While some reports nationally have the Red Sox in search of a dramatic deal in the run-up to next Monday's non-waiver trade deadline, Dave Dombrowski hardly sounded like someone seeking a blockbuster to improve his club.
"I'm not necessarily looking to make something significant,'' said Dombrowski, ''because we've already added. We have five solid starters. Could they be better? If we have five All-Stars, we're better. But we have five guys we like. Our offense is the best in baseball as far as run production is concerned. Could we better? Sure. Will we be open-minded? Sure. But I don't see that there's a driving force (to do something).''
Certainly, there seem to be plenty of interested trade partners, as Dombrowski revealed that on Monday alone, the Sox received five different trade proposals that they hadn't received before.
"So that's why this time is year is interesting,'' said Dombrowski. "We also have some very good young players in our organization, so some teams are looking for those players. And I can say we're not close to making any trades right now.''
If the Sox have an area of weakness at this point, it's the bullpen, thanks to a season-ending injury to Carson Smith, a long-term injury for Koji Uehara and the current DL stint for closer Craig Kimbrel.
"I think our bullpen will be fine,'' Dombrowski predicted. "We're dealing with a tough situation, for the simple fact that we've had a lot of injuries. (Junichi) Tazawa's up and he's back and pretty much getting to the point where he can get back to his normal routine. Kimbrel threw the ball very well today; I wouldn't be surprised if he joined us relatively soon.
"So all of a sudden, you've got (Matt) Barnes, (Brad) Ziegler, we brought up (Joe) Kelly, (Robbie) Ross has thrown the ball very well for us. Can it be better? Sure. You listen to anything at this point. But. . . I know people keep saying 'They've got to add somebody, they've gotta add somebody.' But they forget that we're getting Kimbrel back and we just got Tazawa back.
"You look at it and if those two guys weren't back. My answer would be yes, we need to do something. But I think we're more in a position where we're open-minded but it's not a necessity.''
Some teams have called on Clay Buchholz, currently relegated to a mop-up role in the bullpen. But Dombrowski said Buchholz still has value to the Sox.
"He's real good protection for us (in the rotation),'' he said. "I thought he threw the ball the other day as well as I've seen him throw it all year. And I know, if you just looked at the stats, you'd say, 'He didn't do very well.' Unfortunately, we missed a couple of balls that were catchable. I thought his stuff was outstanding so he's got a place to help us.''
Training camp practices begin on Thursday for the Patriots, but the team will be without a handful of projected starters when workouts begin.
Receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola, running back Dion Lewis, tight end Clay Harbor and offensive linemen Sebastian Vollmer, Shaq Mason and Tre' Jackson will all begin on the active/physically unable to play list.
All players on active/PUP will count against the team's active 90-man roster, but none will be eligible to practice until they come off of the PUP list. Players can be removed from PUP at any time.
Lewis, Harbor and Mason all participated in spring practices at some point, but their inclusion on the PUP list indicates that they could use more time to heal. Edelman, Amendola, Jackson and Vollmer were not spotted during spring practices that were open to the media.
Other players who were not seen during spring camps -- such as Logan Ryan, Duron Harmon, Nate Solder, LeGarrette Blount and Josh Kline -- have not been added to the PUP list at this time and could be available for camp when practices begin.
BOSTON -- After missing two-and-a-half games due to soreness in his right knee, Mookie Betts was back in the lineup for the Red Sox Monday night.
Betts was removed from Friday night's game after four innings when he experienced soreness in the knee. The knee had been bothering him since the beginning of the second half of the season.
The training staff drained some excess fluid from the knee Saturday, reducing the swelling that had taken place.
"I was able to run at full speed [Monday],'' said Betts. "We were able to get the swelling out with ice and whatnot. I tried to stay off of it (for the weekend).''
"He feels better than he has the last couple of days,'' said John Farrell.
Farrell said the Sox might have manage the condition for the rest of the season.
"I don't fully expect this to vanish,'' said Farrell. "The biggest thing is that there was a little buildup of swelling. Once that subsided and was removed, that's where he's feeling the freedom in his knee and he's ready to go tonight.''