Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Epstein: 'Nothing really new'
By Joe McDonald
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Since Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein landed his big acquisition prior to the winter meetings when he traded for Adrian Gonzalez, the organization didn’t have to force other deals this week.
Epstein met with Boston reporters at approximately 7:45 Wednesday night and didn’t have anything newsworthy to report.
“Nothing really new,” Epstein said. “Moved the ball forward on a couple of negotiations and moved it backward on a few.”
The Sox GM explained a simple phone call to a team, agent or player could change that, but he’s not expecting any deals to be done on Wednesday. The Sox are dealing in both the free-agent and trade market, according to Epstein, and free-agent signings are moving first.
“Teams are trying to fill their needs through reasonable free agency first before they move on to trade where they have to give up players,” Epstein said.
Epstein said on Tuesday that he had some offers out to relievers, and Wednesday admitted he has some offers out to position players, too, but said nothing is close at this point. He had said he thought something could get done before he leaves Florida on Thursday afternoon. Now he’s not so sure.
“Maybe a tick less likely than this time yesterday,” he said. “More so because it seems to be the flow of the meetings leaguewide, not necessarily we’re in a less-advanced position than we were yesterday.”
While Epstein didn't talk about his catching situation, the Red Sox are thought to be involved in intensive talks with catcher Russell Martin, and may have made an offer to receiver Miguel Olivo.
The Sox still are focused on getting bullpen help and a right-handed bat. Signing relievers has been a slow process because of the logjam of available pitchers.
“There’s sort of a rhythm to it where most players don’t want to be the first to sign for fear of getting more later,” Epstein said. “But they don’t want to wait too long and then have fewer options and less resources out there. For teams, it’s the reverse. It’s one big dance. Teams and players will begin to match up soon.”
It’s likely the Red Sox and reliever Andrew Miller will come to terms soon. The Red Sox non-tendered the left-hander in hopes of re-signing him. The sides have met during the meetings.
“It’s going pretty well,” Epstein said. “We continue to talk. The non-tender was part of the plan all along and he knew that. There’s been good dialogue. He’s been up to Boston and we visited him at his home. We’re continuing to get to know each other and see if it’s the right fit for both sides.”
Miller has also talked with Red Sox pitching coach Curt Young, and the Sox believe there could be a resolution to the talks with Miller soon.
The winter meetings official end with the Rule 5 draft Thursday morning. Epstein said it’s likely the Sox will lose a couple of players.