BOSTON -- The Red Sox didn't get the chance to match the Phillies' free-agent offer to Jonathan Papelbon, but general manager Ben Cherington wasn't offended by that.
In fact, Cherington -- knowing that Papelbon and his agents, Sam and Seth Levinson, were seeking a four-year contract -- never made a contract proposal to his veteran reliever.
"There wasn't enough common ground to reach an agreement," explained Cherington, who doesn't want to give four-year contracts to closers in their 30s. "So we didnt make an offer because of that."
Had Papelbon not gotten a four-year offer on the open market, Cherington was willing to reopen negotiations.
We certainly wanted to leave the door open if we got deeper into the offseason and circumstances changed for either side that perhaps there was something that could have been worked out," he said.
Not was he surprised -- or offended -- that the Levinsons didn't call the Sox for another proposal after getting their offer from the Phillies.
I dont think Papelbon owes us a phone call back based on the conversations Ive had with Sam and Seth," said Cherington, who added "we werent going to be able to bridge that gap in the length of contract Papelbon was seeking."
Still, he admits he'll miss the man who's been the Red Sox closer since the third game of the 2006 season.
I have a lot of admiration for Pap," said Cherington, "and wed love to have him on the team still.
The Pablo Sandoval redemption tour is underway as the former World Series MVP tries to revive his career after two disastrous seasons with the Red Sox organization.
In an interview with ESPN Deportes, he admits to being “complacent” during his first two seasons in Boston after signing a five-year, $95 million deal.
"My career had fallen into an abyss because I was so complacent with things that I had already accomplished," Sandoval said. "I did not work hard in order to achieve more and to remain at the level of the player that I am and that I can be."
After dealing Travis Shaw to the Brewers, Sandoval is expected to be the Red Sox primary third baseman in 2017.
"I am not taking anything for granted," he said. "I am here to work hard. I'm not thinking about the position or not. I am starting from scratch, and I am here to show what I can do on the field."
The 30-year-old says he’s following a “really strict routine” this offseason, and it shows. In a recent photo, Sandoval appears noticeably thinner. Sandoval says his wife giving birth to “Baby Panda” has served as inspiration.
"Watching 'Baby Panda' grow up and that he gets the opportunity to see his father play in the majors for seven, eight more years, to get back to the success I had, that's my motivation every day," Sandoval said. "The people that I surround myself with now and my family, they are the key to my success. This has been a life lesson."
Could John Henry sell ownership of the Boston Red Sox anytime soon, or does he want to keep winning? Shaughnessy, Merloni, and Tanguay debate.