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Friday, January 18, 2013
Don't count out Sox adding another 1B

By Joe McDonald

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Now that it appears that the Boston Red Sox and Mike Napoli have settled on a one-year deal, general manager Ben Cherington is still searching for left-handed hitting options at first base. They figure to need some insurance in case Napoli’s hip becomes an issue and would like a backup who could hit from the other side of the plate than the right-handed hitting Napoli.

Cherington said Thursday night during the Sox’s annual offseason Town Hall meeting with fans that he’s in the market for such a player, but would not mention specific names. ESPN’s Jim Bowden suggested Thursday the Sox could target free agents Casey Kotchman and Lyle Overbay, both of whom fit that description.

“We’d like to find someone like that,” Cherington said in general terms. “We’ll look at some options between now and spring training. If we can’t find anything, it may turn into a spring training project and keep looking then. We’ve got some left-handed options for the outfield but if we can add someone to do that at first base. We did sign Mark Hamilton to a minor league deal, and we may look at other options, too. We’ll see what’s out there and if we can’t find anything before spring training we’ll keep looking during spring training.”

Cherington is looking at both the trade and free-agent markets, but admitted it’s not something that is a priority right now.

“We feel pretty good on the position players side of things,” Cherington said. “We’ve got some infield depth, we’ve got catching depth, we’ve got some outfield depth and I think if we can add a left-handed hitter that would be great. If not, I’ll keep working on it. I would expect there would be two or three more additions to camp, probably more of the non-roster variety, but we feel fairly good about where we are.”