Links 03-23-2010: Mauer, Crawford, Westmoreland, roster shuffling

In case you’ve been living in a cave the past few days, Joe Mauer signed a prodigious 8-year extension with the Twins. That means Victor Martinez becomes the top free agent catcher after this year. To his credit, he says that the deal doesn’t change anything for him and that the ball in is in the Red Sox’ court.

While we’re on the topic of next offseason, it looks like if we want Carl Crawford, we’re going to have to outbid New York for him after 2010.

Ryan Westmoreland was able to leave the ICU last week after his brain surgery, and the prognosis looks good going forward.

At least two teams have expressed interest in Boof Bonser as a cheap back-of-the-rotation arm, so if we decide to trade him, we should have a taker.

Daniel Bard isn’t the only pitcher who’s going to incorporate his changeup more this year. Jon Lester is also feeling more comfortable with the pitch, and may surprise some righties with it this year. Right-handed hitters managed only a .237/.299/.350 performance against him in 2009, so I’m not sure it matters too much.

If Daisuke Matsuzaka doesn’t seem to be himself these days, it’s probably the new baby. At least he finally threw to some hitters, even if they weren’t MLB hitters. Things should calm down eventually, and I look forward to him contributing something significant to this ball club.

Reserve infielder Gil Velasquez broke his thumb, and is expected to be out around six weeks.

Though he’d like to stay, David Ortiz doesn’t seem too optimistic about Boston keeping him after this year, if this interview is any indication.

More than a year and a half later, Alex Speier talked to Pirates GM Neal Huntington about the Manny Ramirez-Jason Bay deal. Interesting read.

A bunch of minor transactions to update you on. Boston signed LHP Alan Embree to a minor league deal this week. He’s expected to compete for a LOOGY spot in the bullpen, but at 40 years old, keep your expectations in check. Speaking of the bullpen, Manny Delcarmen’s fastball hasn’t been it’s usual self, and that can’t be good.

The Sox received 20-year old RHP Miguel Celestino from Seattle to complete the Casey Kotchman trade earlier this offseason. The 6-6 Dominican is a lottery ticket, not having performed well in the Arizona Rookie League, but with the frame and physical tools to be a potential Major League starter. He showed some flashes of potential, but is a very raw project.

The Florida Marlins returned Rule 5 pick Jorge Jimenez to the Red Sox, but it looks like the teams may work out a deal so that he can go back to the Marlins and join a minor league affiliate. Rule 5 picks are tricky that way.


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