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Sources: Red Sox have shown interest in Casey Kotchman, Lyle Overbay, although ‘nothing active’

According to multiple baseball sources, the Red Sox [1] have shown interest in free agent first basemen Casey Kotchman [2] and Lyle Overbay [3]. One source reported, however, that “nothing is active” in regard to the team’s pursuit of the players.

The Red Sox pursuit of both Kotchman and Overbay might not be solely contingent on the outcome of Mike Napoli’s status, with the Sox still seeking depth at the first base position. The club and Napoli are still working through language in Napoli’s contract that would protect the team against any issues regarding the free agent’s hip ailment. (ESPN’s Jim Bowden reported Friday [4] that the Red Sox might be looking to shorten Napoli’s initial three-year, $39 million deal to one year.)

‘€œUntil something is done, you have to consider other options so we’€™ve had to do that and we’€™ve continued to consider other ways to improve the team, whether it’€™s at first base, or elsewhere,’€ said Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said while appearing on ‘The Hot Stove Show’ Thursday. ‘€œAt this point, we just haven’€™t found anything that made sense to us in the sort of big picture. So that’€™s where we are. There’€™s no one particular player that’€™s available or not available that would have changed the course of our offseason. We’€™re just examining and evaluating things as they come. Certainly when you have a position you’€™re trying to improve on, until it’€™s improved upon, you have to continue to consider other options. It’€™s fair to say as you sort of get deeper into the winter, the free agents start to go off the board. You can look at trades and other ways to do things. It remains a focus. We’€™re still hoping we can do something to improve ourselves in that area before we get to Fort Myers.”

The 29-year-old Kotchman, who signed a one-year, $3 million deal with Cleveland prior to the 2012 season, struggled offensively while serving as the Indians’ everyday first baseman. The lefty hitter finished ’12 hitting .229 with 12 home runs and a .612 OPS. The previous season, Kotchman hit .306 with an .800 OPS and 10 homers after inking a minor-league deal with Tampa Bay.

Overbay, 35, played in just 65 major-league games in ’12, starting the season with Arizona, and finishing with Atlanta. In 131 big league plate appearances, the left-handed batter hit .259 with a .727 OPS. He last played regularly for the Pirates in 2011, hitting .227 with a .649 OPS in 103 games before being released after playing in 103 games.

For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox [5].