|Red Sox contemplate Teixeira||11.04.08 at 12:37 am ET|
The Red Sox make a point of aggressively exploring every possible avenue of improvement. Even if a position–or positions–appear to be blocked, the club feels an obligation to determine whether it can shift one or more parts in order to field a better team.
That approach will inform the team’s approach towards free-agent first baseman Mark Teixeira. The Sox already have a first baseman in Kevin Youkilis who was an MVP-caliber performer this year. All the same, the Sox seem willing to look at how they might rearrange their roster–perhaps moving Youkilis from first back to third, where he broke into the majors, and dealing Mike Lowell–in order to see whether a fit with the 28-year-old Teixeira could be a fit.
“We’ll be open minded about any ways we might be able to improve. We try not to look at our roster and see limitations. We try to see opportunities,” said Sox G.M. Theo Epstein. “I think we’re lucky to have some versatile players on the roster. Sometimes, those scenarios come into play in beneficial ways. It’s usually more during the season when you have injuries.”
Of course, the Sox do have injuries to consider, chiefly how Lowell might return from the surgery on his right hip labrum. Because of the uncertainty surrounding him, the Sox feel that they should at least kick the tires on Teixeira, as they do on virtually every prominent free agent.
All the same, the team will not take a Teixeira-or-bust approach to the offseason, nor will the team be driven by necessity with any free-agent signing. Nor, for that matter, will the Sox ever decide that they must acquire a single player or face a season of disappointment.
“In baseball, if you convince yourself you need a certain player, you’ve already lost. One player doesn’t have that much impact,” said Epstein. “It’s about building organizations. It’s not about adding players. There’s no player you can have to make up for an inherent weakness in the organization—a foundational weakness. You need to build the foundation up where you don’t need that one player. Yeah, you can pursue that player. He may be a great fit. But if it doesn’t work out or if the money gets ridiculous, you can turn to another player.”
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