Earlier today, Bobby Valentine, Pedro Martinez, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and a host of Red Sox prospects met privately with children undergoing cancer treatment, as part of the New Stars for Young Stars event to benefit the Jimmy Fund and Pedro Martinez and Brothers Foundation.
While there, Valentine took the opportunity to talk to the media about how he and Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford had finally managed to talk.
“I finally got that call in to Carl [Crawford],” said Valentine. “Carl and I talked a long time. It went good. He seemed very determined. He seemed very understanding of the fact that things got spinning a little fast for him last year in the new environment and he seemed to be determined to correct that.”
Valentine also spoke about the Yankees’ recent acquisitions of pitcher Michael Pineda in a trade with the Mariners and former Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda via free agency.
“Pineda, when I saw him the first half of the season, he looked unhittable, and the second half he looked OK,” said Valentine, who said that he believes Kuroda is a good pitcher.
“[Kuroda’s] a year older than he was last year (Kuroda turns 37 next month),” he said. “He’ll be pitching in the American League now and not the National League, pitching in not a great pitcher’s ballpark, coming from a great pitcher’s ballpark. He’ll probably be an upgrade from [Bartolo] Colon and [Freddy] Garcia, probably, seems it.”
Valentine stressed that he didn’t believe that the Sox had to do anything immediately to respond to the moves made by New York.
“I think we have a good team,” he said. “If we could continue to add to it as the season progresses when we see what the needs are and when we see what the strengths and weaknesses are, I think that will be fine.”
“When you have a core like we have, I don’t think there’s any rush to do anything until we at least see the team in spring training.”
The Sox manager concluded his media session by talking about Jason Varitek, who has reportedly been offered a non-roster invitation to spring training by the team.
“I have no idea where we stand on [Varitek],” said Valentine. “I haven’t talked to Tek because, basically, he’s not on the roster, you know, and I really have no idea.
“I’m just trying to think if I’ve ever had a guy with a ‘C’ on their chest that came into spring training as a non-roster type. The fact of the matter right now is that he’s not on the roster. So, if he came to spring training, I would think that he’d be a non-roster player.”