Red Sox assistant GM Brian O'Halloran, in an interview on Thursday night's Red Sox Hot Stove show, said that while he would not comment directly on free agents including first baseman Adam LaRoche, the club continues to talk with free agents with first base representing an "area of focus" at a time when there is still no official deal in place with Mike Napoli.
While Napoli agreed to a three-year, $39 million deal in December to be the Sox' primary first baseman, that agreement hasn't been finalized in the aftermath of his physical. Meanwhile, reports have surfaced that the Sox have been in touch with LaRoche -- the top free agent alternative at first base, albeit one who would cost the Sox not just the years and dollars it would take to sign him but also a draft pick -- though it remains unclear if those conversations have been anything beyond preliminary at this stage.
"I’m not going to be able to address any specific free agents. I will say that Ben has been in touch with a number of free agents," O'Halloran said. "First base … is an area of focus. Not the only area of focus -- we’re looking to strengthen our club any way we can. That process never ends. But Ben has certainly been in touch with a number of free agents, ongoing conversations, over the last few weeks."
Asked if he would be surprised if other teams were checking in on Napoli's status (something that WEEI.com's Rob Bradford reported has happened), O'Halloran said he would not.
"That wouldn’t surprise me at all," said the assistant GM. "Mike Napoli’s a really good player, so no, that wouldn’t surprise me at all."
O'Halloran also discussed the Sox' decision to trade for Joel Hanrahan, a closer who will be a free agent next year, while sending another pitcher who, before his struggles in 2012, enjoyed considerable success in the NL Central (Mark Melancon) and won't be eligible for free agency for four years, to Pittsburgh.
"I think the main thing it sort of boils down to is our belief in Joel Hanrahan. That’s not to take anything away from the guys we sent over there. You’ve got to give something up to get something," said O'Halloran. "You referenced Melancon, and obviously his season, especially early on, didn’t go quite as he expected or we expected, but he’s a good pitcher and we strongly believe that Mark is going to have success with Pittsburgh. He worked his tail off after that blip early on and went down to the minors and pitched his tail off, did a really good job, came back up, helped us, pitched better. So we know we’re giving something up in Mark and certainly the other guys who went over to Pittsburgh in that trade. But it boils down to, we saw an opportunity to acquire what we believe is one of the top closers in the game in Joel Hanrahan, a guy with the kind of stuff we believe can play in the American League East and really anywhere. We thought that would be something that would make sense for our club, give ourselves a chance to improve for 2013, and we believe we can compete for a division title in 2013. We think Hanrahan will be a big help in doing so."
Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick joins Dale and Steve DeOssie to talk about cutting the roster down to 53 players. Jimmy Garoppolo is set to start and play most, if not all of the preseason contest against the Giants. Bill also expressed his thoughts about the kicking game and how some of the new rules have affected the importance of it.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss the news that Jimmy Garoppolo will get the start Thursday and play most of the game. They talk about what it might mean for Ryan Mallett.
Julian Edelman joins Christian and Danny Picard to talk about his approach going into the season, his performance this preseason, as well as the VMAs, and preventing cramps using mustard.
Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.
Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.
Joe talked to the Sox right-hander, who allowed three hits and zero walks in the 3-0 win over the Rays.
Red Sox Manager John Farrell talks about Bogaerts' concussion and the youth movement.
As he does every Wednesday, Buster Olney, ESPN, joins the boys of MFB to talk baseball. This week Buster shed some light on what to expect from Rusney Castillo, and how Cuban players are being viewed. He suggests that the acquisition of Castillo helps Boston's chances to get Giancarlo Stanton. Also, the Sox should shut down Koji if they want to re-sign him.
Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.
DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla
DJ Bean joins the program to dismiss the recent rumors that the Bruins are in discussions to trade Brad Marchand to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau
Hackers obtained hundreds private photo's of celebrities such as Kate Upton and Jennifer Lawrence. Also, Market Basket is back in business, and Pete Frates and his wife Julie have a baby girl, Lucy.
The usual suspects had the day off so the hosts of The Real Post Game Show stepped to talk about the Pats. Logan Mankins and Ryan Mallett were both traded and Miami is 6 days away.
John Frates called in to the show to discuss his son Peter and his past experience with Fred.
7th round draft pick Michael Sam was trying to be the first openly-gay player in the NFL. With only 7 days to go before the season opener, the Rams released him on one of the last round of cuts.
The Patriots finally completed a deal that was speculated for weeks, when they traded back up QB Ryan Mallett to the Texans for a conditional 7th round pick. Mallett will be reunited with former New England quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien.
More reaction from the Logan Mankins-Tim Wright trade.
Tom Curran recaps the Pats preseason and talks about some of the players who may get cut.
Michael Irvin talks about the final preseason game for the Patriots and the biggest storylines heading into the opening weekend.
We recap the summer's biggest sports stories leading into Labor Day Weekend.
Co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company, Jim Koch, talks about his Sam Adams beer and the history of his brewery.
Danny picard is filling in for Mikey and talks with CSNNE's Mike Giardi about Clay Buchholz heading up the Red Sox pitching rotation, and how the Patriots have looked through training camp so far.
Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.
Fantasy Football Drafts are now happening every day, so Pete Davidson and Jim Hackett have you covered. The NFL season kicks off on Thursday night, so Pete and Jim get their final thoughts of some drafting strategies. They discuss their Auction draft from earlier in the week. Also, some big name players that smart drafters should avoid.
We know your Fantasy Football drafts are happening right now, so Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson are here to help. We know you’d never blow off work to draft right? Turn up the speakers! Our fantasy guys chat up Pete’s most recent article on WEEI.com that offers background on several players you can target late in drafts across multiple league sizes; covering upside players to grab in 8-team leagues, 10-team leagues, 12-team leagues and 14-team leagues. Jim and Pete will be back at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday morning on your radio dial, 93.7 FM, with more ammo for all this weekend’s drafters. Good luck!
How can teams acquire players who are entering their primes without having to live through the potentially massive transition of prospects coming from the minors to the big leagues? The Red Sox have two such case studies. The signing of Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo represents one effort to acquire a player for his prime years for whom the transition to big league-caliber competition might not be turbulent. Red Sox assistant director of player personnel discusses the scouting process involved with landing Castillo. The episode also features Brock Holt, the one rookie who played at a consistently high level for the Red Sox this year. Holt explores some of the distinctions that might help to explain why he did not experience some of the struggles that characterized the seasons of Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr.
Butch is out today so Chris Villani fills in. This bums out Buckley a little bit since he wanted to have a somber goodbye with Butchy, since this is the last show until after the football season. They kick the show off talking about the Logan Mankins trade.More from this show
The Patriots finally completed a deal that was speculated for weeks, when they traded back up QB Ryan Mallett to the Texans for a conditional 7th round pick. Mallett will be reunited with former New England quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien.More from this show
Hackers obtained hundreds private photo's of celebrities such as Kate Upton and Jennifer Lawrence. Also, Market Basket is back in business, and Pete Frates and his wife Julie have a baby girl, Lucy.More from this show