel Pagan is going nowhere.
According to Yahoo’s Tim Brown, the San Francisco Giants center fielder will stay with the defending World Series champions. According to Brown, the deal is a four-year contract worth $40 million.
3:49 p.m.: There looks to be some competition for the Red Sox when it comes to Cody Ross.
FOXSports.com’s Jon Morosi reports that the Yankees, of all teams, are showing interest in free-agent outfielder Cody Ross.
The Yankees would reportedly like to add a right-handed bat, and Morosi says they’re also showing interest in veteran Scott Hairston as well.
3:42 p.m.: The Red Sox sound like they’re lingering in the Josh Hamilton sweepstakes, and they appear to remain a player in the hunt for arguably the best player on the market.
ESPN.com Gordon Edes spoke to a “baseball source” who indicated that the Red Sox are still very much alive in the Hamilton hunt.
“They’re the Boston Red Sox, and they have money,” the source reportedly told Edes, according to a tweet from a writer.
ESPN’s Jim Bowden also chimed in on the subject, saying that the Red Sox, Rangers and Yankees should all be considered possible spots for Hamilton to end up.
3:19 p.m.: The Red Sox are making it pretty clear that they’re trying to bolster the offense after reportedly signing Mike Napoli and chasing down other outfield free agents. But what about the pitching?
They reportedly have a familiar face on their radar screen to try and address that need this winter.
FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Red Sox are interested in Indians right-hander Justin Masterson. They’ve reportedly made “offers” at this time, but there hasn’t been anything the Indians are too crazy about right now.
It seems like a good match for a variety of reasons, though. First, the Red Sox know what they’re getting in Masterson, who came up with the Sox. Secondly, it would reunite Masterson with former pitching coach John Farrell, who is the new manager of the Red Sox. Third, new Indians manager Terry Francona is two years removed from the Red Sox system, and he knows the true value and potential of the prospects in the Boston farm system.
2:44 p.m.: We’ve got some more on the Zack Greinke sweepstakes, and it sure sounds like this could be a pretty substantial bidding war.
The New York Post’s Joel Sherman reports that the Texas Rangers are also in on the right-hander, in addition to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Just as importantly, Sherman reports that the Rangers are “right there” in their “willingness to spend” on Greinke.
The Nationals are still alive in the Greinke watch, as well.
All of this must bring a huge smile to the face of Greinke and his agent.
2:24 p.m.: The Red Sox have some experience when it comes to knuckleballers. Would they be interested in trying to acquire R.A. Dickey? It doesn’t sound like it at this point.
CSNNE.com’s Sean McAdam reports via Twitter that while the Mets are surely open to dealing Dickey (as we found out earlier), the Red Sox haven’t shown any interest yet.
The Mets are likely to be interested in acquiring a catcher, which the Red Sox have a surplus of, but it obviously takes two to tango — or something like that.
2:13 p.m.: The Dodgers have spent so much freaking money in the last six months or so. They’re ready to spend even more this winter, and they’ve got their eyes on one really big prize.
CBSSports.com reports that the Dodgers are still all about signing starting pitcher Zack Greinke and are ”determined to sign him, no matter the cost.”
It doesn’t appear that money is any sort of problem for the Dodgers who are willing to open their wallets in the biggest way to sign Greinke — and anyone else they want, it sounds.
“They are like theSteinrenner Yankees of the ’70s,” a general manager told CBSSports.com.
1:57 p.m.: Could the reigning Cy Young award winner in the National League be moved this offseason? It’s starting to sound more and more likely.
The Mets have gotten “serious” about moving the knuckleballer, ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports via Twitter.
According to Stark, the Royals and Rangers could be two teams interested in acquiring the Cy Young award winner.
1:22 p.m.: What kind of price tag accompanies Shane Victorino, you ask?
The Boston Herald’s Scott Lauber said that Victorino is “said to be looking for a three-year deal at about $10M per season.”
The 32-year-old, who has three Gold Gloves and a pair of All-Star Game appearances on his resume, hit .255 with 11 home runs and 80 RBIs in 154 games last season.
He’s played in at least 131 games in each of his seven full big league seasons.
1:12 p.m.: The Red Sox have already signed Jonny Gomes to add outfield depth, but they’re still looking for another corner outfielder. Nick Swisher sounds like a target, but it sounds like Shane Victorino is on the radar as well.
Ken Rosenthal reports that the Red Sox are interested in the veteran outfielder who spent time with the Phillies and Dodgers last season, but the market is “not fully defined” yet. Rosenthal also lists the Indians and Giants as possibilities.
1:04 p.m.: The Angels, like the Royals, need starting pitching in the worst way.
As it becomes less and less likely that Zack Greinke will return to the Halos, it’s sounding like the Angels will start turning their attention elsewhere to sign a big arm.
