Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington checked in with Dennis & Callahan early Thursday morning and talked about the team's mindset at the trade deadline on Tuesday.
Cherington said he was moderately close on making a bigger splash before settling on a couple of smaller moves, and the team will continue to look to make changes in August.
"I guess we felt it was getting closer on a couple of things at a couple of different points during the weekend, or towards the end of the weekend, Sunday-Monday," he said. "Probably 30-yard line, but not the 5-yard line."
Added Cherington: "After any trade deadline, most of the time, you're left wanting a little bit more. But then you take a step back a day or two later and you realize we've got a good team, we've got a lot of good players. There's a lot of deals I'm glad we didn't make."
Asked how the Sox determined if they wanted to be buyers or sellers, Cherington said it's a fine line the front office walked leading up to the deadline.
"This year was a little different, no doubt," the GM said. "In most years that I've worked in the front office, our direction has been more clear leading up to the deadline. You never obviously can guarantee a playoff spot at the end of July. But there are some years if you do the math our odds have been better than they were this year.
"In that sense it was a little less clear. Because it is my job to sort of weigh these things. And you have to look at what the upside is in giving up up let's say a lot of long-term assets for a shorter-term fix in the position that we're in. That said, despite not being quite where we want to be or where we have been in the past, we still believe in the team. Our approach really evolved as the weekend went on and we won a couple of games in New York. It really became, 'Let's see what we can do to make the team better, but with perhaps a bit of a governor on us.' Mostly just because, go around the roster, the players that moved in other deals, there's not many that would necessarily have been upgrades.
"The rotation is something that we talked about a lot. We just felt at the end of the day that the players that were available to us -- the pitchers that were available to us -- either were not upgrades or simply were going to be too costly given our circumstances."
Former Red Sox pitcher Derek Lowe was designated for assignment by the Indians, and Cherington indicated there is some interest from the Sox.
"Derek obviously had a great run here," Cherington said. "We'll take a look at it. But we still need to focus on the guys here. We have great respect for Derek and what he did. We'll take a look at it. If it makes sense to pursue, we'll do so. That will be on the agenda today. But we still feel like we have the potential solutions internally for our rotation."
Following are more highlights from the conversation.
On reports that management stepped in after Valentine upset Will Middlebrooks with a sarcastic comment during a recent game: "I'm not going to comment on anything a player said about Bobby, except that any time anything comes up like that, we talk about it. My guess is that our players have probably complained to Bobby about me. These are things we work out internally in the privacy of the room and move forward. I know that Bobby's a huge supporter of Will's and felt strongly that he deserved to be our third baseman, and that was the large motivation behind the [Kevin] Youkilis trade. He's a guy that he wants out there."
On problems in the Red Sox clubhouse: "I think we have issues like every team, but I don't think it's toxic. No team goes through a six-month season without issues. I think it's a but of a perfect storm this year in the way this team is scrutinized because of the way things ended last year, because of the sort of microscope throughout the offseason and spring training. And then we get into this year and we haven't quite met expectations on the field, so we're sort of inviting that kind of scrutiny.
"So, there are things that happen that if they happen in 15 other major league cities, no one would notice, they would be sort of innocuous. And in Boston they get boiled up and talked about more. It's not to dismiss the fact that we have things that we are still working through. ButI'm not sure they're that different than most teams. They're just talked about a lot more."
On his relationship with Bobby Valentine: "Our relationship's good. We talk all the time. We talk mostly about sort of the day-to-day needs of the team and what's going on with the team, what we might need two days from now or a week from now or 10 days from now. Bobby's seen a lot of baseball. He's seen more baseball than I have. He always has something good to offer and bring to the table in those discussions that inform us in our thinking and inform us in our decision-making. We've agreed on a lot of things, and we've disagreed on things. Every GM and manager should disagree from time to time. I think that's probably healthier."
On if there is an issue between the coaches and manager: "I don't think so. First of all, I don't think it's accurate that they don't talk. These situations aren't unique to the Red Sox. Major league coaches are professionals who in most cases have been in the game for a long, long time and have developed a skill, a niche, and are part of a staff who report to a manager but come from different backgrounds and different places. They're there to do a job and help in a certain area. It's not uncommon in baseball for some coaches, they're not going out after the game all the time together. … I think at this point I feel like the coaching staff is working very hard together, going in the same direction. And that's the same with Bobby."
On injured pitcher Josh Beckett: "Josh is doing better. It really was a situation where he felt a pull that he felt gradually getting worse as he stayed out there in that inning. The mound was getting a little slick. And he felt like if he pushed it any further he might push it too far and maybe it would turn into something bigger. So I think he did the right thing in getting himself out of there. He was still a little bit sore yesterday, he got some more treatment. Our hope is this is a short-term absence."
