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Red Sox News & Links: The Free Agent Rumors Are Flying

Are the Sox in on a former Cy Young contender?

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St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago White Sox Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Unless another shoe comes out of the sky along with this morning’s snow flurries, the departure of Alex Verdugo will be the big Red Sox news of the day in Boston. We’ll certainly hear more from and about Verdugo soon, but for now here’s a look at the prospect return. (Alex Speier, Boston Globe)

What are we going to see from the Red Sox next? The rumor mill is churning as the Winter Meetings heat up, and the latest reports have the Sox interested in Lucas Giolito. It wasn’t too long ago when Giolito was one of the best pitchers in the game with the White Sox, but the 29-year-old has struggled in recent seasons. (Christopher Smith, MassLive)

It’s possible that there’s another under-the-radar pitcher the Sox may make a deal with first before Giolito, though. There are reports that Craig Breslow is close to making an offer to free agent Seth Lugo. (Gabrielle Star, Boston Herald)

It makes sense that we’re hearing rumors about free agent pitching targets, but it’s a little surprising to hear about a potential catching target. Nevertheless, the Sox are apparently kicking the tires on Martin Maldonado, formerly of the Astros. Maldonado is one of the most respected defensive catchers in the game, but at this point in his career he’s a liability with the bat. (Christopher Smith, MassLive)

And they haven’t forgot about second base, either, though Breslow admits that it’s on the back-burner while pitching takes priority. He also notes that the Sox are focused on fielding better up-the-middle defense next season, which would seem to rule out potential candidates like Enmanuel Valdez and Jonathan India. (Sean McAdam, MassLive)

Meanwhile, the market for Yoshinobu Yamamoto continues to heat up. We’re now expecting his eventual contract number to approach $300 million. (Jayson Stark, The Athletic)

But with all the excitement about players who could be on the Red Sox one day, let’s not forget about the ones who already are on the team. Alex Cora certainly hasn’t, and he’s been making the rounds with visits to Rafael Devers, Chris Sale, Kutter Crawford, and more. He says he expects a lot from Trevor Story next year and that Triston Casas can really demolish a steak. (Julian McWilliams, Boston Globe)