LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — All quiet on the Red Sox front.
That was the sense after a briefing with general manager Theo Epstein on Wednesday night near the end of the final full day of the baseball winter meetings. Not that the club is sitting on its hands, but nothing is imminent in terms of moves, whether through free-agent signings or through trades.
Epstein insisted that it "could always change with one phone call" but the sense is that Boston will leave town Thursday afternoon with nothing to add to slugging first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, its major acquisition earlier in the week. Which likely suits Epstein just fine.
"[The Gonzalez] trade means we don’t have to force things," he said. "In pursuing players or in any negotiation , it's a tough spot to make you feel like you have to do something. Starting from a stronger position allows you to be patient, see more possibilities and see things for how they are."
As has been the case all week, those possibilities involve the bullpen and the potential addition of an outfield bat, but likely not that of Carl Crawford. Epstein would never rule that out but gave a pretty solid hint that he has moved on.
"We’re just in on the guys we’re in on but I think we got our big bat through a trade," Epstein said. "Still looking for good players but that Gonzalez acquisition put us in a different spot in terms of our need to do something. We’re still looking for the right player, right fit."
That search will probably continue back in Boston.
Here are few other tidbits from the GM:
This leaves some relievers in limbo. Epstein: "I think there’s sorta a rhythm to it where most players don’t want to be the first to sign for fear of getting more later but they don’t want to wait too long when there’s less resources out there."
Epstein anticipates that at least one of the 42 unprotected Red Sox minor leaguers could be taken but he believes there is a good chance they will be returned to the club (teams which draft someone in the process can return him later on for a $25,000 fee).
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