Yes, it's that time of year again: Theo Epstein and Scott Boras are starting negotiations and playing footsie under the table down in Orlando. The big story here, obviously, is the possibility that the Sox might sign A-Rod... they're one of only a handful of teams capable of picking up such a huge contract, and I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see Epstein make the deal. It's no secret that Epstein won't hold on to a championship team simply for the sake of keeping everybody together. The question is what will eventually trump what: Boras' insistence on getting his purple-lipped client a raise, or A-Rod's desire to play for a powerhouse team.
The other issues on the table are (a) Mike Lowell, whose coming or going is most likely dependent on the A-Rod deal (the Sox have reportedly expressed interest in a 3-year deal for Lowell); (b) Jason Varitek, another Boras client who may be looking for a contract extension; and (c) Eric Gagne, also a Boras client, who the Sox would have to be blind, deaf, and suffering from some sort of debilitating mental affliction to re-sign.
Epstein said in the afternoon that he was going to meet with Boras "to talk about [Eric] Gagné and his whole list of free agents. He's not a great fit for our bullpen right now, but I wouldn't rule anything out."
Not a great fit for our bullpen in the same way that chlamydia isn't a great fit for my lifestyle right now. Oh, Gagne, Gagne. I supported the Sox dealing for you over Jermaine Dye. I heralded your arrival in Boston. I even defended you when you immediately started eating it on the mound. You've just put me through too much. I can't do this anymore. Take your greasy hair and your stupid goggles and beat it.
Oh, and Scott Boras? You're still creepy.