Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino was a guest of the Dennis & Callahan show on Thursday. Lucchino said the Red Sox are a few days away from adding a corner outfielder. He would not confirm who it was -- though he said it was not Cody Ross -- though it is expected to be Johnny Gomes. The 32-year-old has reportedly agreed to a two-year, $10 million deal with the Sox.
"It's a corner outfielder and that's one of the spots where we need to get better," Lucchino said. "We have some things to do this offseason and we're going to do them."
The biggest names in this free-agent class are outfielder Josh Hamilton and pitcher Zack Greinke. Both are expected to land huge, long-term contracts this offseason. Lucchino was asked if he believes the Sox will be players for Hamiton, Greinke or Joe Mauer, who has $136 million left on his deal and been rumored as a potential trade candidate.
"We haven't ruled anyone out," Lucchino said. "We're not going to get into seven, eight-year deals as we've done before. What we have ruled out is the kind of long-term, gigantic commitment to players if at all possible. ... We are more concerned about years than we are dollars."
John Tomase of the Boston Herald wrote a column two weeks ago speculating on the possibility of the Sox signing a big-name player to a one-year deal but with an overwheming salary (Josh Hamilton for $30 million, for example). Lucchino was asked if he thought that was a realistic scenario.
"I saw that, I thought it was quite interesting," Lucchino said. "In certain situations it may be a way to attract someone. I do believe the danger of free agency are the dangers of tying up your financial capacity, making extra-long commitments because of the pressure and competitiveness of free agency, signing someone you might like to sign for maybe three years gets into the free agency market and all of the sudden it's five or six years. And you have to do it because you don't know what the other clubs are doing, it's not an open negotiation. That sometimes leads to long and debilitating contracts."
Jacoby Ellsbury will be eligible for free agency after the 2013 season. Lucchino was asked if there has been any trade talks involving Ellsbury, who hit .271 with four home runs in 74 games last season.
"He's our center fielder, and there's been no discussions with regard to him that I'm aware of," Lucchino said. "You don't know whether someone is going to come to you and make some kind of proposal but our plan is to have Jacoby Ellsbury as our center fielder this year going forward."
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