Epstein: Napoli situation similar to Sox' dealings with Drew

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Epstein: Napoli situation similar to Sox' dealings with Drew

BOSTON Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington offered little in the way of news on the Mike Napoli negotiations Friday night other than to say negotiations continue.

The Sox and Napoli reached a tentative agreement on Dec. 3, during the winter meetings in Nasvhille, on a three-year, 39 million contract. But that deal, 39 days since it first became public, has yet to be finalized.

While neither side has said anything publicly, it is believed the Sox are looking to add language to the contract to protect the team against a hip issue that was discovered during Napolis physical.

Cherington, speaking to reporters very briefly before the Hot Stove Cool Music event at Fenway Park Friday night, did say that free agent options are limited and is hopeful of ultimately reaching an agreement with Napoli, but aside from that issue we may look to bring some guys into camp who can play first base."

It is not the first time the Sox have been in protracted negotiations with a free agent. They went through a similar situation with J.D. Drew before the right fielder and agent Scott Boras agreed to a five-year contract in 2008, 52 days after initial reports of the deal, also during the winter meetings that year.

Theo Epstein, the Sox GM at that time and now the Cubs president of baseball operations, was also in attendance Friday night at Fenway. While he is not privy to the current Sox negotiates, there are similarities.

With the situation we had with Drew you just talk it through, try to use a lot of empathy, try to recognize that you know its an awkward situation, as awkward for them as it is for you, keep talking, try to find a mutually agreeable situation, and remember that fairness is important, Epstein said.

Leverage can go back and forth at different times during negotiations but its always important to remember that fairness matters in the end. Youre going to do a lot of deals with the agent over the years and the way you treat players matters to others as well. So from what I understand, and what I know about Ben, thats never an issue. Hes always very locked in on being fair.

Price asks Red Sox fans for support: 'We will get through this'

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Price asks Red Sox fans for support: 'We will get through this'

If you're upset with the way the Red Sox have played recently, well, David Price understands.

But things, he vows, will get better. And he adds that it's only when you've been in the deepest valley that you can appreciate the highest mountain.

Or something like that . . .

Rodriguez shipped back to PawSox as Sox seek rotation answers

Rodriguez shipped back to PawSox as Sox seek rotation answers

After Eduardo Rodriguez's horrific performance Monday night against the Rays -- 11 hits and 9 earned runs allowed in 2 2/3 innings, leading to a 13-7 Red Sox loss to a team that entered the game riding an 11-game losing streak -- the Sox succumbed to the obvious and shipped him back to Pawtucket.  

And they got no argument from Sean McAdam.

"I think this is the right move," CSN's Red Sox Insider told Dalen Cuff on Monday night's SportsNet Central. "Because, clearly, the step forward that [Rodriguez] took, however small, last week was more than wiped out and (he) regressed this evening the way he pitched. And things have to be worked out, both in terms of execution and his approach . . . "

In six starts this season covering 29 1/3 innings -- less than five innings a start -- Rodriguez has been, in a word, awful. His 1-3 record is bad enough, but couple that with an 8.59 ERA, an opponents' batting average of .315, a WHIP of 1.74 and nine home runs allowed (a rate that projects out to about 45 homers allowed in a 150-inning season), and you can see why a change had to be made.

“The bottom line is, [Rodriguez] is capable of more," said manager John Farrell.

But now comes the next question: Who replaces him? And that, noted McAdam, has no easy answer.

"What it means for the rotation going forward is completely uncertain," McAdam told Cuff. "In fact, (Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski) told us that there was no corresponding move. Of course, because this turn doesn't come up in the rotation for another five days with the off-day Thursday, it's not anything they need to address (immediately). And in all likelihood, they'll probably get somebody to pitch out of the bullpen here until that turn comes up."

So the Sox get five days to ponder a problem that seems, in many ways unsolvable.

"[There] aren't a lot of good candidates internally," McAdam noted, "and it's unlikely there's going to be any sort of trade . . . in the next four days to fill that spot