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Cherington talks free agency

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  November 9, 2011 06:27 PM

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Greetings from Fenway Park, where Sandy Alomar Jr. just met with reporters for 20 minutes.

The most interesting news came from Ben Cherington later on. He said the Sox haven't ruled out adding more candidates but have no plans to. So their next manager will probably be Alomar, Gene Lamont, Torey Lovullo, Pete Mackanin or Dale Sveum.

Lovullo interviews Friday and Lamont on Saturday.

“Wouldn’t rule out adding another person. But there are no plans to. Our hope as we get into next week and the GM Meetings would be to narrow that down some, still with the goal of having somebody in place before Thanksgiving.”

Cherington said he would present a “very small, short list” of candidates to the owners.

“I may have a personal preference on who the next manager is,” he said. “[The owners] clearly have an important voice in this decision.”

Team president Larry Lucchino has been involved with the interview process. Principal owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner have yet to meet any of the candidates.

As for free agency, Cherington said there has been more dialogue with David Ortiz than Jonathan Papelbon.

"With David, continued dialogue with his agent. I've actually traded messages with David but I've spoken with his agent a couple times," Cherington said. "I think with David, it's in some ways a little bit more clear in terms of what his market could be. It's a little easier to have the conversations earlier in the offseason and start to get into what we might be able to, so we're starting to do that. I still don't know when there will be a resolution."

As for Papelbon, the picture is not as clear.

"With Pap, it's a little bit more difficult, because obviously you get more options in terms of the National League, more unknown about what's out there," Cherington said. "So less dialogue with him, but keep the door open certainly and we'll talk again I'm sure next week.

"We'll talk again several times, probably. But when you get into free agency, there's that sort of bi-lateral risk. The risk for the player is that the team goes in a different direction. The risk for the team is that the player goes in another direction. Those things can happen fast sometimes."

Also, don't expect any high-profile free agents coming to Boston.

"This offseason is going to be more about fixing what's under the hood than it is about buying a new car," Cherington said. "We're going to make moves and we're going to build pitching depth and we're going to be active."

Cherington also said he wasn't too worried about how a new CBA would change free agency compensation.

"Most proceed as usual," he said. "I think that most of the decisions we'd have this offseason are less likely to be affected by CBA resolution. But we're certainly aware of it."

Reading between the lines, that means the Sox have no plans to sign any Type A free agents.

In other news:

• Former Royals pitching coach Bob McClure has been hired as a professional scout and minor league instructor.

• There has been some progress in talks with Theo Epstein regarding compensation from the Cubs. That will continue next week at the GM meetings.

"We've traded some ideas and don't have anything to report yet. But at least there's been a couple more conversations," Cherington said. "The commissioner's office is giving us some leeway on it if we feel like there's progress being made."

• Cherington said he was disappointed not to get a chance to interview Mike Maddux but understood his reasons.

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