Morning report: Tee times await Sox

February, 22, 2013
2/22/13
8:35
AM ET
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Good morning from the Fort on what looks to be a perfect day for golf, which dovetails nicely with Sox plans for the afternoon. Friday’s workout is expected to be a comparatively short one, as this is the day the team stages its annual charity golf tournament.

This will be the 20th Red Sox Children's Hospital Celebrity Classic, scheduled to take place at The Forest Country Club in South Fort Myers beginning at 1. The format, for those golfers among you, is a step-aside scramble. Somebody please tweet me and let me know what the heck that is.

New first base candidate Mike Carp is scheduled to arrive today, after his flight from California was delayed by weather issues in the Midwest. First order of business for Carp is a physical, so it’s uncertain whether he’ll be on the field this morning.

Talked to a baseball talent evaluator who says the best thing that can happen to the Red Sox this spring is if Alfredo Aceves pitches well for Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. That would spike his trade value, and the evaluator said there is little doubt the Red Sox will attempt to trade him. That’s why he predicts you’ll be reading a lot of “Alfredo is on his best behavior” stories between now and when he is traded. The Sox should be able to get some return for Aceves, who clearly can pitch, and the Sox have a terrific young arm in Junichi Tazawa who can pitch multiple innings like Aceves can.

He also said he wouldn’t be shocked if the Sox carry three lefties -- Andrew Miller, Craig Breslow and Franklin Morales -- in the Sox bullpen. Morales' value to the club increases with both Breslow and starter Felix Doubront experiencing some shoulder discomfort.

If Ben Cherington/John Farrell decide to keep three lefties, that intensifies the competition for the other four spots in the pen. Joel Hanrahan, Koji Uehara and Tazawa would appear to have spots locked up, leaving Andrew Bailey, Clayton Mortensen and Daniel Bard to contest for the other spot.

Mortensen is out of options and is a likely candidate to be traded; Bailey and Bard both have options left, and it wouldn’t be shocking if the Sox elect to send Bard back to Pawtucket to experience some early-season success before getting a summons.

Bailey could also be a trade target for teams looking for a closer, though the evaluator said the Sox might be better off keeping what they have. “It’s all about inventory,’’ he said.

And in case you missed it, the Connecticut Post reports that Bobby Valentine is gainfully employed again, this time as the athletic director of Sacred Heart University.

Gordon Edes

Red Sox reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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