Red Sox manager John Farrell, in an interview on the WEEI Red Sox Hot Stove Show on Thursday night, said that he has had initial contact with reliever Alfredo Aceves and that he plans to meet with him at greater length to discuss expectations going forward.
Aceves was one of the most impactful relievers in baseball in 2011, when he had a 2.61 ERA while pitching 114 innings. In 2012, while spending most of the year as the Red Sox closer, he was effective for long stretches but then struggled deeply down the stretch, losing ninth-inning duties and finishing the year with a 2-10 record and 5.36 ERA. Perhaps more significantly, he had multiple issues related to his conduct, getting hit by the team with a three-game suspension for ripping off his uniform in the bullpen, getting into a dugout disagreement with Dustin Pedroia during which he swatted away manager Bobby Valentine and, later, leaving a bullpen mound in a fashion that permitted him to avoid Valentine completely.
"We've had some initial conversations. They've been brief. He's been in Mexico. There have been messages left either way, on both sides," Farrell said. "To sit down and outline expectations here, I know that's been done in the past and I know that will be done going forward, but this is also an extremely talented pitcher who can do some unique things from a physical standpoint. I think the one thing that we're going to hold ourselves accountable to is the way we play the game, the way we respect one another in our uniform and that we work each night as a unit. To tear anything apart or to work against that, I can tell you, goes against all that we're trying to put together here, not only talented players but guys who are trying to play the game the right way.
"Not knowing it first hand but seeing it and talking to others of what's taken place, I think that the most important thing is that expectations are outlined with him, and I, for one, [need to] be very consistent with him. There are going to be some things that are non-negotiable," he continued. "If certain situations arise, consequences may exist. Coming in with fresh eyes on him, being in the same uniform, I certainly want to give the benefit of the doubt to the situation, knowing that there's some history here, but I think it's important to be very candid and upfront here."