Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Cherington: 'We like the roster we have'
By Gordon Edes
BOSTON -- Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said Tuesday night that while he expects to add more players to the team before the start of spring training next month, he does not anticipate trading anyone on the current roster.
“We feel good with where we are,’’ said Cherington, who met with reporters at Fenway Park prior to a baseball roundtable charity event taking place under the Hot Stove, Cool Music umbrella, benefiting the Foundation to be Named Later, established by the Epstein brothers, Theo and Paul.
Any moves he makes, Cherington said, will be motivated by a desire to add to the club’s depth, perhaps with the bargain signings that tend to happen this late in the offseason. It would not surprise him, he said, to add another pitcher or two to the bullpen mix and perhaps another outfielder or infielder, or both. “Whether that will be in the form of a major-league deal or minor-league deal remains to be seen,’’ he said.
Cherington had no update on the status of free-agent shortstop Stephen Drew, other than to say there has been more public discussion about the matter than may be warranted. The Sox, he said, are prepared to move ahead as presently constituted.
Clay Buchholz is at "full health and strength," according to manager John Farrell.
“We’re very comfortable with where we’re at,’’ he said. “I don’t want to rule anything out, but we like the roster we have right now.’’
Cherington was a participant in the roundtable, as was manager John Farrell, who also met with reporters. Among other topics touched upon by the two:
• Cherington was unwilling to discuss how involved the Red Sox are in the bidding for Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka, whose decision is expected by Friday afternoon, other than to say the Sox had done extensive research on the pitcher and had spoken with his representatives. Indications are that the Sox have elected not to make the kind of financial commitment it will take to sign the 25-year-old right-hander, who was 24-0 with the Rakuten Eagles last season. “We were prepared to be involved,’’ Cherington said. “It was a question of the parameters that made sense to us.’’
• Farrell said that Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz, who was plagued by shoulder issues last season, is fully recovered.
“He’s gotten back full health and strength,’’ Farrell said. “He was in here last week, just to get baseline testing, see where was with full range of motion. There are no issues there. He’s in the long-toss portion of his program. It’s likely he gets on a bullpen mound once he reports to Florida after the first of February. We fully expect him to be opening-series ready when we start [the season].’’
Mindful of the extra load placed on some of the pitching staff during last October’s postseason run, Farrell said he likely will hold some starters back one turn in camp, as well as refrain from using relievers Koji Uehara, Craig Breslow and Junichi Tazawa until after the first third of the exhibition schedule. “Buy some time,’’ he said.
“Whatever their tolerance is, we’ll work off,’’ Farrell said, speaking of Pedroia and Victorino. “Dustin has already begun dry swings. He feels strong, he feels stable. He feels that stability throughout his entire swing. He’s right on track for all baseball activity. I fully expect him be ready Opening Day.
“Vic, we expect him to be ready Opening Day as well. He’s a little further behind Dustin in his time frame for baseball activities. He’s about two weeks away from putting a ball in his hand and starting to throw. We’ll take every available day in spring training. He’ll be on the field when he’s fully ready.’’
Miller, he said, “should be full go. All the agility work, all the explosive-type movements, there are no lingering effects. He’ll be a welcome addition, the way he was throwing the baseball for us."
• Farrell said he is very comfortable with the team’s outfield depth, particularly after Daniel Nava demonstrated last season he could play both corner spots. The question of who bats leadoff remains open, with Nava and Victorino the logical candidates. Farrell also said he would not rule out rookie Xander Bogaerts from the mix, depending on how he performs in camp.