Red Sox Notes: Free Agents, Lucchino, Valentine

Is there any doubt that the Red Sox will be one of the most talked-about teams of the 2012-13 offseason?  September has barely begun and yet there is already heavy speculation about how the Sox will approach the manager situation and the tens of millions in payroll space freed up by last month's trade with the Dodgers.  Here's the latest out of Beantown…

  • The Red Sox could eschew big moves this winter and instead making lower-profile one-year signings in January or February, writes Brian MacPherson of the Providence JournalDan Haren, Mike Napoli, Brandon McCarthy or Edwin Jackson are players Boston could look to sign to "pillow contracts" if those players couldn't find acceptable longer-term deals elsewhere.
  • Team president Larry Lucchino didn't comment on Bobby Valentine's controversial interview on WEEI radio, telling ESPN Boston's Joe McDonald that he hadn't heard the interview and that "talk shows are talk shows."  Lucchino did agree with Valentine's description of the Red Sox season as "miserable."
  • Lucchino confirmed owner John Henry's statement that Bill James will have a larger role with the team.  James has served as a senior adviser to the Red Sox since 2003.  "He's never been gone, but he will be even more active than he's been in recent years.  He will be more centrally involved in the evaluation process," Lucchino said.
  • The Mariners made the right move in hiring Eric Wedge as manager over Valentine in 2010, writes Larry Stone of the Seattle Times.  Valentine was one of several candidates who interviewed for the job and there were rumors that Ichiro Suzuki was pushing for Valentine to be hired, though this was denied by both Ichiro and the Mariners.