The Boston Red Sox have made an offer but are "most likely out of the picture" for Edwin Jackson, the top starting pitcher remaining on the free-agent market, because there are better deals on the table from other clubs, according to a baseball source.
Boston's offer to Jackson was for one year and between $5 million and $6 million, according to The Boston Globe. Jackson has said from the get-go that he was seeking a multiyear deal.
The Red Sox had also appeared to be on the outside in their hunt for free-agent pitcher Roy Oswalt, who reportedly prefers either the St. Louis Cardinals or Texas Rangers. But the same source who late last week said he was close to a deal with the Cardinals said Wednesday that the 34-year-old pitcher hasn't made up his mind, and the Red Sox are still in the running.
The 28-year-old Jackson, who's represented by Scott Boras, was 12-9 with a 3.79 ERA last season, which was split between the Chicago White Sox and Cardinals.
The Red Sox go into camp with three certainties in their rotation: Jon Lester, Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz. They plan to bring relievers Daniel Bard and Alfredo Aceves to camp with the intention of the two becoming starters, and general manager Ben Cherington has signed three experienced starters with injury histories -- Vicente Padilla, Carlos Silva and Aaron Cook -- to minor league deals with an invitation to big league camp.
Manager Bobby Valentine told reporters last week that another starting pitcher was not "at the top of my wish list," and the Red Sox might elect to stay put for the time being to see what other options develop between now and the regular-season opener.
Gordon Edes covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com.