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12/18/2010 - 9:23am
Sources: Red Sox add Wheeler to bullpen

According to sources familiar with the negotiations, the Red Sox have agreed to a deal to bring free agent reliever Dan Wheeler to Boston. The deal -- which became final when Wheeler passed his physical on Saturday -- is for one-year with a team option for the 2012 season that would vest if Wheeler makes 65 appearances (he pitched in 64 games in 2010, and has averaged 70 appearances per year since 2005). 

 

Wheeler will make $3 million in 2011, with a team/vesting option for $3 million in 2012. The vesting option would increase to $3.25 million if Wheeler appears in 75 games next season.

 

Wheeler, 33, who was drafted out of Pilgrim High School in Warwick (R.I.), has been with the Tampa Bay Rays since the middle of the 2007 season, when he was acquired from the Astros in a trade for Ty Wigginton. Wheeler had a 3.35 ERA in 48 1/3 innings in 2010, and he struck out 8.6 batters per nine innings. However, his...

12/17/2010 - 6:08pm
Carucci: Pats have 'mostly perfected' offense

Vic Carucci of NFL.com, in his weekly appearance on The Big Show, said that the Packers -- who are likely to feature Matt Flynn instead of Aaron Rodgers as the quarterback -- have little chance of keeping up with the Patriots this weekend. While Green Bay's defense is highly regarded, Carucci did not feel that the Packers had the ability to match the scoring prowess of the Patriots, nor did their defense have the ability to contain New England's extremely efficient offense, which is now predicated on quick, short passes rather than stretching the field.

 

"I don’t know that [the Packers are] built for this type of challenge. First of all, they have to score and score quickly and be a threat every time in that passing game to be successful," said Carucci. "The Patriots have mostly perfected this quick-passing game, this rhythm. Little that I’ve seen so far is poised to disrupt it. ... Is this the defense that forces...

12/17/2010 - 4:44pm
Angels make 'significant offer' to Beltre

Angels owner Arte Moreno told the LA Times that his team has made "what we believe is a significant offer" to free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre, but that the offer has not been accepted. Beltre reportedly had a five-year, $64 million offer from the Athletics earlier this offseason that the A's were said to have pulled.

 

But Beltre's agent, Scott Boras, suggested that such a characterization was not entirely meaningful.

 

"Offers are like curtains for me," Boras said. "There is opening and closing but they’re still in the room."

 

Beltre made the All-Star team while...

12/17/2010 - 4:16pm
Six Pats questionable for Sunday

Six Patriots — defensive lineman Ron Brace, tight end Aaron Hernandez, cornerback Devin McCourty, nose tackle Myron Pryor, defensive lineman Gerard Warren and defensive lineman Mike Wright — are all questionable for Sunday's game against the Packers. Here's the complete report:

Did Not Participate
DL Ron Brace (concussion) questionable
TE Aaron Hernandez (flu) questionable
DL Myron Pryor (back) questionable
DL Mike Wright (concussion) questionable

Limited Participation
CB Devin McCourty (rib) questionable
DL Gerard Warren (knee) questionable
WR Deion Branch (knee) probable
CB Darius Butler (thigh) probable
QB Tom Brady (right shoulder/foot) probable

Full Participation
CB Kyle Arrington (elbow) probable

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


12/17/2010 - 2:55pm
Sox engaged on Wheeler, not Fuentes

According to industry sources, the Red Sox continue to talk to reliever Dan Wheeler, but are not focused at this time on left-hander Brian Fuentes.

 

The Sox have been having ongoing discussions with Wheeler, a Rhode Island native, about the possibility of joining a Boston bullpen that is amidst a significant makeover. The Sox bullpen was defined by GM Theo Epstein as the team's foremost area of need this offseason after the group had a 4.24 ERA that ranked 24th in the majors and 12th in the American League. The team’s 22 blown saves were fourth most in the majors and second most in the AL.

 

While Bobby Jenks agreed to terms on a reported two-year, $12 million deal, and the Sox have added a number of pitchers (Andrew Miller, Rich Hill, Lenny DiNardo and Sean Bergmann, among others) on minor league deals, the team remains open to further additions. But while they remain engaged in discussions with Wheeler (but only on...

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