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."
Christian and Chris talk about overrated Pats players this season and in the past and then get into the QB issue on the team. They talk about all three guys, what they bring to the table and if they can keep their head above water without the best QB in the league for 4 weeks. Then...Karlos Williams was released by the Bills - should the Pats consider adding the overweight second year running back? Christian also brings up Dante Scarnecchia and gets Price's opinion on if this one man can truly improve a shaky offensive line.
Christian Arcand is in for Tanguay for NFL Sunday with Chris Price. The guys talk about the victory over the Bears, Jimmy G's progress and their expectations for the Pats defense this season. Arcand thinks that there are more holes on the D than some fans realize.
We check in with Bill Belichick after the first Preseason game for our weekly "Patriots Monday" discussion.
Sam Packard is joined by Celtics 2nd Round draft pick Abdel Nader to discuss his path to the the NBA and how he plans to improve his game. Sam then talks to Player Development Coach Nick Friedman from Elite Skills Training, the pre-Draft camp Nader attended. Friedman also gives his opinion on the Celtics performance at summer league and the development of Jaylen Brown.
Isaiah Thomas talks to Glenn and Lou about why he loves Boston, the NBA Money Bump, oh, and some Durant guy
Danny Ainge joins Glenn and Christian to explain the Celtics draft process; and he also discusses the trade rumors that permeated the night.
Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts after the Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1
David Price pitched a gem and Andrew Benintendi makes one of the top highlight catches of the year as the Sox take the first game of four against the Rays, 6-2. Christian Arcand recaps the game and takes all of your Sox calls.
Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi, who made a highlight reel catch nearly going over the wall in left field robbing Steven Souza Jr of a home run
Joey Mac joins Ken Laird on his Saturday show to discuss the David Backes addition and Loui Eriksson departure in NHL free agency
DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.
DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.
Gerry, Mut, and Kirk discuss the Benintendi catch from Monday and what's looking like an incredible outfield for years to come; also the guys discuss the probation sentence given to an East Longmeadow youth charged with sexual assault.
Kirk Minihane is joined by Mickey Rourke in a small, yet growing, group of public figures to rip Lenny Dykstra for his nefarious deeds.
Kirk & Callahan with Mut react to the latest Roger Goodell NFL wheel of justice ruling
The 2016 edition of the annual survey into what sports fans think about their teams (and more importantly, about the media) is out, and Glenn, Lou and Christian dive into some of the opinions of the local fans.
Tom Brady returned to practice after his unexplained days off to shed some light into his mysterious scissors injury that prevented him from playing last Thursday's preseason game.
Andrew Benintendi made possibly the catch of the year for the Sox, and the guys talk about the hype surrounding that play. Also, they get into Pats talk, and focus in on what a loss of Tom Brady for 4 games means to an already shaky offensive line.
We discuss the one game suspension for domestic violence for Giants kicker Josh Brown, and the can of worms it has opened up for the league with it's inconsistent suspensions, many for the same acts.
Sox talk with Dale, Thornton and Tom E Curran as game 2 in Tampa comes up tonight.
We discuss Brady's return to camp from his four day absence and what exactly people want Brady to do as far as mentoring Jimmy Garoppolo. Is he expected to always be by his side?
Kirk Minihane sits down with former producer Chris Curtis? Or is it current producer Chris Curtis? Either way, Kirk and Chris talk about what happened in their previous tenure together, where it went wrong, and why Curtis is now back with the show.
Kirk Minihane and Gary Tanguay sit down together on Enough About Me for the first time. These two divisive figures talk about Gary's career and his late evolution into a controversial broadcaster. Nobody is spared from Kirk and Gary's wrath on this episode and it will surely make some people at the two sports radio stations very uncomfortable.
Kirk Minihane sits down with Mut to answer questions from the fans. Kirk and Mut get into the issues with Dino, the other hosts at the station, Kirk's issues with drugs in the past, and the love fest between Kirk and Mut.
Jerry is joined by Red Sox legend Bill Lee to talk about his new biopic "Spaceman," Lee's unique philosophy, political beliefs, drug use and what makes him a cultural icon decades after he retired from baseball.
Christian Fauria and Dr. Gill talk about the process and steps football players have to take when rehabbing injuries during the off season. Focusing on Dion Lewis, Nate Solder, and Sebastian Vollmer
Week two of the Preseason is underway so Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson of the “Fantasy Football Hour” to offer some mid-August updates and opinion. In today’s show Jim and Pete offer analysis from the Thursday Night Patriots game and discuss LeGarrette Blount and the Patriots Running Attack in depth. Jim and Pete key on some recent news surrounding lots of players including Seattle’s and Chicago’s backfield, then get into the incredibly deep Wide Receiver position. Make sure to tune in for more on Sunday morning at 8:00am for “The Fantasy Football Hour.” Enjoy!
Tom Brady returned to practice after his unexplained days off to shed some light into his mysterious scissors injury that prevented him from playing last Thursday's preseason game.More from this show
Patriots QB Jimmy G makes his weekly appearance with D&C on 'Patriots Monday' live from Gillette Stadium with Kirk Minihane and Mike Mutnansky on site.More from this show
CSN Pats reporter Tom E. Curran makes it over to the WEEI Gillette Stadium studios to discuss injuries to Dion Lewis, Sebastian Vollmer and Shaq Mason.More from this show
Gerry, Mut, and Kirk discuss the Benintendi catch from Monday and what's looking like an incredible outfield for years to come; also the guys discuss the probation sentence given to an East Longmeadow youth charged with sexual assault.More from this show