Ben Cherington on M&M: ‘We’re not going to proactively make a move just for the sake of making one’
|12.10.13 at 12:38 pm ET|
Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington joined Mut & Merloni at the MLB winter meetings to discuss Boston’s offseason plans, the signing of Edward Mujica, and the future of players like Will Middlebrooks, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts.
The Red Sox have been active so far this offseason, signing catcher A.J. Pierzynski to a one-year deal, agreeing with Mike Napoli on a reported two-year contract and inking Mujica to a two-year deal.
“We feel pretty good where we are,” Cherington said. “I think we’re in a position where we can take advantage of the rest of the time we have here and the rest of the time in the offseason just to explore. If there’s things we can do to make us better and that make sense short and long term, we’ll definitely work on those things, but if we had to start the season tomorrow, we’d feel pretty good about that, too.”
If Boston decides to stand pat for the remainder of the MLB offseason, the team will kick off Opening Day with three players who have only played a combined 224 regular-season games, as Middlebrooks, Bogaerts and Bradley all seem penciled in to start next season.
“We wouldn’t consider committing to a young player unless we really believed in the young player,” Cherington said. “We think we have some guys who are worth believing in. … There’s quite a bit of value for us in finding spots to commit to young players, because at some point, you have to.”
One interesting topic this offseason has been the discussion over whether the Red Sox will trade a starting pitcher, as the Sox currently have at least six potential starters on the roster.
“I don’t think so,” Cherington said. “Somehow, a pitching surplus in general tends to work itself out by the time you get to Opening Day, so we’re not going to proactively make a move just for the sake of making one. If something makes sense, we’ll listen, but certainly we’d rather go into spring training with more than enough options than too few.”
The signing of Mujica could prove to be a big boost to the Boston bullpen, as the 29-year-old reliever had a stellar first half of the 2013 season with the Cardinals, recording 26 saves while walking only one batter. However, Mujica struggled in September with an 11.05 ERA in 10 games due to a groin injury.
“He had a groin issue that cropped up in September where he just couldn’t push off the way he normally did. If you look at the first half of the season, he was dominant. … We don’t have any concerns about him physically,” Cherington said. “He’s actually been remarkably healthy for his career. … He, along with [Junichi] Tazawa and Koji [Uehara] and the others hopefully allow John [Farrell] and the staff to manage everyone’s workload.”
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