Red Sox fans not rooting for Liverpool

KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:42 AM ET

The American League East never sleeps. From October to March, it's just a long rain delay, with trades and free agent signings affecting the imagined standings.

In that regard, Red Sox Nation is all a-grumble these days. They just lost a middle-of-the-order bat to the Tigers when Victor Martinez jumped at a four-year, $50 million offer.

The team owners just paid $476 million for Liverpool Football Club and there is plenty of angst that the Red Sox budget will be affected by the soccer team.

GM Theo Epstein has suggested 2011 might be a "bridge year." For that comment, Epstein got his knuckles rapped publicly by owner Tom Werner who said the "bridge" comment wasn't Theo's "finest Winston Churchill hour" and vowed the Sox were going to make a free agent splash.

To this point, the only splash has been made by Martinez as he jumped off the ship. Adrian Beltre appears to be next on the diving board, enticed perhaps, back to the west coast where the Los Angeles Angels are expected to open the vault.

You have to remember also that this Boston discontent comes after a season in which they missed the playoffs for just the second time in the past eight years.

Yes, it's still early days in the Hot Stove League, but with the Yankees poised to throw, unopposed, a vulgar wad of money at Cliff Lee in an attempt to cover up the A.J. Burnett mistake, there isn't a lot the Sox can do.

The Yankees are not doing so great themselves. They're in an unseemly standoff with their iconic captain, Derek Jeter, who is having difficulty coming to grips with his market value.

The Yanks have offered three years, $45 million for the 38-year-old and have told him to look around baseball and try to get more, in either years or money. Out in the real world occupied by the 29 other teams, Jeter might get an offer of two years and $20 million, tops.

"As much as we want to keep everybody, we've already made these guys very, very rich, and I don't feel we owe anybody anything monetarily," said Hank Steinbrenner.

"Some of these players are wealthier than their bosses."

UPTON UPSET?

ESPN's Jerry Crasnick is reporting that friends of Justin Upton say he's none too pleased to have been tossed into the trade market by Arizona GM Kevin Towers.

If no deal comes to fruition this off-season, the report suggests Towers will have some serious frence-mending to do with his young star.

"(The rumours) may have come as a shock to him, but it's just part of the business," Towers said. "We're not out shopping him. People have interest and they value him, just like we value him. It should really be a compliment to him."

The Blue Jays are said to be among the serious bidders but Towers has said the only way a deal will happen is for some other GM to blow him away with three or four MLB-ready players.

Upton's one and only Tweet since his name surfaced was on Sunday, when he wrote:

"What's up twitter followers? Anyone heard any good trade rumors lately? Lol."

LYLE FREE, NOT YET GONE

Even though Lyle Overbay was not offered arbitration by the Blue Jays Tuesday, it doesn't mean they have washed their hands of the first baseman.

Overbay is now free to negotiate with any team in baseball, including the Jays, who still need a first baseman. Since Overbay earned $7 million in 2010, the least he could have gotten in arbitration was a $6 million deal, considerably more than he's likely to get in a new contract. So it would have been foolish to offer him arbitration.

Once he has surveyed the market, it could turn out that the Jays may be his best option. Even though it will be less than he made in his last contract, it could be more than the open market is willing to pay.


Videos

Photos