Buster Olney was just on ESPN Radio, and aside from tackling the day’s toughtest question —- is it appropriate for Eric Kuselias to play House Of Pain in his family’s brand new mini-van? (I’m voting no) — he echoed the same report the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo is, uh, echoing below.
There’s growing steam behind a report by ESPN’s Buster Olney that the Red Sox might have submitted the top bid for Seibu Lions righthander Daisuke Matsuzaka.
One major league source indicated, “That wouldn’t surprise me one bit. I have heard the Red Sox were very competitive. It would be a strike against the Yankees, who have been considered the front-runner, and it show Red Sox fans the team is serious about rebuilding what happened last season.”
Olney wrote the Sox might have bid as high as into the $40 millions for the right to negotiate with the coveted righthander. If that should happen, the Sox would have three starters — Jonathan Papelbon, Josh Beckett and Matsuzaka — all within that prime 26 years old range and the hope that lefty Jon Lester can eventually rejoin the staff.
The Sox would have to negotiate with agent Scott Boras, who would either have to settle for what the Red Sox were willing to offer, or Matsuzaka would have to return to the Lions.
One same broadcast, Olney repeated Gordon Edes’ claim from early Friday that Boston were a likely suitor for the services of J.D. Drew.
The Hartford Courant’s Jeff Goldberg reports that WTIC, the 50,000 watt Hartford radio home of the Red Sox for nearly a half century, might be broadcasting Yankees games next spring.
WTIC is in negotiations with Entercom Communications Corp., which purchased the rights to Red Sox radio broadcasts in May for $15 million over 10 years.
Sources familiar with the negotiations said Entercom, which owns Red Sox flagship stations WEEI and WRKO and has recently penetrated the Springfield and Providence markets with FM stations simulcasting WEEI, has significantly raised the asking price for its affiliate fees.
In response, the sources said, WTIC might be leveraging the threat of switching to the Yankees as a bargaining chip in order to lower Entercom’s price. One source likened the tactic to Robert Kraft’s threat to move the Patriots to Hartford in 1998 in order to get a better stadium deal in Foxborough.
“WTIC wants to do the Red Sox,” said the source, requesting anonymity. “But when it comes down to money, that’s the bottom line.