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Checking in with Theo Epstein

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  November 17, 2010 04:27 PM

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ORLANDO — The Boston media contingent just met with Theo Epstein. Here are the highlights:

• Epstein said he would be "shocked" if the Red Sox made a significant move before he leaves here tomorrow afternoon.

• Much as he did with Jarrod Saltalamacchia yesterday, Epstein spoke of Jed Lowrie's ability to be a regular and play third base.The Sox actually like him more at third base than they do at second or shortstop.

Adrian Beltre, however, remains the priority,

• The Sox are worried about their starter depth, which at the moment consists of Tim Wakefield, Felix Doubront (unless he's in the bullpen) and Junichi Tazawa coming off Tommy John surgery. They're looking for candidates. That would include minor league free agents, rehab projects and other characters.

• Theo talked about Juan Carlos Linares like he was the next Tony Oliva, praising his ability at the plate. He also had good things to say about how Ryan Lavarnway, Jose Iglesias, Casey Kelly and Jason Rice looked in the Arizona Fall League. "I know I sound like a carnival barker," Epstein said.

• If you're under the impression Jonathan Papebon could be non-tendered, be advised that's not happening.

• Teams have until Saturday to move players onto the 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. The Sox have 36 players on the 40 man at the moment. Epstein indicated they could add three or four players.

Luis Exposito, Stolmy Pimentel and Oscar Tejada are almost sure to be added.

• Victor Martinez lives only a short drive from the Waldorf Astoria. But Epstein did not drop by to try and facilitate the catcher’s return to the Red Sox.

“We had a lot of talks, heartfelt exchanges,” Epstein said. “He knows how we feel. We know how he feels, certainly. I would do it in a second if I felt there was something to be gained from it. But he knows how we feel.”

Martinez’s agent, Alan Nero, was not here this week. But one of his associates, Scott Pucino, is.

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