BOSTON -- Ben Cherington said he's maintained contact with the agents for both David Ortiz and Jonathan Papelbon, both free agents.
"With David," said the Red Sox general manager, "in some ways it's a little bit more clear in terms of what his market could be. It's a little easier to have the conversations in the offseason and start to get into what we might be able to do. So we're starting to do that.
"I still don't know when there'll be a resolution, but there's been more dialogue because it's a little easier to frame what the market probably is."
Papelbon, meanwhile, has had some talks with the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phils have a four-year, 44 million offer on the table for current closer Ryan Madson, but the deal has yet to be approved by ownership, lending some to believe there's a hangup and the Phils could end up turning back to Papelbon or Heath Bell.
"With Pap, it's a little more difficult," said Cherington, "because there's obviously more options in terms of the National League and more known about what's out there.
"There's that bilateral risk. The risk for the player is that the team goes in another direction; the risk for team is that the player goes in another direction. Those things can happen fast sometimes. He doesn't owe us a call (if he's about to sign elsewhere). We don't expect that. We expect that we'll keep the door open and keep talking.
"If he gets what he wants and there's a deadline on it, he can take it (without the Sox getting a chance to match it)."