As expected, Jason Varitek declined arbitration. Paul Byrd did the same, so the Sox are still likely on the hunt for a starting pitcher.
The Red Sox have been hotly linked to two players: Seattle’s Willie Bloomquist and Tampa Bay’s Rocco Baldelli.
Buster Olney would be “shocked” if Baldelli didn’t sign with the Sox. It would represent a homecoming and a possible platoonmate for J.D. Drew or Jacoby Ellsbury. He should log plenty of at-bats in Boston should this signing happen, but concern over his ability to play back to back days has led the Sox to chase a utility player. In this case, Bloomquist.
Bloomquist, 31, is overexposed as a starting player but is a solid backup who can play the infield and outfield. He has a career .263/.322/.324 line. His calling card is his versatality, which would open the Sox up to signing Baldelli and not being concerned about his ability to hold up.