Red Sox GM Ben Cherington knows that some fans are full of angst over closer Jonathan Papelbon leaving for the Phillies.
"It's really early in the offseason," he said. "The team is far from put together. Nothing has happened to this point that is standing in the way of what we want to do this offseason to improve the team."
Seth Levinson, one of Jonathan Papelbon’s agents, contacted Cherington late Friday night to officially inform him the closer had agreed to terms with the Phillies.
“I’m happy for him; he’s earned it,” Cherington said. “Good for him and the Phillies get a good pitcher.”
Ortiz's return and how it affects right field
Cherington said that the team’s pursuit of outfield help hinges on whether David Ortiz returns as the DH.
“There are some interesting guys out there who could factor in to our right field mix,” Cherington said. “A lot of that depends on David. If David’s here, we’re going to go in a certain direction with the outfield. If he's not here, it sort of opens it up a little bit. There are alternatives, both in free agency and in a trade market for guys that can play right field.”
The Red Sox have already expressed interest in Carlos Beltran, who has made the transition from center field to right field. But if Ortiz were to return, Josh Reddick and Ryan Kalish could compete for the job in spring training with perhaps a low-cost veteran in the mix.