BOSTON While Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington has said he is comfortable with the status of the team, if an opportunity to improve the squad presents itself he will look into it.
If spring training started tomorrow, wed feel good about where we are and ready to put the team together, he said. We think we have a lot of options to fill out the pitching staff. There will be competition certainly in camp in the bullpen and in the rotation. I think we have some options. We had some options, internal options.
"We feel like were going to have enough depth in the position player side to figure out whatever we need to do there and perhaps protect against Carl Crawford who underwent surgery on his left wrist on Tuesday, not quite being ready on Opening Day. Well see on that note.
That said, spring training doesnt start tomorrow. So we have our eyes open if theres ways to improve the team between now and Feb. 19, I think is the report date. Well do that. Or after the 19th. We feel pretty good about where were at right now.
Cherington expects strong seasons from both Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz.
Yeah, theyve both had really good off-seasons, he said. Our new pitching coach Bob McClure has been in touch with both as is the medical staff. Its been a really good offseason for both. We dont expect any issues with either of them going into camp . . . Really good year.
Asked how the 2012 teams is better than that of last season, Cherington replied:
There were a couple things that were themes for us this offseason. Number one was that we didnt feel like we needed fundamental change. This was a team that was on pace to win a lot of games and make the playoffs. And then we had a really tough September. Multiple reasons for that. Certainly it gets back to the team on the field and how they played. But we didnt feel like we needed wholesale changes. We feel like we needed to add depth in areas we could.
"We lost a closer, we replaced a closer. We had the best DH in the game and that guy is back on the team. So the job never ends. Were protecting our depth and protecting the team. We just didnt feel like we needed wholesale changes. That said, we do feel like we have better depth in some areas. We will have better depth in some areas in spring training, going into the season than we did at times last year. Some of that is just sort of the natural maturation of our own players that have been here. Some of that will come in the form of players weve acquired.
Cherington said if an opportunity to add a player to improve the team arose, while also potentially putting the team over the luxury tax threshold, he believes ownership would be willing to allow him to do so.