Red Sox GM Ben Cherington covered a host of topics an interview with WEEI.com's Alex Speier and Rob Bradford (all links to Speier's Twitter feed unless otherwise noted). The full interview can be heard here, but here are some of the highlights, and the latest out of Boston:
- As noted earlier this evening, Cherington indicated that the Red Sox have yet to schedule a meeting with Masahiro Tanaka and agent Casey Close. The Boston GM left the impression that, after some preliminary chats, both team and player were still guaging whether more serious discussions were warranted. Jason Mastrodonato of MassLive.com has more of Cherington's comments regarding Tanaka.
- Meanwhile, Tanaka is holding up the potential trade market for Boston's arguable excess of starting pitching, writes Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. But interest could pick up in the Sox' arms once Tanaka and the other top starters exit the open market, MacPherson reasons, since most teams in baseball still having plenty of room to upgrade their rotations.
- The Sox have "kept the dialogue going" with shortstop Stephen Drew over the off-season, Cherington said. But the sides have not talked since the holidays, he noted. With Drew seemingly finding it hard to land a multi-year offer, and internal options already in the fold in Boston, Cherington has enviable leverage.
- Meanwhile, Cherington said that the team will "probably" have some discussions with DH David Ortiz about a contract extension during the coming year. "When someone like that expresses their strong interest in staying, that's a good thing," said Cherington. "We want him to finish his career as a Red Sox." We heard last month that Ortiz was interested in exploring an extension. The 38-year-old Relativity Baseball client is in the second and final year of the $26MM contract he inked back in November of 2012.