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Heyman On Gresh & Zo: The Red Sox’ Interesting Approach To Free Agents

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Jacoby Ellsbury (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Jacoby Ellsbury (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) –  All is quiet on the Free Agency front for the Boston Red Sox, but that could change soon.

Baseball insider Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Gresh & Zolak (along with Dan Shaughnessy in studio) to discuss the baseball off-season, and why Boston sitting tight in the early-goings.

The New York Yankees made a big splash over the weekend, signing free agent backstop Brian McCann to a five-year, $85-million contract. The deal doesn’t surprise Heyman, as the Yankees are expected to be active this off-season, but it does cut down the Red Sox’ options behind the plate.

“Salty is still out there; I’ve heard Minnesota and Colorado [are in on him]. They made him an offer of two-years that we know about, and I’m not sure they want to go to three,” Heyman said of Boston’s interest in Saltalamacchia. “They have prospects with [Blake] Swihart and [Christian] Vasquez and a good backup in [David] Ross. I’m not sure they’re going to be forced to go to three (years).

“I think they prefer [Saltalamacchia] over A.J. Pierzynski, but it’s not a deep catching market at this point.”

Heyman notes that the Red Sox will not fall in love with their own free agents though, something other teams have struggled with after winning a title.

“Boston takes an interesting approach. You saw how San Francisco, and some might say it’s emotional, when they went out and signed all the guys that helped them win a Championship,” said Heyman. “But Boston takes a more clinical, less emotional approach. They have stars now that won’t necessarily be staying, including a very good player in Ellsbury.”

It’s been a quiet market so far for Jacoby Ellsbury, who after Robinson Cano is the second biggest name on the free agent market according to Heyman. Ellsbury will have plenty of suitors when agent Scott Boras decides to start the bidding (Shaughnessy noted that Boras clients usually don’t sign until January), and Heyman says they’re already starting to line up.

“I think Seattle is interested but they’re a team with many, many needs. The Yankees are involved with the Ellsbury and [Shin-Soo] Choo. It’s funny, Choo seems to have many, many suitors, and the same can’t be said for Ellsbury.

“If I had those two players, I’d much prefer Ellsbury despite questions on his fragility,” said Heyman. “He’s been a much more impactful player over his career.”

Eleswhere in the outfield, the Red Sox were rumored to be in on Carlos Beltran a few weeks ago. But now there is a report that says Beltran will likely wind up on the Yankees, and Heyman thinks that will likely happen.

“He wanted to go there nine years ago, but he went and signed with the Mets. It’s not all about the money; he enjoyed his time in New York in the past,” said Heyman. “Boston, Texas, Seattle, there are several teams in on Beltran, but I think it’s fair to suggest at this moment that the Yankees are the favorite. It’s a team he wanted to go to in the past and he’s a guy they’re focused on right now.”

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