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Epstein checks in on a few subjects

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  February 15, 2010 12:37 PM

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General manager Theo Epstein stopped to chat with the writers. He touched on a few subjects:

* The Sox will prepare for Mike Lowell being an "important" part of the team. But obviously there is a chance they will move him. Lowell recently had the pin removed from his surgically repaired thumb and will be a few weeks behind the other hitters. The Sox will use Lowell at first base along with third base once he is ready to play.

* The Red Sox were never involved with Johnny Damon.

* Some of the free agents still out there intrigue Epstein. But most will get the same short-money offers at this point and will select teams based on opportunity. "We're not a team with a lot of opportunity," he said.

* Epstein said there is no rift whatsoever between the team and Daisuke Matsuzaka and he expects him to have a strong season. Dice-K is in Boston today handling some business and will return here tomorrow or Wednesday.

* Epstein said only a few roster spots are open, one or two on the bench and one or two in the bullpen.

* There were 70 players here today, which is notable because it's more than usual. Any player here now is paying his own way as the per diem doesn't start until the report date.

* Epstein would not comment on the report in the Herald that Victor Martinez wants a contract extension other than to say it was nice the catcher wants to stay with the team.

The workouts have broken up for today.

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