Epstein On Papelbon, Ortiz, Millwood

The Red Sox have dropped five in a row, and GM Theo Epstein joined WEEI's Dennis & Callahan show today to offer his take.  A few highlights:

  • Epstein hasn't ruled out outside acquisitions, but internal solutions are much preferred.
  • "There's never been a lack of interest" in keeping closer Jonathan Papelbon in Boston.  Added Epstein, "I have to think there’s a lot of mutual interest in continuing the relationship."  Papelbon is eligible for free agency after the season, having earned $27.6MM over his three arbitration years.
  • The Red Sox are "obviously" interested in having designated hitter David Ortiz back, but Epstein says now is not the time to talk about that stuff.
  • The GM's thoughts on having Kevin Millwood in the organization: "At the time, we had guys ahead of him. His stuff, in our judgment and the judgment of our Triple-A staff, it wasn’t going to play at the major league level here for the Red Sox above the other options that we had."  The 36-year-old veteran has since posted a 3.79 ERA in six starts for the Rockies.


19 Responses to Epstein On Papelbon, Ortiz, Millwood Leave a Reply

  1. yankswin28 4 years ago

    Theo Epstein deserves to take some lumps for his “GREATEST TEAM EVER” being in jeopardy of losing the wild card to the TB Rays.

    He’s never criticized by the Red Sox fans that are the Boston media. Ever.

    Side note: Joe Maddon needs to get Manager of the Year, no question.

    • Yeah, no one criticizes the Lackey signing. And show me anyone other than goofball Sox fans who ever called this team the greatest team ever. The fact is, while no GM is perfect, Epstein is a terrific GM who’s done a great job with the team and had it pay off with two World Series wins in seven years, and for a team that was in the wilderness for years. He deserves a lot of leeway. 

      And the Rays are a very good team. The AL East is designed right now such that one very good team has to not make it. The way the Jays are headed, soon that will be two.

      So before you go off on Sox homers, maybe keep your own homerism in check.

      P.S., I don’t root for either team, since people like you tend to lean on that retort first.

      • Threat_Level_RedSox 4 years ago

        I think the problem with criticizeing Epstien (and cashman for that matter) is its still unclear what role ownership plays in player acquisition. Given that ownership has to sign off on everything they maintain full controll, so it apears GMs only create the perimeters of a trade/signing. So i’d say that any blame that falls on Epstien should be put on management also.
         As for the current version of the Red Sox Implosion blame game, my list goes like this.
        1.Medical Staff/Trainers. For the most part players have performed at or exceded expectations when healthy, but for they second year in a row players are breaking down after the all star break at an epic rate.
        2.Coaching staff. even at 70% this team has more talent and ability then most, its hard to imagine why they pulled one of the best huston astros impressions i’ve seen all season, twice.
        3.Ownership/GM. They can survive bad signings, but when you build your team around to many injury proned players its going to hurt your team.
        4.Dunkin Donuts/Players. It seems like everyone of these players have been in a DD commerical, im sure they get it all the time, so why does it seem like they are buying Decaf? Honestly they have seemed sluggush as of late, lack of urgency, they need a turbo shot. (Bobby “Man Booby” Jenks should stay away though, the dudes 35% munchkins)

        • wickedkevin 4 years ago

          For the Yankees, we know that ownership has no problem with signing players that Cashman has no interest in.  e.g. Soriano

      • johnsilver 4 years ago

        how many other teams in the league would be 25games over .500 at this point, decimated by injuries might be more to the question before you start hammering on Epstein.

        I severely doubt any other team, other than Philly could withstand loses to the rotation especially and maintain as good of a record as they have, not to mention regular positional players such as Youk and lowrie.

        get a grip and another place check here.

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          easy to forget people were suggesting boston trade some SP depth before the season. it was epstein of all people who said the one thing he was worried about was not having enough, since injuries always happen

          when beckett-lester-buchholz-lackey-matsuzaka becomes lester-lackey-wakefield-miller-PLEASESOMEBODYHELP, you aren’t surprised to hit a rough patch. when the offense drags its feet at the same time, well, things gets ugly. the rays have always been lurking

          beckett-lester-bedard in front of that offense is still a formidable playoff opponent. poor play and injuries are going to force the red sox to play harder than they’d like to right up until the last few games, but if they can come roaring out of this slump the way they did after april’s mess, there’s no better time to get hot than the end of september

          • johnsilver 4 years ago

            Exactly and why Epstein in the off season is lurking about (more often than not) for a Smoltz/Penny type rehab project that can be plugged into the rotation as a 6th option, but this season they thought already had that many.

