Whispers: Red Sox very interested in Upton

Justin Upton is attracting a ton of attention as the winter meetings approach, but it's still not clear if the Diamondbacks will trade him. The Red Sox have been all in from the minute it became known the right fielder could be traded. … Tuesday is the deadline for the 35 players, including the White Sox's Paul Konerko and J.J. Putz, offered arbitration to accept those offers. Only a few are likely to do so. Among those believed to be considering the offers are Juan Uribe (Giants), Orlando Hudson (Twins) and Miguel Olivo (Blue Jays). … The Rangers are becoming a more realistic option for Konerko. They were interested in Victor Martinez and view Konerko as a possible replacement for Vladimir Guerrero, splitting first base and DH with Mitch Moreland, who also can play the outfield. The Rangers would send their first-round pick in 2011 to the White Sox if they signed Konerko but essentially could replace that pick if the Yankees sign Cliff Lee. … The Red Sox are another possible landing spot for Konerko, and that chance increased with Martinez's departure. Re-signing Adrian Beltre and adding Crawford appear to be the current priorities for the Red Sox, however. … When the Mets hired Terry Collins as their manager, it meant Bob Melvin failed to get a job despite being a finalist with four teams. Joe Torre was never a factor in any process, seemingly making it official that he has joined Lou Piniella and Bobby Cox in retirement. The biggest mystery is how Bobby Valentine stayed with ESPN. …Chris Carpenter remains a starter possibility for the Cubs, but scouts who saw him in the Arizona Fall League believe he profiles better as a reliever with the ability to help out in 2011.

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