Henry: Sox won't 'give up future' in trades

Henry: Sox won't 'give up future' in trades
July 24, 2013, 7:00 pm
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Red Sox owner John Henry said the team will be careful not to "give away the future" as the trade deadline approaches.

(USA Today Sports Images)

BOSTON – With a week to go before the July 31 trading deadline, the Red Sox sit at the top of the American League East, 1 1/2 games ahead of the Rays, with the best record in the AL. But, with some cracks showing lately, the team expects to be busy the next seven days.
 
“I think that we’re already very strong,” principal owner John Henry said. “We have the best offense in baseball, scoring the most runs. We’ve had some bad luck with pitching injuries. So we’re looking, but it’s hard to predict. ... Making trades at the trade deadline is expensive especially with regard to future talent. So it’ll be tricky.
 
“We’re not going to give up the future because we’re already going for it. This team is doing a hell of a job with going for it now. But we’ll look at what availability there is. [General manager] Ben [Cherington] will look at that.”
 
Asked if there was room to take on more salary, Henry replied, “There is.” But he did not offer any specifics.
 
“We will be aggressive. That’s part of our obligation,” said team president/CEO Larry Lucchino.
 
“I always expect there to be moves but that doesn’t mean there always are, because I know how hard everybody works to bring about some improvement in the club during the course of a season," Lucchino said. "I think it’s one of our fundamental obligations in the front office to look into this. That doesn’t mean to make a deal just for the sake of making a deal. But our obligation is to see if we can help the team get  better as the season goes on. And that could be from our internal system, too. There’s a lot of good young talent in our system that could help this team in September.
 
“We’ll be aggressive in making phone calls and pursuing things and gathering information and trying to find ways to improve the team,” Cherington said. “What that turns into, I don’t know. I think we’re still in a strong position. We’ve got a lot of good players here, good players in Pawtucket that can help us. So we’ll see. It’s one thing to want something, there has to be a match.  There's  got to be two to dance, and if we find a partner that makes sense, we’ll pursue it.
 
Are any of those players in the Sox organization on the untouchable list?
 
“No, but there’s obviously, we’re certainly not going to take away from the major league team right now,” Cherington said. “We got a chance to win. we’re trying to help the major league team, not take away from it. As far as the minor league system, we got a lot of good players and players that get asked about all the time, players we value that we think are going to be here for a long time. Just depends on the situation.”
 
In his talks with other teams, Cherington said he has not noticed a common thread – other than the value of prospects.
 
“Young players are really valuable and they get asked about because they’re really valuable,” Cherington said. “There’s not a great supply at this time, because there’s not a lot of teams really out of it. So it’s a fairly small supply of players and obviously that sort of drives the supply and demand in the seller’s favor. So I think the deals we’ve seen so far teams got a pretty good return. And teams in contention are going to fund some players that can help but there’s  a pretty good return going the other way, too.”
 
Is there a scenario which could entice the Sox to go for it now, putting all their chips down on one number?
 
“We’re not going to give up the future because we’re already going for it,” Henry said. “This team is doing a hell of a job with going for it now. But we’ll look at what availability there is. Ben will look at that.”
 
“We’ll be aggressive in covering the waterfront, talking to clubs,” Lucchino said. “If there’s a player we hear may be available on the market, we will be there and talk about it to see what the possibilities are. Since we got here every year we have tried to do something at the end of July when we’ve been in a race in particular. So that doesn’t mean we always do anything beck there’s a real value particularly these days on  high quality prospects and we have a lot of them. So there’s going to have to be a pretty good deal to extract some of these high quality prospects that we have.
 
“That’s the artistry of it, that’s where the balance comes in, that’s where the sense of judgment comes in from the general manager and others. You got to be a little careful because we’re not just building for one year. Ben has talked about building the next great red sox team, and that would involve some of the prospects who would be sought after. So we’ll be aggressive in finding out what’s there, whether we’ll be aggressive in moving prospects is a whole other question.”