Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino talked to the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning, and with the trade deadline fast approaching, one of the biggest topics of conversation was the Red Sox off-the-field plans as they gear up for the final stretch. Lucchino was quick to dismiss any notion that the team will not pursue top trade targets despite recent reports that it has gone above the luxury-tax threshold.
"We are at the bottom end of the tax threshold. We're not at the highest tax rate. We're at the lowest tax rate," Lucchino said. "But [the idea that we'd spend less] is just not true. I'm telling you. I know what our financial plans are, and that is not true. We have money set aside to acquire talent if we can find it, but having said that this is not a promise or a prediction that a trade will happen. We're not going to do something just to keep our record alive by making deals on July 31."
Lucchino also was quick to back the Red Sox training and medical staff, which has come under fire given the team's recent run of injuries and especially after Jacoby Ellsbury expressed that he was misdiagnosed.
"We have a world-class medical staff. That's not to say that they are perfect in all situations and can foresee the future in all situations. We are extremely proud of the medical staff we have from Mass General and our orthopedists, our internalists, our specialists. We are proud of them, and they do a fine, professional job so let's dispense with that. We made a change when we got here a year or two into our ownership, and that's one of the desirable ones."
Finally, he talked about the recent passing of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, the man who had at one time warned Sox majority owner John Henry about going into business with Lucchino.
"George and I crossed swords a number of times, but he brought a certain notoriety and intensity and competitiveness to the Yankees, and I think as a result of that, it's had a powerful impact on the game. No doubt about that," Lucchino said.