Three for this week…

First Hoffman, today Terry Francona, later this week Bud Black.’s Mike Timlin looks like he wants to stay:

He may be a free agent, but Mike Timlin, one of the most dependable arms in Boston’s often-erratic bullpen last season, appears likely to return next year. Though teams lose exclusive negotiating rights with their free agents Monday, Timlin is so intent on staying with the Sox that he asked his agent, David Sloane, to offer his services to the highest bidder only if Sloane is unable to strike a reasonable deal with Epstein. GLOBE

Walker wants to stay, but may be too pricey:

“They know there’s no secret I want to play for the Red Sox,” Walker said recently. “They can do whatever they want to do in terms of signing players, and the team would survive without me. But I’m a big fan and big believer in Theo. Hopefully, it comes about.”

Burkett is waiting by the phone:

John Burkett, also a free agent, said Epstein told him he would call him, but the righthander is not expecting encouraging news. “I don’t think he’ll be calling to offer me a raise,” said Burkett, who went 12-9 with a 5.15 ERA in the final season of his two-year, $11 million contract. “It will probably be more like, `Goodbye, and we appreciate everything you’ve done.’ ” Burkett, who turns 39 Nov. 28, plans to test the market before deciding whether to retire. “My experience there was fantastic,” he said of Boston. “I will never play in a place better, I can tell you that.”

We’ll call you, John. We promise.

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