ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- After the Red Sox' voluntary workout at Tropicana Field Thursday evening, general manager Ben Cherington addressed the team's approach as the non-waiver trade deadline draws near, at the end of the month.
Cherington said that while the next weeks should dictate much of the Sox' strategy at the deadline, he doesn't envision a situation in which the team would be trading key elements of its roster.
"I don't envision a scenario where we're sellers, in the traditional sense of the word," he said. "We have some potential surplus in areas we've talked to teams about, and maybe there was ways that could help us now and in the future. But every year in Boston is too important. We're focused on winning this year, and still believe we can.
"I don't think blowing it up makes sense for where we are. There's a lot of talent on the team. We're right in the thick of the wild card chase. We've played very well since the beginning of May aside from the last week. I just think it would be foolish to start doing things that got in the way of giving us a chance this year. We'll see how it goes. Like I said, we have to play well. We have to start winning games."
With the Red Sox 9 1/2 games out of first place in American League East, but just 2 1/2 out in the wild card race, Cherington insisted that the focus will continue on making a playoff push, and not just planning for the future.
"It has to," he said when asked if the final weeks of July would shape how the Sox approach the trade deadline. "We're always going to do whatever we can to give ourselves a chance to win. There's no such thing as taking a year off in Boston. We feel like we're right in it and have as good a chance as most teams to be there at the end. But we have to play well and give ourselves that chance, and we'll do everything we can to improve the team in the meantime. We'll see where we are as we get to the later part of July. We've got some ways to improve the team internally, potentially. And we've started to look at ways to improve the team externally. If we play to our capability with the guys we have here, our hope is we don't have to make a lot of moves."
Cherington, who said the hope is for rehabbing outfielder Carl Crawford to rejoin the Red Sox next week after playing three games for Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox this weekend, noted that the Sox have gotten to a point in the season where they can't use injuries as a crutch anymore.
"We've been saying for a while that we feel like we have a good team here, but at some point you have to show it on the field and the reality is we're at .500 the day after the All-Star break," the GM said. "We have good players that have been playing. We have good players on the way back who are getting healthy. But at some point you have to stop talking about the calvary coming back and start winning games. So, we have to do that.
"We basically had been playing .600 baseball since the beginning of May, up through Sunday of the Seattle series. Last week hurt us. Hopefully it's just a blip on the radar. We've been taking two steps forward and one step back. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks we can take another couple of steps forward and the return of the health of a couple of key players should help us do that."
Cherington also addressed reports that the team would be reluctant to go over the luxury tax threshold, handcuffing its approach at the trade deadline. The GM said that notion is false, although the organization will continue to work within an internal budget.
"We have a budget like any team, but the CBT [competitive balance tax] threshold number is not of particular relevance this year more than any other year," Cherington said. "We've gone over that number in the past. We may go over it this year. You don't know until the end of the year because you don't know what happens. We've gone over in the past and we could go over it this year, so that's not relevant. But we do have a budget and that is relevant. We have to stay within that budget like we would in any year. We have some flexibility, and it's up to us to create more flexibility if we need it. The good news is we have a chance to add more talent just through health than most teams do. We're not in a position of needing a lot of payroll to add talent to the team, we hope."
For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox.
WEEI's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price examine what direction the Patriots might take in the upcoming NFL draft and how the team will go about filing their needs, including replacing Darrelle Revis. Petraglia and Price also take a close look at the Patriots' 2015 schedule and what to expect this season.
Ian talks with Chris about the NFL offseason and specifically what the Pats have done and will do. He talks about NFL free agency, if Brandon Spike will come back to New England, all things NFL Draft and more in an extensive interview.
in hour 2 of NFL Sunday, Greg and Chris discuss some news from around the league including the Philip Rivers situation in San Diego, if the Titans may sign Rivers, where Marcus Mariota may end up, and what the Jets will do. Price talks with NFL Network's Ian Rapoport about all things NFL offseason and the draft. Finally, the guys touch on if the NFL is over-saturating fans with too much coverage all year round now.
