When he left the Boston Red Sox, Terry Francona said the players needed to hear from a new voice. ESPN thinks Francona's voice will be an excellent fit for its baseball coverage.

The network hired Francona to replace analyst Bobby Valentine, who is Boston's new manager.

Francona described the switch as a win-win situation for the team and the network. He also said he'll probably sleep better than Valentine.

Cubs and Pujols

Cubs president Theo Epstein and Dan Lozano, Albert Pujols' agent, met Monday at the winter meetings in Dallas. But . . . and it's a big but, as Epstein explained. "We met with Dan Lozano, and he also represents Rodrigo Lopez, among other players. You're seen going into someone's room, and it's not always that you're there to talk about the big kahuna."

Going on TV

The Baseball Writers' Association of America award announcements will be televised for the first time in 2012. The BBWAA voted Tuesday to have the results of voting for most valuable players, Cy Young Awards, rookies of the year and managers of the year broadcast on the MLB Network.


Lefthander Andrew Miller has agreed to a one-year deal with the Boston Red Sox, avoiding salary arbitration.


A clubhouse source said the Twins have made a three-year offer worth around $24 million to persuade Michael Cuddyer to stay a Twin.

ESPNBoston is saying that DH David Ortiz plans to accept the offer of salary arbitration that the Red Sox extended to him, meaning that he will return to Boston for the 2012 season.

Trading block

The New York Mets have reportedly traded centerfielder Angel Pagan to San Francisco for outfielder Andres Torres and pitcher Ramon Ramirez.

The Chicago White Sox traded closer Sergio Santos to the Toronto Blue Jays, sending him back to the organization where he spent three seasons trying to make the majors. Toronto gave up pitching prospect Nestor Molina.

The Minnesota Twins traded winless pitcher Kevin Slowey to the Colorado Rockies for a player to be named.