Cherington on the draft: 'We're not going to go after need'

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Cherington on the draft: 'We're not going to go after need'

BOSTON -- The Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft is next week, and prior to Thursday's game against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park, general manager Ben Cherington met with the media to discuss his strategy for what will be his first draft as Red Sox GM.
But according to him, at least, his team hasn't yet discussed a specific strategy. As of Thursday, they were still just putting the players in order.
One thing is for sure. They aren't going to draft based on need.
"We're not going to go after need," said Cherington on Thursday. "We'll target the best player available at each pick. We're looking for the best full return from this draft class."
When asked if there would ever be a situation in which the Red Sox would make a pick based on need, Cherington said that it's unlikely, but don't rule anything out.
"Generally, we have not done that," said Cherington. "Baseball, as everyone here knows, it's a different beast than some other sports, because there's so much that can happen. So much happens between the time you draft a guy -- even the guys you think are closest to the big leagues, a highly-advanced college player. There's still a transition, there's still a development path that needs to be taken.
"And so much can change, not just from the player, but with our needs," added Cherington. "Our needs could look different six weeks from now, never mind three years from now. So, it's a dangerous game, I think, if you get into drafting for needs. We're just going to focus on trying to find the best possible impact and do as well as we can with each pick."
Cherington recalled the first amateur player he ever saw as an area scout. It was Josh Hamilton.
"I thought, wow, this is pretty easy, that guy looks good," he recalled. "And then the next few games, it was a little harder to pick them out."
Now, without Theo Epstein, Cherington is in charge. But with the familiar and experienced staff he looks around and sees in the Red Sox draft room, he believes the decision-making process will be very similar to how it has been in the past.
"There's a lot of things that feel very similar," said Cherington. "I'm in the room with a bunch of people that I've been in the room with for several years. We're using a lot of the same philosophies and the same standards to set the board up. We're talking about the same things that we care about. Ultimately, we have the same goal."

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu are back together.

The two Cuban natives were teammates in 2012 when they played for Cienfuegos in Cuba, and now they'll be in the same dugout once again — this time in Chicago.

"To get the opportunity to play with him right now in the United States, it's an honor for me," Moncada said through a translator on a conference call Wednesday. "I'm thrilled with that."

Click here for the complete story on CSNChicago.com

Red Sox notes: Sox did their homework researching Sale's character

Red Sox notes: Sox did their homework researching Sale's character

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- In today's game, teams are sure to do their homework when bringing in a star player. For either a big free agent or trade acquisition, clubs want to know everything they can about the individual.

New starter Chris Sale passes that test for the Red Sox.

"There's always an on-field (personality) and away from the game (to consider),'' said Dave Dombrowski, the Red Sox' president of baseball operations. "On the field, he's as competitive as can be. He's got an edge to him - a good edge. His teammates love him.

"Off the field, I've heard a lot of pleasant things about him. I've heard tremendous things from him as an individual. A couple of our guys in the organization know him very well and say real good things about him.''

Sale was involved in two clubhouse incidents last season - one in which he angrily confronted White Sox president Kenny Williams about his decision to limit the amount of time Adam LaRoche's son could spend with the team, and another in which he cut up a throw-back uniform with scissors.

"I think you do your checking to see what causes some things,'' said Dombrowski. "But after I checked things, (I'm) not really (concerned).''

Another benefit to having Sale is that he could potentially take some pressure of David Price, who struggled at times in his first season in Boston and perhaps tried too hard to validate his $217 million contract.

"I think it's always good for a club if they have a number of guys, top of the rotation guys, to take the pressure off everybody else,'' Dombrowski said. "Because you know that everyone has a bad outing here and there, and somebody else picks you up in that case. I think that's helpful. If we didn't have (another No. 1 starter), I'd still have confidence in (Price).''

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It's possible that the Red Sox could go into next season with as many as four lefthanders in their rotation -- Sale, Price, Eduardo Rodriguez and Drew Pomeranz.

"It's unusual to have four lefthanders, potentially, in the rotation,'' acknowledged Dombrowski. "A lot of times, you're looking for one. But if it was four lefties, that would be fine. I think it's more important that they get people out. I'd be comfortable with that.

"I've really never been in that spot before, which doesn't make me feel uncomfortable. I don't have a driving force to make any trades because four guys are lefties. I think they're good lefties.''

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Retired Red Sox slugger David Ortiz caused a stir with an Instagram post Tuesday night, kiddingly suggesting that the arrival of Sale was forcing him to re-think his decision to quit.

"It's amazing the number of people who reached out to me,'' laughed Dombrowski. "I know David well enough. I do know that if he really had sincere interest (in returning), he would call. But I also know that he has to stay on the voluntarily retired list for 60 days. So there's rules involved with that. But I know he was just joking.

"When I walk into the clubhouse and I see him working out, I say, 'You could play now. Look at the shape you're in!' But he says, 'Oh, nooooo.' ''

The Sox have yet to officially confirm that they've signed free agent first baseman Mitch Moreland. The two sides are in agreement on a one-year deal for $5.5 million deal, but a slight delay has taken place because of either contractual formalities or added time for medical information to be obtained.

"I can't say much about free agent players,'' said Dombrowski. "We've made some strides with an individual. But I'm not in a position to say much about that for various reasons.''