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Theo offers latest on Red Sox

01.29.10 at 4:10 pm ET

Speaking at an event announcing the six winners — one from each state in New England — of a 2010 Opening Night VIP Experience, Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein met with reporters to touch on a variety of topics. The following is what Epstein said while attending the event in the home clubhouse at Fenway Park:

Best way to get excited about spring training is to have a snow storm. We’re definitely ready to get down there.

  • [Have you talked to any players recently about coming into spring training?] I talked to a couple of guys but not specifically about the start of spring training. Just checking in and following up on a couple of issues.
  • [Have you talked to Mike Lowell recently?] I haven’t talked to him in a while. I talked to his agent a couple of weeks ago.
  • [How do you feel about your team?] This time of year most look down at the roster and on paper feel pretty good about it. Then in early October there’s only eight teams that still feel good, and then at the end of October there’s only one that feels good. We’ll see. You always feel pretty good about your depth. In our club’s case what we feel good about is how well-rounded we are. A lot has been made about moving in a different direction with our defense, but that’s not really what we did. We made an attempt to become well-rounded and be good in all areas.
  • [What spots on the team will be open to competition?] Hard to say, maybe the last spot in the bullpen. There’s no one bench job that’s open, but based on how a lot of guys play, we could align the bench a number of different ways.
  • [What is the possibility of adding any more arms to the bullpen?] We can always add depth and create competition in spots. There is already some competition. With the  numbers in the ‘pen, we have to whittle it down. We’re always on the lookout for more additions if they make sense. We don’t necessarily have great opportunities to sell at this point with certain aspects of our club, but if somebody is prepared for some competition maybe we could be the right landing spot for some guys on a minor league deal.
  • [How is Mike Lowell progressing physically?] It’s going well. He’s on schedule to be swinging a bat some point soon. By the time March rolls around he should be getting close to the point of playing in games.
  • [How has Jed Lowrie been progressing?] He’s doing well. His wrist has held up to all of his offseason workouts so far. It’s good news for him so far.
  • [How is the organization’s relationship with Daisuke Matsuzaka?] He was apologetic about not being more forthcoming and seems to be working hard to make up for it.
  • [Have there been any negotiations with Victor Martinez or Josh Beckett?] Any negotiations with any of our own guys we keep quiet. We don’t even acknowledge if they’re going on or not. It’s just the best way to get things done and in the best interest of the team.
  • [Regarding a perceived policy against negotiating with players during the season:] I never said that. We did David Ortiz during the season. We did Beckett during the season. Bay. If I think it will be a distraction, we won’t do it. But there’s no straight policy one way or another. I don’t expect to do it as a matter of course, but I wouldn’t put limitations on things we can or can’t do as an organization. Whatever the player is comfortable with.
  • [Thoughts on having extra starting pitchers:] Been around teams that have deep starting pitching on paper, and by the time the team begins the season you can’t find a starting pitcher to take the ball. I don’t see that as a problem, I see that as a potential asset. It’s not worth wasting time thinking about it or talking about it until you get to a point during the regular season when you have more than five guys healthy and can do a good job starting ballgames. We’re not at that point right now.

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