BOSTON — The Red Sox’s 2014 season officially is over.
While most players packed up their stuff Sunday, a few others returned to the Red Sox’s clubhouse Monday to finish cleaning out their lockers. Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington and manager John Farrell then addressed the media at Fenway Park, discussing both Boston’s disappointing World Series defense and the interesting offseason that lies ahead.
The Red Sox have a lot of questions to answer before spring training. The work already has begun.
— Cherington’s offseason wish list includes adding to the starting rotation, improving the bullpen and acquiring a left-handed bat.
— Cherington wouldn’t say how many starting pitchers the Red Sox are considering pursuing. He expects one or more of Boston’s young starters to round out the rotation, though.
Role changes aren’t off the table, either. Brandon Workman and Rubby De La Rosa have relief experience.
— The Red Sox plan to add a catcher.
The catcher presumably will back up Christian Vazquez. Farrell said he’d be “very comfortable” with Vazquez as the Red Sox’s starting catcher.
Cherington didn’t rule out re-signing David Ross. It also sounds like the organization is willing to move on for the right upgrade.
— The Red Sox’s outfield is a crowded place. Don’t misinterpret it as a problem, though.
While it looks like the Red Sox could have a logjam with both Rusney Castillo and Mookie Betts in the mix, Cherington is looking at the situation in a much different light.
“I think you’re assuming it’s a problem. I don’t think we can assume it’s a problem until it’s a problem. And in October, it’s not a problem,” Cherington said. “If it’s a problem at some point, great. If we have too many good players for the spots we have, I guess that’s a problem and we’ll deal with it.
“We all know a lot can happen between now and next April. We’ll see where we are. We finished in last place. We need more good players, not less. So hopefully we’ll continue to build on that.
— The Red Sox’s third base production has been among the worst in Major League Baseball the last two seasons, yet Cherington remains confident one of Boston’s internal options — Will Middlebrooks, Garin Cecchini or Brock Holt — could be the solution.
“Could third base be an area we look at? It could be, but there’s a number of different ways I can imagine addressing the issue of building a deeper lineup,” Cherington said. “We do feel like we have players in the organization now that we feel are capable of being good major league third basemen.”
— Farrell was noncommittal about whether there will be changes to his coaching staff.
— The Red Sox haven’t had discussions with Yoenis Cespedes regarding a potential contract extension, according to Cherington.
— Allen Craig had a dismal season. But the Red Sox aren’t writing him off.
“In the time we’ve gotten to know him, I think we’ve found him to be an incredibly accountable guy, obviously an intelligent guy, and he knows what he needs to do this offseason to put himself into a position to be more successful next year,” Cherington said. “And the track record and his age suggests he will.”
— When asked about the Red Sox’s closer plans, Farrell immediately expressed a desire for Koji Uehara to return.
— One of the biggest criticisms of the Red Sox this season was that they were overly reliant on young players without proven major league track records. Don’t expect a complete revamp of the organization’s philosophy, though.
“We’re not going to, and we can’t shy away from the idea of committing to young players when they prove they should be committed to because that’s still the best way we can sustain a level of success over a long period of time,” Cherington said.
— Cherington offered a whole bunch of injury updates, found here.
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