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As Cherington steps in, plenty to do

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  October 22, 2011 09:45 AM

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Most new general managers inherit a bit of a mess, otherwise the old guy would still have his job. In this case, Ben Cherington takes over a team that won 90 games and has a roster laden with All-Star players.

But the new GM of the Red Sox still has a lengthy to-do list on his desk. Here are some of the chores he needs to accomplish in the coming weeks:

Negotiate with Theo Epstein on compensation for Theo Epstein.

Hire a new manager and coaching staff.

Decide whether to pick up the team options held on shortstop Marco Scutaro and righthanded reliever Dan Wheeler. Those decisions come due after the World Series.

Find someplace San Diego, San Francisco, the moon to send John Lackey.

Determine to what degree the team will fight to retain in-house free agents Jonathan Papelbon, David Ortiz, J.D. Drew, Erik Bedard, Tim Wakefield and Jason Varitek.

Determine to what extent the medical and conditioning staff needs to be overhauled given the injuries and issues of the last two seasons.

Decide whether to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players Alfredo Aceves, Matt Albers, Mike Aviles, Daniel Bard, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, Rich Hill, Andrew Miller, Franklin Morales and Jarrod Saltalamacchia before the Dec. 12 deadline.

Mend some fences with Carl Crawford, who was shuffled around the lineup all season by Terry Francona then heard that John Henry never wanted him in the first place.

Make whatever hires are needed in the baseball operations and player development staffs.

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