Notes: Sox finding it hard to find trade partner

Notes: Sox finding it hard to find trade partner
December 10, 2013, 8:45 pm
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Red Sox don't have obvious holes on their roster, but that doesn't mean that the organization's Baseball Operations department isn't trying to improve the club by exploring some trade possibilities.
      
But after two days at the annual winter meetings, the Sox seem no closer toward getting a trade done.
      
"Not of the higher-profile variety," said general manager Ben Cherington. "We've looked at smaller stuff, too, and probably have a better sense of what's available to us there -- kind of the depth-type variety or bench roles, stuff like that. As far as higher profile stuff, no.  I wouldn't describe any more optimism than when we got here."
      
There's some pitching available, but with six veteran starters already on the roster, the Sox aren't in the market for starters.
      
"Never say never," said Cherington, "but it seems unlikely. That would be more likely to happen if we traded one (of our own) and we're not close to doing that right now."
      
The pitching market is moving slowly, perhaps because a number of teams are waiting to see what happens with the posting of Japanese righthander Masahiro Tanaka, while others are waiting to see where top free agents Matt Garza, Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana end up.
      
"It seems like, for whatever reason, that (starting pitching) part has been slower (to come into focus)," agreed Cherington.

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Curtis Granderson, who signed a four-year, $60 million deal with the New York Mets last week, was formally introduced to the media here and revealed that he talked to the Red Sox immediately after the World Series and again, after Jacoby Ellsbury signed with the Yankees.
      
But a deal never progressed, in part because the Sox didn't want to commit to a four-year deal and because of some reservations the Sox had about Granderson's defense in Fenway.
      
"We contact a lot of free agents," said Cherington. "There's probably fewer that we don't contact than ones we do. It's important because, at the very least, you're exchanging information and it gives you a sense of how the market is shaping up. We liked him. And we like him as a player. But I wouldn't say we were close (to a deal)."

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The Sox continue to look for a utility infielder -- one who could play shortstop -- in the event that they go into next season with Xander Bogaerts as their starter at short.
      
With all four starting infielders -- Mike Napoli, Dustin Pedroia, Will Middlebrooks and Bogaerts -- hitting righthanded, the Sox would like to find someone who hits lefthanded.
      
"In a perfect world, I guess we would," said Cherington. "Defense would be important in that spot, and hopefully some other skill - baserunning, or ability to hit righthanded pitching or something else . . . dependability, comfort in the role. I guess in a perfect world, (the player would hit lefthanded). But we haven't found that perfect guy for that role yet."
      
Cherington added that such depth players typically sign later in the off-season. He also said it was possible the Sox could obtain that role player in a trade.
      
"It could be either (a free agent or trade)," he said. "We've looked at both. It's hard to say because we're not close to doing anything like that."