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Red Sox GM says landing free agent pitcher is “unlikely”

Feb 1, 2012, 9:23 PM EDT

oswalt ap AP

The Red Sox have been linked recently to free agent pitchers Edwin Jackson and Roy Oswalt. But E-Jax apparently has better deals on the table from other clubs and Oswalt is thought to prefer a team in the middle of the country, like the Cards or Rangers.

Which leads us to the following report…

According to WEEI’s Alex Speier, Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said Wednesday night that it’s “unlikely” a new pitcher joins the team’s rotation mix before the start of spring training later this month.

“We wouldn’t rule out adding a starter, but I think it’s unlikely at this point,” said the Red Sox general manager. “We’re going to keep looking for ways to improve the team, including the pitching staff, (but) I wouldn’t expect any major changes. … We think the lineup is pretty balanced and I think we have some options in the bullpen and that can be a strength. We like the front of the rotation. We’re going to find out more about the end of the rotation in spring training and see if guys step up.”

Jon Lester, Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz are locks for Boston’s 2012 starting rotation. Alfredo Aceves, Daniel Bard, Andrew Miller, Vicente Padilla and Aaron Cook will compete for the other spots.

  1. hammyofdoom - Feb 1, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    Of COURSE he’s going to say that. He’d say that right after he got out of a meeting with Oswalts agent and he was signing on the dotted line as he spoke wit the media. I honestly have no clue about where Oswalt is going to land, but every GM will sing this same tune until he signs

  2. retaeyssup - Feb 1, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    Glad they didn’t land Roy-O and all his injury issues. What they need is a beer and fried chicken vendor in the dugout. That way the big three aren’t forced to leave the field for a refill and can stay focused on the game.

    • nixonotis - Feb 2, 2012 at 2:08 AM

      You’re a regular George Carlin.

      • Glenn - Feb 2, 2012 at 11:37 AM

        Yes – Gearge Carlin now.

  3. uyf1950 - Feb 1, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    Why do I get the distinct feeling that the Ortiz arbitration case is holding up the Red Sox making a serious offer for either Oswalt or Jackson.

    If Ortiz is/was to win his arbitration case that’s $3.85MM difference the Sox don’t figure to be able to spend. And at a 42% luxury tax rate it really come out to $5.467MM.

  4. shaggylocks - Feb 1, 2012 at 10:06 PM


    Garg. Sorry for shouting, but the date for pitchers and catchers is creeping up on us, and it gets me a little tense when thinking about the holes that the Red Sox have.

    • hammyofdoom - Feb 1, 2012 at 11:13 PM

      I really do not think Scutaro could take another full year at short, his shoulder, neck, arm, everything was hurting when he played there, and the Red Sox really had no other room for him. Its not like they traded away a star here

  5. randygnyc - Feb 1, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    I can’t imagine a team being so desperate for starting pitching would pass on a 1 year deal for Edwin Jackson. Even with pineda, I think the Yankees should take a swipe at Jackson and trade AJ for a new bat boy and a middle of the grandstand peanut vendor.

    • phukyouk - Feb 1, 2012 at 11:02 PM

      ” I think the Yankees should take a swipe at Jackson and trade AJ for a new bat.”

      • paperlions - Feb 2, 2012 at 7:52 AM

        You think they could get anything of value in return for Burnett even if they paid 80% of his salary? I don’t.

      • yournuts - Feb 2, 2012 at 2:05 PM

        I think AJ will have his best year in 2012. Just watch.

      • paperlions - Feb 2, 2012 at 2:12 PM

        your (sic) nuts

    • nixonotis - Feb 2, 2012 at 2:13 AM

      You simply cannot get anything of value for AJ Burnett. What purpose would it serve to trade a potentially viable 5th starter for a mere 3-5 million dollars of salary relief? There comes a point of diminishing returns when it comes to starting pitching. When it gets to the point where you’re getting nothing in terms of real value in exchange for the player, it is undoubtedly best to maintain the depth of the rotation rather than make a trade for what amounts to pennies on the dollar. After all, you could catch lightning in a bottle. You probably won’t, but at this point, it’s well worth a shot.

      • spudchukar - Feb 2, 2012 at 1:43 PM

        I believe the answer to the Burnett issue is your “potentially viable 5th starter” phrase. That is about as backhanded a compliment as possible.

  6. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 1, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    Beckett and Lester are fine, but Buchholz’s health is always a concern and then there’s nobody pencilled in behind him. Having only 2 bonafide starters and deciding to see what happens in spring training is no way to run a ball club.

  7. phillyphever - Feb 1, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    Is it just me, or is this Oswalt thing getting completely out of control? Face it Roy, you’re not gonna get the money you thought you were gonna get. Suck it up and take whatever deal comes your way.

