Baldelli set to find new home - in Boston
Free-agent outfielder Rocco Baldelli appears on the verge of finding a new home - in Boston
The Times learned Wednesday that Baldelli could sign with a team very soon, and ESPN's Peter Gammons reported Wednesday night the Red Sox were "close" to a deal. Most likely, he'd get a one-year deal with a low base salary and a hefty amount of incentives based on playing time.
The Rays have been open to a return, but with their funds extremely limited following the signing of Pat Burrell, it didn’t seem likely Baldelli, 27, would be coming back.
The deal seems likely to be announced Thursday, when Baldelli will be a guest Thursday night at the Boston baseball writers dinner to receive the Tony Conigliaro award for his comeback. Other team interested included the Phillies, Pirates, Reds, Yankees and potentially Orioles. Baldelli recently received a revised diagnosis of his extreme fatigue condition that he hopes will allow him to play more regularly.
* The sale of 1B Dan Johnson to the Yokohama Bay Stars of the Japanese Central League was made official.
* Through password only pre-sales, the Rays sold out two spring games, March 7 vs. Boston and March 22 vs. the Yankees. General public sales start Friday at 9 a.m. on raysbaseball.com, then Saturday at the usual outlets.
* Matt Quatraro was named managed at Class A Bowling Green, with R.C. Lichtenstein and Hector Torres as coaches. Dunedin’s Brady Williams will manage short-season Hudson Valley, with Rafael Montalvo, Michael Johns and Manny Castillo as coaches.