Red Sox GM Ben Cherington appeared on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan radio show this morning to discuss his club, and WEEI.com's Jerry Spar has the partial transcript…
- Cherington said he still believes his team is in playoff contention and can raise their level of play, though he admitted, "it's an unusual position for us to be in. That's the truth. Our approach at the deadline most every year that I've been here in the front office has been pretty clear. We're trying to improve the team. This deadline is going to take more of a nuanced approach, but we're certainly still focused on 2012 and doing everything we can to win as many games as we can this year."
- The Red Sox are talking to other teams about starting pitching, though Cherington sounded doubtful given the "seller's market" for available top arms.
- Josh Beckett has not been asked about waiving his 10-5 rights, nor have the Sox discussed dealing Beckett with another team. "Taking Josh Beckett off this team is not necessarily improving things," Cherington said. "We need to add, we need to improve the rotation, if anything — improve internally or add to the rotation. I think we're sort of stuck in neutral if we start taking guys out of the rotation who are good major league pitchers."
- The team hasn't talked to Jacoby Ellsbury about a contract extension, echoing what Ellsbury's agent Scott Boras said last month. Ellsbury will be a free agent after the 2013 season and it's hard to gauge what an extension for the center fielder would look like, given his injury-plagued 2010 and 2012 seasons sandwiched around a stellar 2011 campaign. Cherington said other teams have inquired about Ellsbury though the Sox have no interest in trading him.
- Cherington said it makes little sense to move struggling veterans as the Sox wouldn't be able to recoup proper value in a trade. "The secondary point, the last thing a GM ever wants to do is sell low," Cherington said. "If we are ever going to consider trading a player, doing it at a time when a guy isn't performing doesn't help your cause." Cherington admitted the Sox have made such sell-low trades before, possibly in reference to the Kevin Youkilis deal.