Notes: Sox interested in Kerry Wood

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Notes: Sox interested in Kerry Wood

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Add Kerry Wood's name to the long list of set-up relievers in which the Sox have some interest, an industry source said.

Wood was not offered salary arbitration by the Yankees and would not require compensation.

The Sox engaged in trade talks with the Cleveland Indians for Wood at the July 31 deadline, but ultimately, the Yankees were prepared to take on more of Wood's remaining salary obligations and they dealt for him.

Wood pitched well for the Yankees and, despite not offering him arbitration, are interested in re-signing him.

On Thursday morning, the Red Sox will take part in the Rule V draft in which players not protected on the 40-man roster are eligible to be taken by other organizations for 50,000.

The players must then remain on the 25-man major league roster for the entire year, or be offered back to their original club at half that price.

Since Theo Epstein became general manager, the Red Sox have obtained Daniel Stern, Lenny DiNardo and Javier Lopez -- among others -- through the Rule V draft.

"We still haven't decided if we're going to take someone or not,'' said Epstein. "But if we do, we have a list of players prioritized for us.''

In recent years, the Sox have tended to concentrate on selecting pitchers over position players, operating on the theory that it's easier to nurse along a young pitcher as the 12th man on the staff than it is to carry a position player.

"That general rule still applies for us, for sure,'' said Epstein.

Among the minor leaguers exposed by the Red Sox include Pawtucket outfielder Bubba Bell and reliever Daniel Turpen, who was obtained in the deal that sent Ramon Ramirez to the San Francisco Giants.

"We'll probably have one player taken at least,'' said Epstein. "But the assessment is we'll probably get those guys back because they won't be ready to make a major league roster for an entire year.''

The Red Sox will be at 39 on their 40-man roster once the Carl Crawford signing is official, so they'll have one spot available.

The Sox met with Andrew Miller here, the pitcher they acquired from Florida before non-tendering last week, making him a free agent.

They are hopeful of re-signing Miller -- without the prospect of salary arbitrtion hanging over them. Since Miller was acquired, he's visited the Red Sox in Boston, been visited by some staff members and had newly-hired pitching coach Curt Young speak with him by phone.

"It's going pretty well,'' said Epstein of the nature of the talks. "We'll continue to talk to him. There's been good dialogue. We're continuing to get to know him and see if it's a good fit for both sides.''

The Boston Globe reported that Miller has also been talking with the San Francisco Giants.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Report: Third base among 'major upgrades' Red Sox seek by trade deadline

Report: Third base among 'major upgrades' Red Sox seek by trade deadline

Despite still being owed more than $42 million after this year, Pablo Sandoval's days with the Red Sox appear numbered. So, it's no surprise that landing a third baseman at the trade deadline is a priority.

That's among the "major upgrades" the Sox are seeking by the July 31 deadline, MLB.com columnist Mark Feinsand reports.

With Sandoval now on his second disabled list stint of the season - this time with an ear infection - after turning into what Feinsand calls "a horror tale for the Red Sox," and with fill-ins Josh Rutledge and Deven Marrero holding down third, it's apparent that the position is a glaring need.

"Sandoval is basically a non-entity at this point," a source told Feinsand. "They need to make a move there."

Feinsand mentions the usual suspects - Mike Moustakas of the Royals and Todd Frazier of the White Sox - as possibilities. Also, he wonders if former MVP Josh Donaldson could be pried away from the Blue Jays (if "Dave Dombrowski knocks their socks off") with an offer and if Toronto is still sputtering at the deadline?

Those other upgrades? "Boston is also looking for pitching, both in the rotation and bullpen," Feinsand writes. Again, no surprise there.

Drellich: Red Sox' talent drowning out lack of identity

Drellich: Red Sox' talent drowning out lack of identity

A look under the hood is not encouraging. A look at the performance is.

The sideshows for the Red Sox have been numerous. What the team’s success to this point has reinforced is how much talent and performance can outweigh everything else. Hitting and pitching can drown out a word that rhymes with pitching — as long as the wins keep coming.

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At 40-32, the Sox have the seventh-best win percentage (.556) in the majors. What they lack, by their own admission, is an intangible. Manager John Farrell told reporters Wednesday in Kansas City his club was still searching for its identity.

“A team needs to forge their own identity every year,” Farrell said. “That’s going to be dependent upon the changes on your roster, the personalities that exist, and certainly the style of game that you play. So, with [David Ortiz’s] departure, his retirement, yeah, that was going to happen naturally with him not being here. And I think, honestly, we’re still kind of forming it.”

To this observer, the vibe in the Red Sox clubhouse is not the merriest. 

Perhaps, in the mess hall, the players are a unified group of 25 (or so), living for one another with every pitch. What the media sees is only a small slice of the day. 

But it does not feel like Farrell has bred an easygoing, cohesive environment.

Farrell and big boss Dave Dombrowski appeared unaligned in their view of Pablo Sandoval’s place on the roster, at least until Sandoval landed on the disabled list. 

Hanley Ramirez and first base may go together like Craig Kimbrel and the eighth inning. Which is to say, selfless enthusiasm for the ultimate goal of winning does not appear constant with either.

Dustin Pedroia looked like the spokesperson of a fractured group when he told Manny Machado, in front of all the cameras, “It’s not me, it’s them,” as the Orioles and Red Sox carried forth a prolonged drama of drillings. 

Yet, when you note the Sox are just a half-game behind the Yankees for the American League East lead; when you consider the Sox have won 19 of their past 30 games, you need to make sure everything is kept in proportion.

How much are the Sox really hurt by a lack of identity? By any other issue off the field?

Undoubtedly, the Sox would be better positioned if there were no sideshows. But it’s hard to say they’d have ‘X’ more wins.

The Sox would have had a better chance of winning Wednesday’s game if Kimbrel pitched at any point in the eighth inning, that’s for sure. 

Kimbrel is available for one inning at this point, the ninth, Farrell has said.

A determination to keep Kimbrel out of the eighth because that’s not what a closer traditionally does seems like a stance bent on keeping Kimbrel happy rather than doing what is best for the team. The achievement of a save has been prioritized over the achievement of a team win, a state of affairs that exists elsewhere, but is nonetheless far from ideal — a state of affairs that does not reflect an identity of all for one and one for all.

Maybe the Sox will find that identity uniformly. Maybe they’re so good, they can win the division without it.