Ben Cherington Heads to General Mangers Meetings With Focus on ‘Information Gathering’ to Fuel Offseason Moves

BOSTON – Ben Cherington has cleared the first two items on his offseason agenda.

After hiring manager John Farrell last week and formally re-signing David Ortiz to a multi-year deal Monday, the Red Sox general manager departed Tuesday morning to Palm Springs, Calif., to attend Major League Baseball’s general manager meetings.

While the winter meetings typically provide baseball’s biggest blockbuster trades, the Red Sox could still construct the building blocks of potential swaps during these meetings. Either way, Cherington says dialogue will be open.

“I think it’ll be more information gathering, meeting with teams,” Cherington said. “I’m sure there will be some agents there. We’ve already had a lot of conversations on the phone, but face to face, we’ll talk a little more about concepts — both free agent concepts and trade concepts. The offseason is a bit of a mosaic, we’re looking for one piece and how it affects the other. But at some point, the other balls have to fall.”

The Red Sox are in need of a first baseman, a starting pitcher, a shortstop and corner outfielders. Despite the laundry list of wishes, Cherington insists there’s no particular priority.

“I don’t know if we can follow an order because there’s enough to do and some sort of impact the other,” Cherington said. “I think we have to keep engaged in a number of different things at once with agents and teams. We have a general idea of things we want to pursue the most aggressively. We’ll see if any of those land more quickly and if they do that might shape us in a certain way. I think we need to keep our options open as much as we can, knowing we have a lot of work to do.”

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