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.
We had an impromptu visit from Peter King from SI / MMQB to our Fenway Studios and decided to talk some NFL and Patriots with him.
Pete talks with The Senator, Phil Perry about the Patriots trading for Dwayne Allen, ruling out a return to New England for Martellus Bennett. They also talk about the potential future of Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo and some of the big names in NFL free agency
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Dale, Holley and Rich Keefe discuss NBA lottery pick Lonzo Ball with his very outspoken father Lavar Ball. The guys touch on the Celtics, his feud with his sons' high school coach, Lonzo being better than Steph Curry and much more.
Kirk, Gerry, and Alex Reimer discuss whether or not Isaiah Thomas will win a title in Boston.
Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.
We sit down with the manager of the Sox, John Farrell, for our weekly interview.
Rob Bradford is joined by Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Craig Breslow, who is one of the foremost authorities among professional athletes when it comes to understanding how charities work. Not only does Breslow head up his own charity, the Strike 3 Foundation, but also proactively has taken the Boston Globe to task via a letter to the editor after a 2013 article criticizing the allocation of funds for high-profile athlete's charities. Breslow digs into the recent controversy surrounding Tom Brady's affiliation with Best Buddies, explaining why the recent Globe article was misguided.
Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett talked to the Sox left fielder, who had five hits in the Sox win in Baltimore.
Hour 4. Bradford joins the show to defend the fact that he attends Ortiz’s charity event for free. Alex doesn’t think it was unethical to out Hernandez.
Hour 3. Kirk goes on his second rant of the day. Minihane orders Alex’s and Gerry’s mics to be turned off and hosts the show by himself.
Hour 2. The guys talk discuss Hernandez’s gay lover with Reimer. Reimer says there aren’t a lot of straight guys looking to experiment. Bradford tells Mut he paid for his wife to attend the Ortiz charity event.
HOUR 3 - ESPN layoffs continue. One time Fauria didn't know Sage Steele's name so he called her "Rashard." ESPN has pretty much decided to punt on hockey. Marcus Smart responds to Jimmy Butler. Glenn dreams of the Celtics adding Gordon Hayward in the offseason.
HOUR 4 - The guys kept us updated on the wave of ESPN firings. Paul was blocked by Pete Abe. Fauria still hates Dan Dakich. Will Gerald Green be a factor, again, tonight? The lawyer for Kyle Kennedy (Aaron Hernandez' rumored gay lover) Larry Army gave a press conference.
Some house cleaning is being done at ESPN as reports of employee cuts begin to come out. And how pissed/not pissed should Matt Barnes be?
We sit down with the manager of the Sox, John Farrell, for our weekly interview.
The article didn't actually reveal anything that wasn't already public record, but the Globe "expose" on Brady and his relationship with the Best Buddies charity certainly has everybody around here talking about it.
We spend some time talking Sox as news of the rain cancellation comes down. A few more thoughts on the spat in Baltimore and Dustin Pedroia, plus David Price takes to twitter for his "media session".
Kirk Minihane, Springsteen super fan, is joined by Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band. Kirk and Garry talk about what it's like on tour with Bruce, how the band goes about selecting songs for the tour, Garry's projects away from the band, and Garry's upcoming solo tour that will bring him to the New England area.
Kirk Minihane, future radio hall of famer, sits down with current radio hall of famer Howie Carr. Kirk and Howie talk about Howie's latest book Kennedy Babylon. If you like famous people engaging in sex scandals, hard drug taking, and murder this is the podcast for you. Its a fascinating look at Boston's most famous family and the problems that took the family down.
Kirk Minihane, host and overlord of the morning show, brings Gerry Callahan and producers Chris and Ken into the studio to hear his show proposal. Kirk is thinking about making some changes to the morning show and wants to hear his crew's opinion.
Buck and Reimer debate over whether it’s appropriate to speculate about Aaron Hernandez’s sexuality. Buck says his sources don’t corroborate what Michele McPhee and the Daily Mail have reported about the disgraced ex-NFL star’s love life. Reimer disagrees with the Boston Globe's assertion that there's a homophobic element to the Hernandez story.
Buck and Reimer share their coming out stories and discuss the different ways they decided to reveal their sexualities. Buck waited until more than 30 years into his career, whereas Reimer announced he was gay during his second appearance on WEEI. On that note, Buck presses Reimer on whether he's exploiting his sexuality to further his career.
Rich Keefe & Uncle Buck (Boston Sports 101) talk about the greatest comic book writer of all-time, Alan Moore. They look at his best works including Watchmen, From Hell, V for Vendetta, Batman: The Killing Joke and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Plus they rank the movies he has inspired (and refused to watch).
Hour 3. Kirk goes on his second rant of the day. Minihane orders Alex’s and Gerry’s mics to be turned off and hosts the show by himself.More from this show
Hour 4. Crazy Al calls in for the second day in a row. A terrible caller tries to make a point. The Arkansas inmates had interesting last meals. Tomase’s epic acceptance speech.More from this show
Hour 1. In a wild opening segment, Kirk and Gerry lash out at the Globe and Joe Sullivan. Reimer weighs in on Cyd Ziegler’s Hernandez take. Michael Holley thinks the Globe would do the same story on Ortiz as they did on Brady and Best Buddies.More from this show
Rob Bradford is joined by Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Craig Breslow, who is one of the foremost authorities among professional athletes when it comes to understanding how charities work. Not only does Breslow head up his own charity, the Strike 3 Foundation, but also proactively has taken the Boston Globe to task via a letter to the editor after a 2013 article criticizing the allocation of funds for high-profile athlete's charities. Breslow digs into the recent controversy surrounding Tom Brady's affiliation with Best Buddies, explaining why the recent Globe article was misguided.More from this show
Hour 2. The guys talk discuss Hernandez’s gay lover with Reimer. Reimer says there aren’t a lot of straight guys looking to experiment. Bradford tells Mut he paid for his wife to attend the Ortiz charity event.More from this show