By Sean McAdam
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The GM meetings are traditionally where ideas for future deals germinate and Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, on his way out of the meetings and headed back to Boston Thursday morning, expressed hope that something may soon come of some of the talks he held here.
"Time will tell," said Epstein as he departed the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. "I hope so, anyway. There was plenty of talk. Whether it was effective or not, we'll see. But yeah, I think there was a good exchange of information."
Epstein said most of the trade talks here were a continution of things started, via phone calls, before the meetings began.
"Most of it was following up on discussions we had previously," said Epstein. "There was nothing really brand new."
Expect the Red Sox to field additional calls on shortstop Marco Scutaro, who has attracted interest from a half-dozen clubs.
Scutaro stands to make an affordable 5 million in 2011 and a number of teams -- including the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants - are searching for shortstop help.
The Giants would like to re-sign Juan Uribe, but if that falls through, Scutaro could be an option.
The Sox would move Scutaro if they could acquire some bullpen help for him. They would then start the season with Jed Lowrie as their shortstop, with Jose Iglesias perhaps ready to jump to the big leagues by midseason.
Commissioner Bud Selig, who briefed owners and general managers Thursday morning, met with reporters and answered questions on a number of issues.
Selig said his on-field committee will meet at the winter meetings next month to discuss a possible expansion of the current playoff format, adding an additional wild card team in each league, probably for the 2012 season.
"I have said we will consider it and we are," said Selig. "It has a lot of different of variations. My committee will meet at the winter meetings and that will be a primary topic of discussion. We'll continue the discussion.
"We have a lot of constituencies. We'll continue to pursue that. There were a lot of differences about the right format in the room. But we'll move ahead, and move ahead pretty quickly."
Selig wouldn't comment on whether he believed a one-game wild-card faceoff would be "too radical." Others have proposed a best two-of-three series.
"I don't want to comment on specifics until, in my own mind, we've decided what we want to do," he said. "I don't want to rule anything out."
Mike Hazen, the director of player development, has been traveling across the country, interviewing candidates for the Pawtucket managerial opening.
The organization will meet Friday to further discuss candidates.
"We're still maybe looking to interview additional candidates," said Epstein. "We're looking for either experience, or someone really dynamic. It's always an important job. It's kind of an extension of the major league staff."
The Sox still have to finalize some roster moves by Saturday, including placing some minor-league players on the 40-man roster so as to not leave them exposed for the Rule V draft which takes place next month at the winter meetings.