Theo Epstein on today’s moves
On designating Hermida and calling up Kalish: “We were looking to make some changes in our outfield mix a little bit in anticipation of [Jacoby] Ellsbury coming back next week as well. We thought we needed a little more offense from our outfield if we could.
“We were looking to upgrade in the trade market and when it was clear that was not going to materialize, we decided rather than putting someone like a Ryan Kalish in a deal that we would regret some day. With the way his development’s going, he’s ready for a trial here at the major league level. He brings a lot of energy; he brings an advanced approach at the plate. He brings a solid all-around game. Those are things we can use right now.
With Hermida, he had a hard time getting back in a groove after coming off the DL. There’s some trade interest in him and he’s somebody who had a chance to be moved after the deadline. We’ll see how that develops. It’s safe to say he’ll end up traded or back with us in the minor leagues.”
On not getting a reliever: “I think of relievers weren’t moved. If you look at it, a lot of the guys we were in on were relievers who we felt would have been a clear, obvious, definite upgrade for us. Guys who come right into the mix and represent upgrades. Guys we could put in behind Bard and Papelbon and help this team immediately. We weren’t necessarily in the market for a reclamation project or somebody we sort of hoped would help us. … We feel like we have some internal solutions. Rather before we give up a guy like Felix Doubront in a trade, we’re going to put him in the bullpen and see what he looks like down in Pawtucket. He’ll have a chance to come up and help us at some point.”
“We explored a lot of different relievers. It is an empty feeling to come away empty-handed. Before we did something that we would regret for a long time, we felt this was the best course to ultimately help out 2010 club.”
On Saltalamacchia: “We’ve been scouting him heavily this year Obviously a guy we liked a lot in the past and came with a really high price tag in the past. Someone we hope we’re buying low on as he’s battling a few different issues.
“We had scouts in there very recently on him, actually right up until the deadline. He’s throwing the ball back to the pitcher fine right now, throwing to the bases pretty well. We feel he’s a classic guy with a high ceiling who needs a change of scenery. Kind of been butting heads with the organization there a little bit. Type of guy we think we can work with to unleash that potential. … He’s somebody we think can impact the organization in the long term.”
On the cost of relief pitching: “It was more the player cost, the prospect cost, more than anything. We were pretty aggressive, I thought, in offering some pretty solid prospects, staying away from our top, top guys. That wouldn’t make sense for relievers. That was the nature of the market this year, it was deep in starting pitchers, deep in DH-type bats, pretty thin in relievers and outfielders. We were on the wrong end of that supply-and-demand dynamic this year.
“We knew we’d have to, if we wanted to be competitive in the market, we’d have to pay high prices. We were prepared to and thought we were going to get something done and were disappointed in the end that we couldn’t. The teams that did trade their closers, they did really well with the closers they got back.”
Still get a reliever? “I do. The resources both in terms of both prospects and dollars to reach out in August if appropriate [are there]. Helping the 2010 team is definitely a goal for today along with doing some things for the future. The primary goal was helping the 2010 team. We weren’t able to do that, so that’s a disappointment and something that remains a goal going into August especially if we get off on the right foot.”
Epstein said he made “aggressive proposals” to try and get a relief pitcher and that he likes the internal options of Bowden and Doubront to stabilize the pen.
On Mike Lowell: “We’re going to sit down and talk to Mike. I haven’t had a chance to talk to him. … We’ll be around after the game to talk about it.”
(That certainly sounds like Lowell is being released)
On Daniel Turpen, who was obtained for Ramon Ramirez: “He’s a 23-year-old, low arm slot, almost sidearm reliever who our scouts really like and the makings of three above-average pitches. Looking ahead, looking at our bullpen the next couple of years … there might be some turnover in the pen and he’s someone who could be part of the solution. Maybe not this year, looking at our future bullpen.”
Epstein said they like Turpen’s stuff and his demeanor and that he gets grounders.
On what happens now: “It’s not the end of the story. We have August. We have a team that has the ability to get really hot as we get healthy and play our way right back to where we want to go. The ability to add in August as well; the ability to get contributions from our internal solutions. That’s not the whole story. But if you ask me are we frustrated that we weren’t able to help this team today, yeah, certainly.
“I want to be clear that we still think we have the ability to make the postseason and we have to get really hot. As we get healthier, we start to see the team on the field that can get really hot. … There’s a feeling in that clubhouse and in the front office that we have the ability to do what we didn’t do in April and that’s run off a bunch of wins. That’s what its going to take to make up this ground. We still have a feeling there’s a good chance of that happening. … We believe in this team.”
Ellsbury return timetable: “We’ll see. I can’t give you an exact timetable. It’s sort of a day-to-day evaluation how he’s feeling, how he’s swinging the bat. We want to make sure he’s ready to hit. Last time he came back it took him a little while to get going with the bat and get his timing down. … We don’t want to rush him back here before he’s ready to hit.”
On Bowden coming back: “That depends on a few different factors. He’s not eligible until the 2nd because of the 10-day option rule. We’ll see. He’s certainly in the mix of guys that we’re looking at to stabilize our ‘pen.”
Announcement coming on Lowell? “I don’t know the timing. We’re going to get together and talk after the game.”
For what it’s worth, Buster Olney of ESPN is reporting the Red Sox finished second for Kerry Wood and his 1.60 WHIP.
When you look at the relievers who were traded (Ohman, Wood, Lopez, Farnsworth, Qualls and Dotel), how many of those guys were going to make a big difference on the Red Sox? That’s largely a bunch of guys who used to be good or were good in low-pressure situations and have marginal stuff.
Obviously, the cost for every team with Scott Downs was prohibitive as Toronto will be happy to offer him arbitration and take the draft picks.
What is interesting is that several sources said the Red Sox held talks involving Jacoby Ellsbury with a number of teams. That would seem to indicate they’ll be motivated to move him come the winter.