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07/16/2012 - 5:19pm
Report: Sox aggressively pursuing Dempster
By: DJ Bean

According to ESPN's Buster Olney (via twitter), the Red Sox are pursuing Cubs right-handed pitcher Ryan Dempster. Olney notes that the Sox are "aggressive" in their pursuit. 

In 14 starts this season, Dempster is 5-3 with a 1.86 earned run average over 92 innings with 25 walks and 75 strikeouts. Dempster has thrown 200 or more innings in each of the last four seasons since being converted to a starter, though he has spent time on the disabled list this season with a shoulder injury. 

One thing that could make negotiations difficult, Olney notes, is that Cubs president Theo Epstein is very familiar with Boston's farm system from his days as Red Sox general manager. 

For more on the Red Sox, visit weei.com/redsox


07/16/2012 - 4:27pm
Crawford: 'I'm a big part of the puzzle'

Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford, on the cusp of his return to the Red Sox after missing the first half of the season while recovering first from offseason wrist surgery and then from an elbow strain, expressed excitement to finally be ready for big league action. He suggested that he has been surprised at how good he's felt at the plate in his rehab assignment, though he wasn't sure how that would translate to the field given the amount of time he's been out.

"It isn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I think I’m a little further along than I might personally have thought," said Crawford. "It’s going to take a little time, or might. At the same time, I might jump right back in and do OK."

Crawford suggested that, unlike a year ago, he was at peace with his situation in Boston, in the second season of a seven-year, $142 million deal.

"It’s the Red Sox. They’re one of the best...

07/16/2012 - 4:08pm
Deadline passes, no new deal for Welker

Per multiple reports, the Patriots and Wes Welker have not been able to reach an agreement on a long-term deal before the Monday deadline, and the receiver will now play out the 2012 season under his franchise tag of roughly $9.5 million.

Welker was hit with the franchise tag this spring, and under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, the two sides had until Monday at 4 p.m. to reach an agreement on a long-term deal. However, the player and team were unable to come to an accord, which means they are prohibited from talking about a deal beyond 2012 until after the season.

In his five seasons with the Patriots, the 31-year-old Welker has 554 catches for 6,105 receiving yards and 31 touchdowns.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.


07/16/2012 - 3:58pm
Sox to designate Lillibridge for assignment

According to a team source, the Red Sox will designate utility man Brent Lillibridge for assignment in order to activate Carl Crawford from the 60-day disabled list. 

The timing of the move has some irony to it, as Lillibridge was one of two players (the other being Zach Stewart) sent to the Red Sox from the White Sox in the Kevin Youkilis trade. Monday marks Youkilis' first trip to Boston since the trade.

In 10 games played for Boston, the 28-year-old Lillibridge went 2-for-16 with no runs batted in and five strikeouts. 

For more on the Red Sox, visit weei.com/redsox


07/16/2012 - 3:21pm
Lineups: Crawford, Youkilis batting second

Carl Crawford, in his first game with the Red Sox in 2012, will bat second and play left field. With his return against the White Sox and right-hander Dylan Axelrod, Boston will feature what it expected to be its 2012 outfield for the first time, with Crawford in left, Jacoby Ellsbury in center and Cody Ross in right.

For the White Sox, Kevin Youkilis will bat second and play third base in his first contest at Fenway Park since a teary-eyed farewell to Boston following his trade to Chicago on June 24. He will face former high school rival Aaron Cook. Cook will get something of a break, as the struggling Orlando Hudson -- who has a .415 average and .510 OBP against the sinkerballer in 49 career plate appearances -- is not in the lineup.

For full batter vs. pitcher histories, click here. For complete Red...

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