The Red Sox could have a new pitching coach in place before the end of the week.
General manager Ben Cherington and manager John Farrell interviewed four candidates and appear impressed with Rick Peterson, Baltimore’s director of pitching development.
“We’re moving along pretty good this week,” Cherington said.
Peterson, 58, has been a major league pitching coach with the Athletics, Mets and Brewers. When Farrell started his playing career in the Cleveland organization, Peterson was his pitching coach with Double A Waterbury in 1986 and Triple A Buffalo in 1987.
The Red Sox also spoke to former Marlins pitching coach Randy St. Claire, White Sox bullpen coach Juan Nieves and Royals executive Steve Foster, a former bullpen coach.
The Red Sox plan to start speaking to hitting coaches this week. The remaining spots on their staff – first base coach and bullpen coach – should fall into place quickly after that.
The deadline to pick up the contract option on bullpen coach Gary Tuck is coming up soon. He remains a candidate to return.
— The Red Sox had initial contract talks with outfielder Cody Ross but nothing that came close to preventing him from entering the free agent market.
“The door will remain open, and we’ll continue to talk, but once we’re in free agency, he’s got opportunities to talk to other teams, and we fully expect him to do that,” Cherington said.
“Going back to last fall when I first talked to Cody about coming here, the goal obviously was to do well as a team, but part of the goal was to put him in a better position. I felt it could put him in a better position by coming here and performing in this ballpark. The good news is that it did. That’s to his credit. He’s in a good position now. It makes it tougher to sign him. We’ll keep the door open. We’ll keep talking. At the same time, we’ve got to consider alternatives, too.”
Ross hit .267 with 22 home runs and 81 RBIs last season on a one-year, $3 million deal. He hit .298with 13 homers and 49 RBIs at Fenway Park. He is seeking three years.