One of the great frustrations of the Red Sox’s epic September collapse is that they were on a legitimate 100-win pace when that month began, the roster littered with multiple Gold Glovers and Silver Sluggers, like so many empty beer bottles and chicken buckets.
Trying to keep that in perspective as chaos has reigned in September’s wake, new general manager Ben Cherington told the media this week not to expect the kind of high-profile — and high-priced — free agent signings that dominated the past two offseasons.
“This offseason is more about fixing what’s under the hood than buying a new car,” Cherington said.
“We’re going to make moves and we’re going to build pitching depth and we’re going to be active, but I’m not sure that right now is the time to go through that [courting] exercise given the kind of targets we’re going to have.”
The Red Sox have a pair of big-name free agents still on the roster in David Ortiz and Jonathan Papelbon. Cherington said the team would like both to return, but seemed to indicate Ortiz was more likely to stay, with the team having more contact with the hitter than the closer.
“I've spoken with [Ortiz’s] agent a couple times,” Cherington said. “I think with David, it’s in some ways a little bit more clear in terms of what his market could be.”
Retaining Papelbon does not figure to be as easy. The Phillies reportedly had interest in Papelbon before agreeing to a four-year, $44 million contract with Ryan Madson. But that deal has not been finalized, leaving Papelbon’s door to Philly still ajar.