Apparently, there's more to this Daniel Bard-to-the-starting-rotation talk than mere speculation.
Speaking Saturday at the 'Christmas at Fenway' festivities, manager Bobby Valentine said he told Bard to "prepare to be a starter and if that, in fact, does not happen, to be ready and willing to be our closer."
"Daniel, as we would hope he would say, said, 'Hey, whatevers best for the team,' " Valentine said.
According to Valentine, the Sox will stretch Bard out in spring training as they do their starting pitchers, then will make a decision three or four weeks into camp as to how they'll use him.
Hes going to be penciled in to be one of those guys who works going from his bullpen to pitching two innings to pitching four innings to pitching six innings," said Valentine. "Whenever we get to that plateau, with the pitching coach Ill hopefully have by my side soon, and all the members of the staff and front office, well have to make a determination after that 18- to 20-inning mark as to where he will be during the season."
The Red Sox lost another key member of their front office Monday, when vice-president of amateur and international scouting Amiel Sawdaye followed former general manager Mike Hazen to Arizona.
Sawdaye will be the Diamondbacks' assistant GM. As stated by Rotoworld, he had been instrumental in building up the Red Sox' young big league talent and farm system.
The Boston Globe reported today that the Red Sox may not fill the GM vacancy created when Hazen left, instead using "other staffers to take on Hazen’s administrative duties". President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski handles many of the duties traditionally associated with the general manager's position, leaving the actual GM's job in Boston as "essentially an assistant [position] with a lofty title but little power".
The Red Sox have also lost two other front-office members this offseason: Senior baseball analyst Tom Tippett, who had been with the organization for eight years, and director of sports medicine services Dan Dyrek, who had been with the Sox for five years.