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.

Benintendi, Red Sox hang on to beat Cubs, 5-4

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Benintendi, Red Sox hang on to beat Cubs, 5-4

BOSTON - Andrew Benintendi hit a solo homer off Jake Arrieta during a five-run first inning and the Boston Red Sox held on to beat the Chicago Cubs 5-4 Friday night.

Every Boston starter had at least one hit, and Hanley Ramirez, Mitch Moreland, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Christian Vazquez also drove in a run each.

Left-hander Drew Pomeranz (2-1) got the win with six innings of two-run ball, surrendering solo homers to Kris Bryant and Albert Almora Jr. in the early innings before settling in. He allowed six hits and two walks while striking out seven.

Boston has won its last nine interleague games at Fenway Park.

Arrieta (3-1) logged his shortest start since Aug. 28, 2014, lasting only 4 1/3 innings and giving up 10 hits and three walks with five strikeouts.

Broadcasting role unlikely for Ortiz, who met with Red Sox this week

Broadcasting role unlikely for Ortiz, who met with Red Sox this week

BOSTON - It's a tad ironic the Red Sox met with David Ortiz on Tuesday about his post-playing career, and then the offense went out and did nothing and Xander Bogaerts was publicly lamenting Ortiz's absence two days later.

John Henry, Tom Werner, Ortiz and his agent, Fern Cuza, met at Fenway Park on Tuesday to discuss the retired slugger’s future role with the organization, team president Sam Kennedy said. 

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Nothing's imminent, but there's one thing Ortiz is unlikely to do with the Sox in the near future: broadcasting. He could still do some of that in the postseason for say, FOX, but it appears an arrangement with NESN isn't in the cards for now, per Kennedy.

Ortiz's role with the Red Sox is still expected to be wide-ranging, something bigger than the standard alumnus agreement. He seems set on taking his time, enjoying his retired life, saying over the weekend he wants to be able to give the job the time it deserves. 

Kennedy in April was unsure if anything would get done this year. 

As for the team's play without Ortiz, and Bogaerts' comments?

"This is an incredibly talented ballclub," Werner said Friday at a luncheon benefitting the Red Sox Foundation and the Foundation To Be Named Later. "I’m really not terribly concerned. Like all fans, I’m a bit frustrated when we don’t give great pitching run support.

"We struggled the last couple of nights. It’s frustrating to think that Chris Sale, who I think is the best pitcher in the American League, doesn’t have much run support. But it’s April. I've been taught to not really look at the standings 'til July. Frustrated by the past two days, but look at the standings, and we’re only one win behind the Cubs. So you know, I mean I wish we were playing a little bit better,  but the team is going to bounce back."

Werner reiterated the Sox have room in their budget to add players ahead of the trade deadline.