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Red Sox COO Sam Kennedy on D&C: Fans ‘would completely understand a move towards the following year’

06.26.14 at 9:56 am ET
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Red Sox COO Sam Kennedy joined Dennis & Callahan Thursday morning to talk about the team’€™s status as a buyer or seller€ this season and the Padres’ apparent€™ interest in Sox assistant general manager Mike Hazen. To listen to the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

While the Red Sox are one of the worst teams in the AL with a 36-43 record and sit six games out of a wild card spot, Kennedy stated that it’s too early to determine if Boston is going to be a buyer or seller at the trade deadline on July 31.

“I think it’€™s more of an eyeball, organic kind of thing,” Kennedy said. “I think we’€™re probably 29, 30 days away from the trade deadline. It seems to me, in my baseball experience, that as you get closer, the market starts to develop more and more each and every day. While it feels desperate right now for us, I don’€™t think we’€™re really going to know much until the market starts to develop and we play out the string here on the remaining games before the trade deadline.

“I really think so many teams, with the addition of the second wild card, are in this thing, so you really won’€™t see what good opportunities look like for several weeks now.”

Kennedy said that trading away certain players and calling up prospects such as Mookie Betts, Christian Vasquez and Garin Cecchini certainly is a possibility if the team is unable to improve in the near future.

“€œI think the strength of our organization over the last 13 years has been the willingness to recognize that value can be found at different times of the year,” Kennedy said. “We’ve invested heavily in the draft and scouting and player development, which has yielded some great major league talent for us on the Red Sox major league roster. We’ve also shown that we’€™re willing to make a big move at the deadline. … So we’€™ll see how it develops. We’ve got really, really smart people in baseball operations.

Ben Cherington, Mike Hazen and the crew are going to see what develops here. They’€™re realistic, they’€™re very smart. They know that they have to take a short-term approach. We try to play baseball every year in October, that’€™s sort of our organizational goal, but they’€™re also smart enough to know that if you get down towards the deadline and there’™s just a mountain that seems insurmountable, you may see them trade off some pieces and try and turn that focus for the long term.”

While waving the white flag on this season obviously is not the ideal scenario, Kennedy acknowledged that Red Sox fans are knowledgeable enough to accept a scenario in which the team becomes a seller at the trade deadline.

“€œI think the fans here the smartest in baseball, the most passionate in baseball, and they would completely understand a move towards the following year with our younger players that come up through our system that have been groomed and coached by our minor league staff,” Kennedy said. “€œBut I do think our fans are also smart enough to know that while it may feel desperate right now — 7 1/2 games back [in the AL East] — it’€™s still early. It’€™s June 26. There is time to get back into this thing.”

Hazen may not be with the organization for much longer, as he is rumored to be one of the leading candidates for the Padres general manager position after the team fired Josh Byrnes on Sunday. The Padres have deep connections with the Red Sox, as San Diego’€™s CEO, Mike Dee, worked for the Sox from 2002-09, serving as Boston’€™s COO prior to Kennedy.

“The last thing we want to do is help anyone in the National League West, let alone Mike Dee,” Kennedy joked. “I think [Hazen] will definitely be a candidate atop any club’€™s list who might need a general manager. … It’€™s the ultimate compliment when another organization comes knocking. But again, the last thing we want to do is help out good ol’ Mike Dee. Hopefully, Mike Hazen will be with us for a long time, but we are realistic and recognize that when you have talented people, other organizations come knocking. It’€™s just a part of the business.”

For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

Read More: mike hazen, mookie betts, Red Sox, Sam Kennedy
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