Greg Dickerson and John Tomase discuss the amazing season for the Celts and if they have any chance against Lebron and the Cleveland Cavs in a seven game series. If they do, HOW ... how do they get it done?
Brian "White Mamba" Scalabrine joins the guys to talk about the Celtics playoff push, the development of Marcus Smart and James Young, and the prospect of Brad Stevens leaving the Celtics for a college job.
Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.
Joe and Dave talk with Red Sox super utility man Brock Holt, who hit the game winning 3 run home run that propelled the Red Sox over the Baltimore Orioles, and played some stellar defense to seal the win.
Continued Red Sox talk on benching Victorino and the Red Sox pitching issues..and Sean's love for the band Poison.
Dale and Michael check in with the Red Sox manager John Farrell for his weekly take on all things Boston Red Sox.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
DJ, Naoko and Pete get into the huge week for the Bruins that saw the franchise move on from GM Peter Chiarelli. They discuss why that was done and if they agree. What does this mean for Claude? They talk about Claude and if he can exist here. If not, who would work in Boston? They also get into the NHL Draft Lottery last night and talk to ESPN Boston's Joey "National" McDonald live from Tampa, Florida.
Gary, Gerry and Kirk talk about a set of parents who decided to have their child's gender changed into being a boy.
The guys talk about the Tsarnaev family arriving in Boston and staying at a local hotel. Michele McPhee joins the show to talk about the family.
Gary, Gerry and Kirk argue about whether or not Tom Brady's absence from the Patriots' trip to the White House was disrespectful or not.
Led by Christian Fauria, the guys delve into 5 topics relating to all the hometown teams. There is a new intro by a special guest, plus Lou Merloni, DJ extraordinaire, nails the post.
The guys debate whether or not the Celtics even have a chance against the Cavs in game 4 and what the mentality of fans should be.
We check in with Senior White House Correspondent Joe Zarbano on this edition of Aloha Friday
Michael, Jerry and Dale speak with draft guru Todd McShay of ESPN for some insight on what the Patriots might do in the upcoming draft.
We talk to Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com and discuss his column on Rajon Rondo from ESPN and ESPN the Magazine.
Dale and Michael discuss some news on deflategate as the 100 day mark approaches us.
Mikey, Lenny, and Erin talk about the Sox 7-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Patriots Day and the Sox hold on first place in the AL East. Also, the Celtics trail the Cavs 1 Game to 0 in their 1st Round series and the 2015 Boston Marathon is in the books.
Mikey Adams, joined by Lenny Megliola and Chris Villani, talks about the Red Sox home opening win at Fenway and the Bruins fallout after missing the playoffs including the future of Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien.
Chris Price joins Mut to talk about how Revis will heat up the Jets-Pats rivalry next season
Football fans and Fantasy Footballers know that there is NO Offseason in the NFL, so Jim and Pete are back with the first of a series of Fantasy Football Podcasts of the “NFL Draft variety.” Tune in and you’ll get an in depth analysis on Pete’s most first batch of scouting reports on this year’s crop of Rookie Targets. Jim and Pete kick it off with a lot of focus on a Runningback rich draft class, some of the top Wide Receiver talent and touch on the top Quarterbacks, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. Enjoy!
Uncle Buck joins Chris on the show again to talk about Raw from 4/20, finishing maneuvers and gives a few classic match picks.
Ben and Sam are joined by Julian Edlow from WEEI.com to give their predictions on every series in the NBA Playoffs.
We listen in on the Patriots Super Bowl visit to the White House, and then discuss why MVP Tom Brady was not in attendance.More from this show
The guys talk about the Tsarnaev family arriving in Boston and staying at a local hotel. Michele McPhee joins the show to talk about the family.More from this show
Gary, Gerry and Kirk talk about a set of parents who decided to have their child's gender changed into being a boy.More from this show