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November 18, 2013

Crunch Time

Trade Rumors

Rajon Rondo is once again at the center of Celtics trade rumors. This time the New York Knicks are interested in the Celtics injured point guard according to multiple media outlets.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, however, denied that there have been any trade talks involving Rondo.

"I haven't talked to any teams about Rajon Rondo," Ainge told the Boston Herald.

Ainge went on to say that the only calls he has fielded about a Rajon Rondo trade are from the media asking about trade rumors.

40-man Breakdown

Here is a list, via SoxProspects.com, of the Red Sox minor leaguers eligible for the Rule-5 draft if they are not added to Boston’s 40-man roster by midnight today:

Mario Alcantara, Michael Almanzar, Chris Balcom-Miller, Carson Blair, Bryce Brentz, Chris Carpenter, Garin Cecchini, Keith Couch, William Cuevas, Keury De La Cruz, Luis Diaz, Leonel Escobar, Derrik Gibson, Dreily Guerrero, Jayson Hernandez, Chris Hernandez, Peter Hissey, Aaron King, Aaron Kurcz, Juan Carlos Linares, Heiker Meneses, Boss Moanaroa, Yunior Ortega, Oscar Perez, Mathew Price, Anthony Ranaudo, Nate Reed, David Renfroe, Pete Ruiz, Felix Sanchez, Kyle Stroup, Francisco Taveras, Raynel Velette, Jose Vinicio, Kolbrin Vitek, Stefan Welch, Shannon Wilkerson and Madison Younginer.

Cecchini and Ranaudo will definitely be added while Brentz probably will be.

Cecchini, a 22-year-old third baseman, batted .322 with a .443 on-base percentage, .471 slugging percentage, .915 OPS, 33 doubles and 47 extra-base hits in 129 games between Single-A Salem and Double-A Portland this past year.

Ranaudo, a 24-year-old right-handed pitcher, went 11-5 with a 2.96 ERA combined between 25 games (24 starts) for Double-A Portland and Triple A-Pawtucket.

Brentz was limited to 81 games because of surgery on his meniscus, batting .264 with a .312 OBP, .475 slugging percentage, .788 OPS, 17 homers, 56 RBIs, 16 doubles and one triple in 349 plate appearances with Triple-A Pawtucket. Brentz, a right fielder who will be 25 next season, needs to improve his plate discipline, but it would be difficult for the Red Sox to give up a hitter with pretty intriguing right-handed power.

Third baseman Michael Almanzar, right-handed pitcher Keith Couch and left-handed hurler Chris Hernandez are the only others who could be added to the 40-man roster. But all of them are on the fence.

-Compiled by Times Staff

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