With the additions of Rick Porcello (above), Justin Masterson and Wade Miley, the Red Sox may lack a clear front-of-the-rotation starter, but they also avoided a clear back-of-the-rotation mess.</p>
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Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino joined Mustard & Johnson Saturday at

Red Sox president and COO Larry Lucchino joined Mustard & Johnson Saturday at Fenway Park during Christmas at Fenway to discuss the Jon Lester contract negotiations and what went wrong, as well as other Red Sox matters. To hear the interview, visit the Mustard & Johnson audio on demand page.

Much has been made of the reported 4-year/$70 million contract the Red Sox offered Lester during spring training last season. Lucchino went into the reasoning behind that offer, and to the Red Sox it was only viewed as a starting point, as the organization wanted to have conversations following that offer.

“We did make a number of efforts to reignite negotiations and I think as Ben has said, we went in just to get the process rolling and we came up with a number — Josh Beckett had signed for $68 million for four years and that was the largest number for a pitcher we had ever given to a non-free agent,” Lucchino said. “We thought that was a principle place to start and that was all that it was perceived to be. For whatever combination of reasons there was a reluctance on the part of…”

“I think we all were surprised,” Lucchino added of the reluctance of the Lester camp to continue negotiating. “Matters of this type are shared along John [Henry], Tom [Werner] and Ben [Cherington] and myself and other folks in the baseball operations department. To a man, we were surprised we didn’t get into a sequential negotiation.”

Lucchino was also asked if he regrets what took place last spring, and he admitted he does because of the final result.

“I think the short answer has to be yes because we didn’t get the job done,” he said. “Our job was to get Jon Lester signed and to make him a long-term member of the Red Sox organization. This is a results oriented business. Finishing second is not our business plan. I wish it had developed differently. I don’t think it does us much good now to replay each step along the way. We felt when we started that we were beginning a negotiation would take place fairly intensively through spring training and perhaps into the season, but certainly through spring training, and that didn’t happen.”

Lester reportedly signed with the Cubs for six years and $155 million with a vesting option for a seventh year. The Red Sox have openly been reluctant to give out long-term deals of late, and that was something the organization was faced with during the Lester negotiations.

“We have to have one eye on the present and one eye on the future,” Lucchino said. “I would tend to think most baseball fans understandably focus on the next year, the next season. One of Ben Cherington’s jobs is, in fact it is a job for all of us in the senior leadership of the Red Sox, is to keep one eye on what is around the corner — the next couple of years, not right now. John Henry is a brilliant analyst. He’s also an imperialist. He looks and he sees what’s happened and puts it together and sees a track record that is less than encouraging with long-term deals in general.  He’s not the only one that has that view.”

Lucchino admitted there is a sense of relief that everything is over and the organization can, and has moved onto other matters.

“Honestly there is a sense of relief that it is over because everyone was focused on that for quite a long time in the offseason,” Lucchino said. “We needed to get an answer. We have a saying with the Red Sox, ‘all is well that ends.’ We have to get it to end so we can move onto the next challenge, the next problem, the next issue. Some sense of relief was there, but also there was a sense of disappointment that we didn’t get him. So was a strong sense of gratitude for what he did for this franchise for so many years and all the success that he had here.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Red Sox news visit weei.com/redsox.

On trading Lester during the season: “There was a hope on our part that we would have Yoenis Cespedes as a result of that trade and we would be able to re-sign Jon Lester at the end of the season after he had experienced something of what the free agent market had offered. It was clear that his agent wanted to get a sense of what the free agent market would be before they would make a final decision.”

On Lucchino getting blamed when things go wrong: “I think that comes with the territory. I certainly get plenty of positive remarks for things that are done by all of us done by a collective entity. It seems natural that I would get some of the blame for the things that are done collectively. I understand that it is part of the job I accepted. This is the big leagues. We’re in Boston in the big leagues, and if you are a baseball executive this is where you want to be.”

On saying the Red Sox aren’t like the Yankees last season (spending lots of money on long-term deals): “Historically we have taken a different approach and even this year. We had a four-year deal signed for Hanley Ramirez and a five-year deal for [Pablo] Sandoval. We were willing to make an exception in Jon Lester‘s case and go to six years, but differrent seasons, different facts call for a different approaches. You can’t be so static with here are immutable principles and we are not going to deviate from these, or have no principles and just go into each year and flail around.”

On young pitching prospects in system: “I do want you to know that the oldest cliche in baseball is you never have enough pitching still applies. Ben will continue to look for ways to search to improve the pitching rotation or the bullpen, because you can never have enough pitching. Let’s not overlook Brian Johnson, Henry Owens, [Anthony] Ranaudo, [Matt] Barnes, some of these young pitchers we have in our system who I think make a significant contribution to the future success of this team.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Red Sox COO Sam Kennedy joined Mustard & Johnson at Christmas at Fenway on Saturday to talk about the possibility of Fenway Park hosting the 2016 Winter Classic.

