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November 07, 2006

More from Theo ...

By Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff

Besides the news on Foulke, Theo Epstein also talked about the team’s overall outlook heading into the general managers’ meetings next week.

"We probably have more needs than we’ve had the last few years," said Epstein. "We need a starting pitcher, a couple of relievers, one lefthanded [reliever]. We need right fielder, a backup catcher. We need a shortstop, then we need to fill out our bench with quality players to compliment the regulars. We need a second baseman as well."

"Some will be addressed through signing our own players, some will be addressed externally, some internally," Epstein said.

Regarding the reshaping of the bullpen, Epstein said "we’re going to try to acquire a closer through trade or free agency. There’s some options to see where we’ll turn next. We're not clear how our bullpen dynamic will shape up."

More Hot Stove talk from Epstein:

  • Epstein dodged a question about the team’s interest in Japanese star pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka.

    "We never discuss players who are under contract with another organization,” Epstein said. “He still is technically. We’ll have no comment on him until the process complete."

    Bids on the right to negotiate with Matsuzaka are due tomorrow.

  • On the possibility of Dustin Pedroia taking over at second base for Boston next season:

    "Dustin had a very good year in Triple-A,” Epstein said. “He made it though the farm system very rapidly ... We'll see how it goes from an organizational standpoint and how he prepares this offseason. If it breaks that way, we’d be comfortable having him fit into the big league picture. Whether that’s now, or a little bit down the road, remains to be seen."

  • On the possibility of Alex Gonzalez returning as the team's shortstop:

    "We'll see," Epstein said. "Jed [Hoyer] had a conversation with Alex's agent earlier today. We certainly have an interest in bringing Alex back at the right price. We'll keep the dialog going and see if there is a mutual fit."

  • Regarding the role of pitcher Julian Tavarez next season:

    "We’ll see [if the team ends up using him as a starter or reliever],” Epstein said. “Certainly he's a valuable member of our pitching staff. That will carry over. He showed a lot of confidence in himself on the mound. Whether he's a starter or in the bullpen remains to be seen. More than likely, we’ll acquire a starter and he’ll be back in his role in the bullpen but it's too early to see how the offseason plays out."

    Epstein also had medical updates on a couple of players:

  • Epstein said reports on Jonathan Papelbon, who was shut down in September with shoulder fatigue, are terrific.

    "No problems whatsoever with his shoulder," said Epstein. "He's at his normal point in his offseason program. He said his shoulder feels 'great.'"

  • On Coco Crisp, who had season-ending surgery to insert a pin into his left index finger in September, Epstein said, "Crisp met with doctors a few weeks ago and had his cast removed. He's got a follow-up appointment in December to get the pin removed from finger. All indications are that he's healing normally and is on schedule."

    Posted By: ssilva | Time: 04:22:00 PM | E-mail to a friend | Link | Sound off
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