Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and manager Alex Cora met with the media Thursday. Dombrowski spoke first, and was followed by Cora. Here are the highlights:
■ Dombrowski was asked about if the team had decided on which of the club’s free agents they would make qualifying offers: “Yes, but we’re not at liberty to announce that until Major League Baseball does that on Friday.’’
If Kimbrel doesn’t return, Dombrowski thinks internally there are candidates to close. ‘Barnes and Brasier are candidates. They’re not Craig Kimbrel at this point in their careers.’— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) November 1, 2018
■ Dombrowski was asked about his future with the team: “I’m very happy here. I like it here. I don’t know we’re running out of time . . . I’m thrilled and happy to be here.’’
■ He said he hopes to keep as many players as possible, “but sometimes when guys become free agents, they receive offers they can’t refuse. But if you told me today that we could bring back the same club together totally, we’d be thrilled with that. I don’t think it’s realistic because what you see with free agency and what that brings.
“I think we’ll have a core of those players stay. I think all things being equal, they’d like to stay here, but again, sometimes people make offers to you that you can’t refuse.’’
■ Dombrowski said he likes all three catchers (Christian Vazquez, Sandy Leon, and Blake Swihart), but acknowledges it would be unlikely that they keep all three, but not impossible.
Dombrowski on Sale: ‘We anticipate him coming to spring training being 100 percent ... at this point without any surgical procedures.’— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) November 1, 2018
■ The team would prefer to keep the coaching staff intact, but Dombrowski said that some members have been given permission to interview elsewhere.
■ Cora said he’s good after getting hit by a beer can at Wednesday’s parade. “The kid didn’t mean to hurt anybody . . . We’re fine . . . I’ve just got to be ready to make that play the next time.’’
■ The Sox manager said he is looking forward to bringing the World Series trophy back to Puerto Rico on Saturday.
■ Cora said the organization will discuss visiting the White House and that he’ll respect whatever decision is made. “I’ll use the platform the right way,’’ he said.
■ Cora said that if Dustin Pedroia is ready (the second baseman missed nearly the entire season because of a knee injury), he will lead off on Opening Day. “That’s the goal,’’ Cora said.
■ Cora is already looking ahead to next season.
“You talk about the hangover effect next year, I don’t know if this goup is going to feel it. Obviously today is the beginning of a new season, but I can’t wait for the offseason to be over with and get there to February, and start preaching about what we’re going to do next year. We have a great core of players, young and hungry.’’
■ Cora was asked what he learned managing in his first year. “How to manage time. That was the challenging part of it. The baseball part of it . . . that’s what I’ve been doing for a living. I like to spend time with my players, be out there on the field. Media requests, meetings there were a few days I fell short.’’
Cora says his comments (“suck on it”) on the stage yesterday were directed towards those who thought the Red Sox were done after Game 2 vs the Yankees - not at the Yankees.— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) November 1, 2018