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Sox unlikely to sign starter before camp

By Seth Lakso
Globe Correspondent / February 2, 2012
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WORCESTER - Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington addressed the club’s starting pitching situation while speaking to members of the media prior to a Red Sox Town Hall meeting last night at Worcester Technical High School.

Cherington acknowledged it’s unlikely the Sox will add a starting pitcher before spring training begins.

“We wouldn’t rule out adding a starter,’’ said Cherington. “But I think it’s unlikely at this point. We’re going to keep looking for ways to improve the team, including the pitching staff, but I don’t expect any major changes between now and the report date.’’

Cherington said he has not had any meetings with free agent righthander Roy Oswalt.

“We know that teams evolve through the season,’’ said Cherington. “That doesn’t mean that you don’t want to go into spring training with every position perfect and the roster filled, but that’s never the case. This year we have some competition and some questions to answer. Hopefully, we’ll get some of those answers in spring training, but we may not.’’

Cherington, who plans to be in Fort Myers, Fla., early next week, said there’s no news on commissioner Bud Selig’s attempt to resolve the issue of compensation for Theo Epstein.

Manager Bobby Valentine was also on hand and met with reporters before the event. Valentine said he plans to head to Fort Myers Feb. 12, adding that he expects to have company when he arrives.

“I’ve talked to a few [players] who are going to be there,’’ said Valentine. “Andrew Bailey said he’s going to be there. Jonny Lester said he’s going to be there.

“I think a lot of the guys are just waiting for the new facility to open up, which they say is going to be by the fifth,’’ said Valentine.

Talking about the shortstop situation, Valentine said he doesn’t like the concept of a platoon.

“I don’t like to limit my players and say, ‘He’s only going to be hitting against righthanders,’ ’’ said Valentine.

The manager also said Daisuke Matsuzaka threw off a mound Tuesday for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery in June.

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