Jon Heyman reports the Angels are sensing Greinke will command too much money and Los Angeles now has its sights set on Anibal Sanchez or Kyle Lohse.
Apparently no one has told them about the reported asking price for Sanchez yet.
12:53 p.m.: Believe it or not, the Red Sox aren’t the only team looking to make moves this offseason.
FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Phillies and Giants are both in on free-agent outfielder Angel Pagan who just won a World Series with the Giants.
Both teams, Rosenthal says, are interested in Cody Ross as well.
12:30 p.m.: The Kansas City Royals seem desperate to add a starting pitcher this offseason. Could Anibal Sanchez be on their radar?
CBSSports.com reports that Kansas City has money to spend and they’re looking to spend it on a No. 1 starter. According to the report, Sanchez could be that guy.
Sanchez is reported to be looking for a deal that could be as big as six years for $90 million.
12:24 p.m.: The reported signing of Mike Napoli by the Red Sox obviously starts to shift the market for Adam LaRoche some.
Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post says the Nationals still have some competition for the first baseman.
“If the reported Napoli deal puts the Red Sox out on LaRoche,” Kilgore tweeted, ” he still has other suitors. Texas, Seattle sound like the biggest two.”
Both clubs would make sense. The Rangers are going to look for ways to replace Napoli, and LaRoche would obviously do that. The Mariners have been reportedly linked to a handful of players already this offseason, and it certainly sounds like they want to do something this winter.
11:47 a.m.: They might as well call these the Jon Heyman meetings, as the veteran baseball insider is all over the place with scoops and sources abound.
He just delivered this bit of information via Twitter from Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton’s agent.
“Agent joel wolfe says giancarlo feels ‘same’ since unhappy tweet after trade. ‘It wasn’t a reaction, it’s a state of mind.’”
11:35 a.m.: The Red Sox may be far from done, according to CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman.
He’s reporting that the Red Sox are still in on free-agent outfielder Nick Swisher. Heyman reported that the Sox are talking to Swisher, and signing him is still “a possibility.”
11:21 a.m.: The Red Sox’ signing of Mike Napoli sounds like it’s all but official. Things can always change, of course, but let’s assume for now that it will be done.
That will obviously be a pretty large domino falling, and it will set the course for some other things to pick up. It also leaves the Texas Rangers to find a way to ensure they don’t see a huge offensive drop-off with Napoli’s departure.
This will, of course, make Josh Hamilton a pretty happy man. The free-agent outfielder is still listening to offers, and losing Napoli may increase the pressure on the Rangers to re-sign the All-Star.
Ken Rosenthal reports that the Rangers are the most aggressive team in their pursuit of Hamilton, with the Brewers still an outside option.
11:21 a.m.: The Red Sox still have needs to address, so you have to expect that they’re far from done. That’s what The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham is hearing in the meetings’ infancy.
He just tweeted this on the heels of the Napoli signing.
“Nick Swisher on Boston’s radar but have “couple of other” OF they’re looking at.”
That could mean a number of things, but it’s probably safe to assume that Cody Ross and Shane Victorino — two names reportedly linked to the Sox in the last couple of weeks or so — are on that list. But that’s nothing more than conjecture at this point.
11:18 a.m.: CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman is reporting that Mike Napoli’s deal with the Red Sox will be for three years and $39 million.
11:12 a.m.: It’s starting to sound more and more like Mike Napoli is definitely going to be a member of the Boston Red Sox in 2013.
This is the latest from The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo via Twitter:
“As we reported earlier Sox were going hard to get Napoli deal done and major league sources indicate they agreed to terms on 3yrs.”
11:08 a.m.: Information continues to pour in regarding a potential signing of Mike Napoli. Multiple reporters have begun to report the news that the Red Sox are indeed close to inking Napoli to a three-year deal.
That’s good news for the Red Sox, who insisted that they would not give Napoli a fourth year on any potential contract. However, they may have had to pay a little extra per year in order to get Napoli to come off the request of the fourth year.
10:24 a.m.: Could the Red Sox be ready to make the first big splash of the winter meetings?
WEEI.com reports that the Sox are close to signing a deal with Mike Napoli.
It’s likely to be a three-year deal, according to WEEI.
10:24 a.m.: Let’s get back to the Alex Rodriguez news, shall we?
It’s obviously big news, and not just because it makes his anemic postseason make a little more sense.
It also means that the Yankees may need to be a little more active during these winter meetings and the rest of the offseason, especially given the fact that they’ll be without Rodriguez and Derek Jeter to open the season.
The first name that comes to mind is Stephen Drew, who is on the market as a shortstop. There were already some who expected the Yankees to take a look at the infielder before the A-Rod news, and that may intensify now.
Or, as FOX Sports baseball reporter Jon Morosi just tweeted, “After news of A-Rod surgery, get ready for the Chase Headley to Yankees trade rumors.”