Manager of the Boston Red Sox, John Farrell, speaks with Craig and Larry during the "Christmas at Fenway" festivities. John spoke about the pitching rotation as it stands right now, and inability to sign John Lester. He also talked about some of the younger pitching prospects, as well as the Free Agents that have signed with the team in the last month, like Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez.

[0:09:14] ... first hand experience all rely on guys and our staff toward developed Brian Butterfield just inning to. But then also just getting to know or personal best possible. That that's what managing people's about. You mention ...
[0:10:49] ... the quickness. That's require their the work that he continues to do Brian Butterfield that this is going to be a very very good shortstop and an all around shortstop. For a longer time here. With ...
[0:15:22] ... is good or bad thing and we'll sort through that you know Shane Victorino is doing very well in his rehab of the back surgery. What his volume level will be he's going to be full ...
[0:18:01] ... Johnson. All right we we signed over the course record. Good enough. John Farrell thanks so much of the Boston Red Sox Germany's Sixers have been Lance which radio him. ...

Craig and Larry press Larry Lucchino about the inability to sign Jon Lester, the projected starting rotation, and the signings of Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez.

[0:00:00] ... Howard averaged three mustard and Johnson you're of 1 o'clock John Farrell manager of the Boston Red Sox a little bit later drama right now the president and CEO of the club Larry Lucchino. ...
[0:03:01] ... to get the process of rolling we came up with a number. Josh Beckett has signed for. Sixteen million for four years and so like this. Perfect career here. Non free agent and then and so ...
[0:04:27] ... and I young's defenses. This is trade human beings and we signed Jon Lester at the end of the season went after him. Had experience. With the free agent market yeah. Were it was clear that ...
[0:14:00] ... one priority is now thinking about the Chicago Cubs which you think Jon Lester. Is it during the Cubs from Maine also ran through contender. Has enough problems focused on the hospital. Fell Larry I think Jon Lester is gonna make significant contribution to this. One thing that pleased me most is Darren. It's about quality you know TO would ...

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Boston Red Sox, Sam Kennedy, joined Craig and Larry to talk about Christmas at Fenway, and some of the Red Sox off-season acquisitions.

[0:00:00] ... Sam cavity of the Boston Red Sox. Joining us now happy holidays and happy holidays Merry Christmas guys get to do it if we always work in order of ...
[0:04:29] ... World Series so. At the end of the day that I want Jon Lester back yes to everyone in the organization want Jon Lester back. Yes we fell short we didn't get it done if we made mistakes along the way we made mistakes along the way you know were. We're not gonna revisit that history other than to say. I'm a huge Jon Lester fan. Wouldn't have to. World Series rings an additional four ring without Jon Lester we wish him well but we do not wish Theo Epstein and the Chicago Cubs well let me be very clear. First you don't get the wrap up yeah. The last question a bit and it's not ...
[0:08:57] ... on a few of the more. You know challenging ones like that Dustin Pedroia if you listening Pete we need to there. I go see him in their zone and couldn't help but not I'm getting ...
[0:11:19] ... SAT scores over Arizona so there are right. Sam Kennedy CFO of Boston Red Sox joining us right here. Live from Fenway Park or thereabouts were over his club it's Christmas at Fenway. A Sports Radio or ...

Allen Webster was traded to the Diamondbacks for Wade Miley this week. (Getty Images)

Allen Webster was traded to the Diamondbacks for Wade Miley this week. (Getty Images)

It’s been a busy week for the Red Sox, as with a free agent signing and two trades the team has added three starting pitchers.

Maybe just as important for the organization, they didn’t have to dive too deep into their pool of young talented pitchers to do so, as they gave up Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster and a minor leaguer to acquire Wade Miley, and Yoenis Cespedes, Alex Wilson and a minor leaguer to get Rick Porcello.

General manager Ben Cherington is satisfied with the rotation as it stands now, as well as the young arms up and coming behind them.

“If you look past the five guys you pencil in the rotation right now, we still feel like we have a good six or seven young pitchers beyond that who are all capable of being very good major league pitchers, and many of them major league starters in the not so distant future,” Cherington said on a conference call Friday night. “Of course we don’t know what date that will happen on. It is certainly possible one or two of them would get a look in a bullpen role if the opportunity is there. We’ve been able to acquire the three starters that we had this week while still maintaining really what we consider the top end of our young pitching and still have what we think his really good young pitching depth besides the five guys that will likely open the season in the rotation.”