    • Utley's Hair - Feb 1, 2012 at 11:16 PM

      I actually find it rather amusing how people are getting so testy over this. Whether he signs or not has absolutely no effect on what I do today, tomorrow or further into the future. He’s going to take as long as he takes to make a decision one way or the other.

      Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing him back in red pinstripes for another run at the title, but if he isn’t, then good luck to him. Based on his past comments, this is probably the last chance he gets/gives himself to get that ring.

    • nixonotis - Feb 2, 2012 at 2:17 AM

      It’s just you. See, this is not the way a business works. This isn’t about pride, ego, or anything other than making the best possible deal possible for Oswalt and his family. And, for what it’s worth, if every player were to “suck it up and take whatever deal comes [their] way,” it would be, for better or worse, a very different game.

    • paperlions - Feb 2, 2012 at 7:54 AM

      Yeah, Fielder also should have just taken what people were offering instead of waiting.

      Oswalt could even wait until spring training and the inevitable rash of pitcher injuries mount up to sign with someone.

  8. phillyphever - Feb 1, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    Know why I’m testy about this: I’m testy because the guy has become a complete martyr the whole time. I mean, who the hell turns down $10 million from the Tigers? (right now the favorites to win the AL). I might as well start calling Roy “Brett Favre” ar this point. Make up your damn mind or just retire if your heart’s not in it.

    • Utley's Hair - Feb 1, 2012 at 11:57 PM

      I fail to see how he has become a “martyr.” He has said that he wants to pitch for one of two teams, but he also has said in the past that he could just walk away from the game altogether. Where’s the problem here? If he is going to pitch, he doesn’t want to do it in Detroit. I—and I would guess most people would also—wish I were in a position of being able to pick and choose my next place of employment, while also saying it wouldn’t be for less than a given amount.

      You say that the Tigers are the favorites in the AL. The Phightins were in the same position last year. Look what happened there.

    • paperlions - Feb 2, 2012 at 7:56 AM

      Who turns down $10M from the Tigers? Someone that doesn’t need $10M and that does not want to play in Detroit. Just because someone offers you something you don’t want…doesn’t mean you have to take it.

      Choosers don’t have to be beggars. Oswalt is in a position to be a chooser.

  9. Brian Murphy - Feb 2, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    And a couple of weeks ago, Prince Fielder was “probably not a good fit” for the Tigers.

  10. buffalomafia - Feb 2, 2012 at 3:08 AM

    Will Boston be able to keep Ortiz?

  11. mdev1987 - Feb 2, 2012 at 5:35 AM

    Sox r having a pathetic last 6 months. Team collapses, Francona who won two rings gets lost, theo bounces, bobby valentine is hired who’s a complete joke, u trade for bailey n melancon lol, and lose paps. The rotation is filled with injury prone losers and no namers. 4th place. Rays have best pitching in the division n jays may actually show more than the sox. Happy 2012 sox fans!!

    • canowack - Feb 2, 2012 at 7:37 AM

      Do you have any idea what you are talking about? Besides the Rays have the best pitching in the division, you sound like you’re straight off the short bus to me.

  12. daveydawg - Feb 2, 2012 at 7:39 AM

    I hate this team… I’m a sox fan, but I just can’t stand this organization right now… Top to bottom…

    • canowack - Feb 2, 2012 at 7:45 AM

      They don’t want fans like you I’m sure, so move on. They’re doing all they can…they can’t empty their pockets…luxury tax is something you must not understand, as well as limited options that you must not understand either…

      They’ve done the best they can in this market based on the mistakes Theo made while he was there…they’ve got a good team if you look at it as long as they can stay healthy. Staying healthy is something all teams deal with, so get over it and give them support if you’re a so-called fan.

      • paperlions - Feb 2, 2012 at 8:03 AM

        Uh huh….the Red Sox are a business….they want every fan that spends money.

      • canowack - Feb 2, 2012 at 8:07 AM

        They’re a business but they don’t want any fan that’s gonna give bad word about them…

      • wendell7 - Feb 2, 2012 at 8:09 AM

        Just like every other sports franchise in the world ….

      • stex52 - Feb 2, 2012 at 9:06 AM

        Being a fan does not require that you give up the ability to reason or the freedom to complain. And yes, I am sure the Sox will continue to take his money.

  13. randygnyc - Feb 2, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    I never said the Yankees could get anything of value for Burnett. I said a bat boy and peanut vendor. It would be better than flat out cutting him, which I’m not at all opposed to. After his last 2 years, I think its more important to get rid of him than seeing him trot out there every fifth day while his teammates, front office and fans are forced to hold their breath until his inevitable melt down.

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