Of course, the Padres would be dealing from a place of power on that one, so we need to take that into consideration.
Kevin Youkilis is also available…
10:11 a.m.: The Red Sox need someone to play first base this season, especially now that James Loney has signed with Tampa Bay (not like he was a very good choice to do so this season, anyway).
But with it sounding like Adam LaRoche may be favored to return to Washington, the Red Sox will need to do something to address that pretty glaring need. The obvious choice, in terms of free agents, would be Mike Napoli.
The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo reports via Twitter that the Red Sox are “working hard trying” to sign Napoli, adding that the natural catcher would also see time behind the plate were he to sign in Boston.
9:56 a.m.: Not all winter meetings news has to do with trades and free agency.
While Alex Rodriguez had another miserable postseason in 2012, but it sounds like he might have something of an excuse.
The New York Post’s Joel Sherman reports that Rodrigruez was playing with a “re-tear” in his surgicalyl repaired hip. He’ll need surgery, and he will miss time in 2013, according to Sherman.
Derek Jeter is also recovering from an injury, after suffering a broken ankle in the playoffs.
9:33 a.m.: The Baltimore Orioles’ rebuilding process was accelerated in a big way during the 2012 season. The O’s made the playoffs despite playing in the vaunted AL East after years of failure.
That’s all well and good, but it also puts a ton of pressure on Dan Duquette and the rest of the O’s front office to have a strong offseason and ensure that the club doesn’t take a step back in 2013.
One of the top priorities for Baltimore, according to the Baltimore Sun, will be to add a power bat.
Duquette told reporters as much on Sunday night in advance of the winter meetings opening Monday.
The Sun’s Dan Connolly speculates that the Orioles may be readying pieces for a trade this week.
“I had one club source tell me that the team has the pieces to pull off a pretty significant deal for a power hitter right now – but they have to decide whether to pull the trigger,” he wrote.
So, yeah, keep an eye on the Orioles.
9:18 a.m.: It doesn’t sound like Joe Mauer is going to be moved this offseason, at least according to his general manager.
GM Terry Ryan was a guest on Jim Bowden’s radio show on Monday morning, and he shot down any potential Mauer trade rumors before they even had a chance to really heat up.
“Twins GM Terry Ryan just told us on SiriusXM that Joe Mauer is not getting traded,” Bowden tweeted, while adding, “he just married St. Paul Girl and has full no-trade clause”
9:09 a.m.: There wasn’t much to report from Nashville on Sunday night, but The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham weighed in on the Red Sox’ first base situation and how negotiations between the Washington Nationals and Adam LaRoche may affect Boston.
“The Nationals aren’t going to do anything crazy to sign Adam LaRoche,” Abraham wrote Sunday night. “But there is a growing sense that something will get done. So if the Red Sox don’t sign Mike Napoli, what happens at first base?
That’s why they’ll sign Mike Napoli.
8:48 a.m.: The Cleveland Indians are expected to be fairly busy at this year’s meetings, as they have a few pieces that they could unload.
One of those pieces is shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. According to FOXSports.com’s Jon Morosi, Cabrera has a six-team no-trade clause that includes the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Nationals, Giants and Mets. That doesn’t mean too much, though. He could still agree to a trade from one of those teams, but it would likely mean more money for Cabrera. The receiving team would pay him money on top of his contract to get him to waive the no-trade.
8:19 a.m.: It’s early on Monday morning, but there is already some action in the very early beginnings of the winter meetings.
CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that free-agent first baseman James Loney has agreed to sign with the Tampa Bay Rays. According to Heyman, it is a one-year deal worth $2 million.
Loney, who played 30 games with the Red Sox after being acquired from the Dodgers as part of the blockbuster deal in August, is a slick-fielding first baseman, but his bat remains the issue.
The 28-year-old hit .249 in 144 games with just six home runs and 41 RBIs. He was even worse with the Red Sox, hitting .230 with just two homers and eight driven in with a measly .574 OPS.
8 a.m. ET: Edward Pola and George Wyle had it right back in 1963. For those not familiar with classic holiday music and/or the use of the Internet, those two are the writers of the Christmas music classic “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”
They were talking about the holiday season, of course, but they could have just as easily been writing about baseball’s hot stove season.
The stove has been heating up for a few weeks now, and she’ll get fired up big time this week when baseball’s winter meetings get going in Nashville, Tenn.
Rumors and transactions will be the talk of the week, as baseball’s power brokers meet down in the Music City.
Red Sox fans who are starving for something to happen surrounding their team — other than complementary signings of players like Jonny Gomes and David Ross — will be hoping to see the Sox make some big moves at the meetings.
If they do, NESN.com will be all over it. We’ll have our eyes on everything throughout the week, live-blogging all of the action from morning to night, with updates all the way up until the meetings end Thursday.
Be sure to check back early and often all week long to see which big names might be on the move and where they’ll be headed.