Epstein Discusses Lowell, Beckett, Offense

Red Sox GM Theo Epstein did an informative interview on the Dennis & Callahan show this morning.  Click here for audio and here for the transcript.  Highlights:

  • Epstein said that by the time the offseason began, the Red Sox evaluated their chances of signing Jason Bay and Matt Holliday at less than ten percent for each.
  • Epstein has not expected a Mike Lowell trade since the Texas deal blew up.  At the time, the Red Sox GM envisioned using the $3MM savings on a hitter, but now expects Lowell to provide that insurance.
  • The team's numbers showed Jacoby Ellsbury as an above-average center fielder in 2009.  Epstein implied that he doesn't put any stock in Ellsbury's UZR.
  • Epstein considers John Lackey's five-year, $82.5MM contract a relevant comparable for Josh Beckett's next deal.  He does not see the Lackey signing as an impediment to retaining Beckett.
  • If the offense is subpar, Epstein is willing to make an in-season acquisition.  He noted that finding a bat at the trade deadline is easier than acquiring an elite pitcher.