With a May 1 deadline looming on a major league option, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said Monday that if the Red Sox decide to promote righthander Aaron Cook, he will begin in the team's bullpen. Valentine said he met with general manager Ben Cherington earlier in the day Monday to discuss a possible landing spot for him on the big league 25-man roster.
"Ben was in this afternoon," Valentine said. "We talked again on that. I'm sure he has all his ducks in order and again, I don't know exactly when, why, how, these deadlines and all that. Everyone's opinion has been shared."
If the Red Sox select him, Cook will receive $1.5 million. If they don't he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Valentine made it clear that if the team promotes him by Tuesday, he will come out of the bullpen, despite going 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in five starts for Pawtucket this April.
"I haven't talked to him so I can't speak for him," Valentine said. "When he throws his sinker, it's a real good pitch. A lot of hitters hit the top of it. He didn't pitch that well [in spring training], but when he was throwing well and had that sinker, I really liked it. It's a little different pitch than many people feature. Competitiveness, he works quickly, he fields his position, has game presence, all that good stuff. I like that, too."
Asked about how he would manage Cook and use him out of the pen after making a series of starts for Triple-A Pawtucket to start the season, Valentine admitted he'd have his hands full.
"I think it'd be challenging," Valentine said. "Right now, I couldn't say it would be anything other than [relief pitching]."