On trading away players and paying part of their salary in the deal: "We did it with Youkulis, but it's not what you want to do. Obviously, when you're doing that you're admitting some level of mistake, which of course we need to do from time to time. But our jobs are to make the most of ownership's money and spend it the best we can. When you start paying other teams to take the players, it's pretty strong evidence that you're not doing that very well. I'm sure it may happen again, there's no definitive policy against it. But obviously when you do that you're admitting at some level that the player's not worth what your paying for him, because another team doesn't think so."
In the latest edition of the "It Is What It Is" podcast, Chris Price and CSNNE's Mike Giardi take a look at the Patriots offseason on both sides of the ball, try and get a handle on which new guys will make an impact first, and whether or not the Patriots have altered their style when it comes to drafting and developing wide receivers.
Mike Florio joined the program to discuss the Jets decision to release Tim Tebow, he said the situation is as disaster all around for the Jets and that the problems begins with owner Woody Johnson. Mike also said that he was disappointed with the Pats moving back in the first round.
One of the hardest working men in the biz, Mike Petraglia aka "Trags", sits down with Butch Stearns live in Foxborough to help break down all the latest Pats moves. He discusses his reaction to the trade in Round 1 and the guys those picks produced. Also, the boys talk about the decent trade the Pats made in acquiring LeGarrette Blount from Tampa Bay for Jeff Demps and a 7th rounder.
We check in with Danny Ainge for our first talk to him since the Celtics season ended last weekend. We talk about the future of the team, KG, Pierce, Doc Rivers and more, as Danny directly answers the rumors being floated by ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.
Jackie Mac joins the show to discuss the trade rumors swirling around Paul Pierce, KG, Doc Rivers and the Celtics. She also discusses the future of the Celtics head coach.
Stephen A. joined the program to discuss the trade rumors he has reported regarding a possible trade including Doc Rivers and the Clippers. Stephen A. also told the guys that he has heard that Danny and Doc may be tiring of working together.
John Farrell postgame press conference
Joe Castiglione and Dave O'Brien talked to David Ortiz after the Red Sox beat the Twins 12-5. Big Papi said that team chemistry is great, that the new guys see the Sox way of doing things.
Joe Castiglione talked to John Farrell before the second game against the Twins. The manager said that the Sox can win with small-ball or with big-ball.
Bruins rookie defenseman Matt Bartkowski has emerged as one of the young stars of the team and he joins Mut and Tom Caron to discuss his role on the team, why he's confident, and the trade that almost sent him to Calgary.
Andy Brickley joins the show to discuss the Bruins Game 1 win over the Rangers, the play of the three young Bruins defensemen, and the fatigue Jagr has shown on the ice.
Pierre McGuire joins Tom Caron and Mut to discuss the Bruins young defensemen, the intensity and energy level in the game, and the Rangers offense.
Shawn joined the program to discuss another overtime win for the Bruins. When asked about Game 7 against Toronto, Thornton said that he would like to keep his specific comments in the dressing room private, but acknowledged that he encouraged Tyler Seguin to up his play and it paid off in overtime.
Barry joined the guys to help breakdown the Bruins overtime win last night in game one. Barry said that he has rarely seen a team dominate as much as the Bruins yet be forced to an overtime.
Boomer joined the program to discuss the tough loss for his beloved Rangers. Boomer told the guys that Lundqvist will be better in game two and predicted a seven game series.
Millar joins the show to discuss the recent Sox slide, Jacoby Ellsbury's lack of power, and hitting in the big leagues.
We talk all things game one with Jack Edwards of NESN, and get to hear a little from Jack's Finnish protege as well.
We tackle four topics we haven't yet touched upon today.. Joe Thornton and disappointing former Boston athletes, parking in Boston, buying jersey numbers and more...
We talk about the report that Rob Gronkowski may now be a candidate for back surgery with a disc problem. Is Gronk just an injury prone guy? Or is he not rehabbing proberly? Can the Pats build an offense around a guy who is so inconsistently on the field? We discuss.
The Bruins have almost finished raking the Leafs, the Red Sox struggle from the mound, Miami Heat fans show their level of class.
Daily Planet Wednesday May 8th
Today on the Daily Planet the Bruins take a 2-1 series lead, the Red Sox get a run-off win, and we hear about cannibals and bible thieves.
Sounds like a prostate exam to me!
Damn New Yorkers!
Sauce Man stylings!
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