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PHILADELPHIA -- Theo Epstein's public stance on the approaching trade deadline: The Boston Red Sox will be involved in trade talks, they'll be aggressive and their track record suggests that they will spend what they deem necessary.
"We're not a perfect club, that's for sure,'' Epstein said while meeting with reporters in the visitors' dugout before Wednesday's 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.
"I can't sit here and say we'll definitely make a blockbuster trade,'' he said. "For one thing, there's not a huge market for sellers right now. But it's a long way from July 31. Market dynamics change, our own situation can change.''
Epstein acknowledged that the lack of production in right field is an area that obviously needs upgrading. What he doesn't know, he said, is whether that will require acquiring outside help.
"Obviously we've noticed,'' Epstein said. "I think you'd have to be blind not to notice. We're not getting much out of right field. We all expect to get more out of it going forward.
"These things all work themselves out. I am encouraged by the fact that we can be where we are offensively without much of anything out of right field. We will get better. There's no way we're going to have the same production that we've had so far. We'll improve internally, and who knows, there's a chance we'll improve at various spots externally.''
Epstein refused to discuss payroll issues, and while Sox ownership said this spring that the club had retained flexibility to make some moves at the deadline, the Sox committed $296 million in the offseason and early spring to two players: Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford. Privately, the signals from Yawkey Way are that the Sox will not be in the market for any big-ticket items that might be available in July -- Jose Reyes, for example.
"We'll definitely be actively involved in trade discussions,'' Epstein said. "We may be very active, we may be less active. We may be involved in smaller things. We'll see.
"We have needs. We have areas that we have to upgrade. Those upgrades might come from guys on the 25-man roster playing better and getting locked in. Improvements might come from guys off the DL or guys in the minor leagues. I'm sure in some form or another we'll find an external solution to some of our needs.''
Gordon Edes covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com.