The Norman Transcript

National Sports

December 5, 2012

Red Sox rev up with Victorino; Nats, Haren close

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Boston Red Sox kept the cash freely flowing, this time revving their lineup with Shane Victorino, while the well-armed Washington Nationals neared a deal with Dan Haren at baseball’s winter meetings Tuesday.

No trades yet — Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey of the New York Mets is still the prime target, with Boston in the mix for him, too.

Josh Hamilton remains the top free agent amid speculation the slugger will re-sign with Texas. Ace pitcher Zack Greinke also is available, with the Los Angeles Dodgers very interested.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he’s been involved in the pursuit of one free agent. He didn’t disclose who it was, but seemed to be enjoying this week’s developments.

“It’s like a smorgasbord of baseball. It’s been good,” Mattingly said.

Boston has been the busiest team this offseason, by far. A day after giving All-Star bat Mike Napoli a $39 million, three-year deal, the Red Sox lured Victorino with the exact same contract terms.

“Can’t wait to get to Boston!” Victorino tweeted during a day of snorkeling in Hawaii.

The Red Sox are coming off their worst season since 1965 and trying to reshape the roster. The 32-year-old Victorino is a two-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner who stole a career-high 39 bases for Philadelphia and the Dodgers last season.

Recently, the Red Sox added Jonny Gomes and David Ross.

“I think we’re making the progress that we’ve hoped, at least in the early going, with adding those types of players,” new manager John Farrell said before the Victorino deal.

Victorino’s arrival could also lead to a trade of center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, coming off a down, injury-interrupted season.

The Nationals and Haren are close to completing a one-year deal for $13 million, a person familiar with the talks told The Associated Press. The person spoke under condition of anonymity because no deal was announced.

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