            One thing that they should have done IMO was promote young Alex Wilson far sooner from AA and sit down one of the useless retreads at Pawtucket who were certainly not going to help Boston, like Duckworth, Fox etc…

            letting Wilson get 15 or so starts at the AA level, rather than dominate AA for nearly 2 seasons seemed a waste and maybe he could have helped this month with the injuries piling up.

  2. jwsox 4 years ago

    haha kevin millwoods stuff wouldnt play at the big league level yet Lackeys stuff does..hahah ohhh Theo you so funny…

  3. Jose_Bautista 4 years ago


    • EarlyMorningBoxscore 4 years ago


      • #maybeheisjustabaseballfanyoushouldtryitsometimeitisfun

        • wickedkevin 4 years ago


    • Redsoxn8tion 4 years ago

      Good luck to the Sox haters who think the Rays will win the WC this year. Ain’t gonna happen. Sox will turn it around!!

  4. BoSoXaddict 4 years ago

    I never quite understood why the team wasn’t at least willing to give Millwood a spot-start to see how he could do. Granting him his release seems pretty stupid now..

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      he pitched like a bum in AAA all year with mediocre stuff (even for him). as epstein explained, at the time he was in boston he was way down on the depth chart. he left, several injuries happened, and now he looks useful. but there was no reason to expect any of that

      and if you look at his game logs, you’ll see that decent offenses don’t have trouble with him

      • johnsilver 4 years ago

        Right. brandon Duckworth was already at Pawtucket if they wanted a good batting practice pitcher. Why keep yet another in Millwood and the positive thing that was overlooked in the release of Millwood was Alex Wilson was FINALLY called up from AA to start his AAA career to take his place in the rotation and did far better in the 4 starts he was allowed than Millwood did and his future is fairly bright.

        • BoSoXaddict 4 years ago

          Good point about Wilson. Any chance we’ll see him make his MLB debut this month?

  5. Mitch_Cole173 4 years ago

    Theo needs to get someone on his staff that knows how to build a bullpen. Wheeler has been solid, they knew what they were getting into with Albers, Jenks has been Jenks, and Okajima is in AAA. After that, hpow about finding guys who won’t whine about everything when they lose? “Oh the schedule is too hard” “Man this interleague stuff is terrible” “These rules are horrible” Give me a break, these guys have no one to blame but themselves. And maybe find a few guys who aren’t so injury prone. Josh “My ankle is a little sore” Becket, Bedard, as much as I think he’s a really good pitcher, hasn’t pitched a full season in years (though I agree with the acquisition, the only other option really was Jiminez and he aint exactly lighting it up in Cleveland), Dice-K, well nevermind him, he wasn’t going to be a factor anyways, Wakefield is 45 years old, and Lackey is as effective as Blake Wheeler was for the Bruins (sorry for the hockey crossover). What they need is to find a pitcher who A) Actually knows how to pitch well in the Majors and B) Will most likely pitch a full season. As much as I love the A-Gon deal, this is a time where Casey Kelly could lend a little bit of a hand. Right now, they need to put Aceves into the 5 spot and see how Doubront would do in a spot start. Bucchholz could actually be back for the playoffs and, if he’s fully healthy, might be someone you put in for an inning, maybe two, when you hit the 7th. Lester – Beckett – Bedard – Lackey – Aceves or Doubront looks a lot better than Lester – Lackey – God Help Us when you’re trying to keep your lead in the Wild Card. It’d be nice to see Miller either in AAA, in the bullpen, or released and Wakefield calling it quits next year with Bucchholz coming back. Lester – Beckett – Bucchholz – Lackey – Doubront next year. Although my pipe dream would see Lackey gone and a guy like Wilson sliding into the back end. Then try and find relievers who won’t blow up or get hurt in the middle of the year. And Theo should probably try to stay away from projects like Jenks and Albers, find some guys who are established. Then if Tito could grow a pair and stop being such a cheerleader they could be ready to start the year. Don’t get me wrong, I like Tito, but when Daniel Bard loses a hitter on 0-2, he should get him no matter who he is, especially if it’s Evan Longoria hitting .240 on the year, and Tito shouldn’t scoff at questions about Bard’s meltdown as if they’re sins saying “Well he almost had him. I mean he got to 0-2, that should be good enough”. It just makes it clear that, unless he’s epically bipolar, he’s saying the same stuff to Bard and others behind the scenes. “Hey don’t worry about it, you almost had him”

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