De La Rosa and Webster were both acquired from the Dodgers in the 2012 blockbuster deal with the Dodgers. The two pitchers showed flashes of being able to have success in the majors, but were too inconsistent.

Over his two seasons of major league service with Boston, De La Rosa went 4-10 with a 4.54 ERA, while allowing 37 walks and striking out 80. He had eight quality starts in 2014 and allowed one run or less in six of his starts, which was the second-highest total on the staff behind Jon Lester (eight). Webster pitched to a 5-3 record with a 5.03 ERA, 28 walks, and 36 strikeouts in 11 games with the Red Sox last season. He spent the majority of his season with Triple-A Pawtucket where he appeared in 21 games, making 20 starts and posted a 2.90 ERA.

“Rubby [De La Rosa] and Webby [Webster] are obviously young, talented guys who still are expected to turn into good big league pitchers,” said Cherington. “They developed during the time in Boston and are probably closer to being big league pitchers than they were a couple years ago. That said, we’re in a position where we need to add good major league starting pitching ‘€¦ establish major league starting pitching and obviously Wade certainly is that guy, and to get a good left-handed major league starter like Wade whose got three years of control, three years of arbitration left, you have to give up something. Teams just aren’t going to give guys like Wade away.”

When speaking Friday night, Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart said the organization has the pair “penciled” in as No. 3 and 4 starters — something they wouldn’t be in Boston.

“Fortunately, we had young pitching depth to consider giving up a couple of young arms like Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster,” Cherington said. “Certainly we wish them well and we expect them to flourish, but we’re happy to get Wade on board and see him pitch in a Red Sox uniform.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

After a few days of it first being reported, the Red Sox‘ trade with the Diamondbacks became official on Friday.

The Red Sox acquired left-hander Wade Miley from the Diamondbacks. (Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

The Red Sox acquired left-hander Wade Miley from the Diamondbacks. (Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

After a few days of it first being reported, the Red Sox’ trade with the Diamondbacks became official on Friday.

The Red Sox acquired All-Star left-handed pitcher Wade Miley from the Diamondbacks in exchange for right-handed pitchers Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster and minor league infielder Raymel Flores.

Miley, 28, was the Diamondbacks’ Opening Day starter last season, and in 2012 was a NL All-Star, finishing second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting to Bryce Harper. The left-hander wasn’t completely surprised by the trade and is looking forward to coming to Boston.

“I’m excited about the opportunity,” Miley said on a conference call Friday night. “I kind of had some thoughts earlier, I talked to my agent a couple of times and he said there might be something in the works. Really didn’t know what it was, but everything kind of went down. It was a little hectic, but it’s a great opportunity and I am looking forward to this next chapter.”

General manager Ben Cherington said Miley was one of the team’s targets since the season ended, and they had been in discussions with the Diamondbacks even before the GM meetings last month.

“Given Arizona’s situation we thought it would be possible they would listen, not certain at all, so we checked in,” Cherington said on Friday’s conference call. “A series of conversations going back to even before the GM meetings, then during the GM meetings and then since then a lot of back and forth, a lot of hot and cold. There were times when we talked it might be possible and then there were times when it seemed to go away. Fortunately it came back to us this week.”

It wasn’t the best of season’s for Miley last year, as he went 8-12 with a 4.34 ERA, in the Diamondbacks’ 64-98 season. Even with the struggles he remained durable. His 33 starts overall tied for the lead among National League left-handers, one shy of the major league lead. In his three full years as a starter, he has thrown over 194 innings in all three, including 200+ innings the last two seasons.

“I felt like a could have done a lot of things differently and better,” said Miley. “It was one of those things, you take it and learn from some of the things. I felt like I learned a lot about it and I am going to move forward into next season.”

“I really enjoy taking the mound,” he added. “I would like to think of myself as a pretty fierce competitor and every time I get the opportunity to have the ball I try and go as deep as I can and give my team every chance to win that I possibly can. Definitely take pride in making every start and if you make every start there is a good chance you are going to rack up some innings.”

Miley, a supplemental first-round selection by Arizona in the 2008 June Draft (48th overall), has pitched strictly in the National League, so he will be pitching in the American League for the first time in his career. In 12 career games against the American League, the left-hander is 5-3 with a 4.44 ERA. He is looking forward to the opportunity to put on the Red Sox uniform and compete in the AL East.

“Everyone knows about the AL East, it’s premier baseball,” said Miley. “I’m excited to get this opportunity to join this club. I know they do a lot of great things in Boston and it’s just going to be an awesome time getting to know everyone and know this league.”

Miley joins a Red Sox rotation, who at the current moment has (in no order): Rick Porcello, Clay Buchholz, Miley, Joe Kelly, Justin Masterson and possibly Anthony Ranaudo.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable