TORONTO -- Two days after labeling the current Red Sox "the weakest roster we've ever had in September in the history of baseball," manager Bobby Valentine walked the comments back,
issuing a clarification Sunday morning.
"The other day, when I made a comment about the September roster,'' said Valentine, "that wasn't meant to be a criticism of any players or anyone in the organization. It was just a statement of fact because of the injuries and our Triple A team being in the playoffs.
"This is different. We have less people than most September rosters. We have less positions filled than any September roster I've ever seen. If anybody thought that to be anything other than a statement than what it was...I stand corrected on that.
"Usually, a September roster has some starting pitcher who is waiting in the wings. Ours doesn't. Usually a September roster has a couple of lefthanded pinch-hitter types or pinch runners. Five or six outfielders. (We have) four outfielders. It's not like a September roster.''
Forget that cryptic Tweet to the Globe. David Ortiz isn't walking through that door, fans. At least not as a player.
"My playing time has already expired," Ortiz told ESPN Deportes. "Baseball is not something that you wake up today and you say, 'I'll play tomorrow.' Baseball is something that carries a lot of sacrifice, a lot of preparation, and there is a reason why we train the entire year to play it, practice every day, especially during the season, because it is a sport of consistency."
No one really thought he was contemplating a comeback, but last week he Tweeted this . . .
. . . and that raised hopes that he'd changed his mind.
Facing a 1 p.m. Friday deadline to avoid arbitration, the Red Sox reportedly agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million deal with center field Jackie Bradley Jr., and also avoided hearings with six other players.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, utilityman Brock Holt, pitchers Joe Kelly, Robbie Ross Jr., Tyler Thornburgh and catcher Sandy Leon also agreed to one-year deals.
Terms of the deals were not announced.
It leaves left-handers Fernando Abad and Drew Pomeranz as the only arbitration-eligible Red Sox without a deal.