Ben Cherington

Ben Cherington on D&C: Red Sox could be interested in acquiring major league players at trade deadline

June 25, 2015 - 6:25 am

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington joined the Dennis & Callahan show on Thursday morning to discuss the Red Sox and where they currently are in the season. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. Despite the Red Sox' record, Cherington said that he and the team are looking to get as much out of this squad as possible. So as the July 31 trade deadline gets closer every day, Cherington said, "on that kind of thing, you wait as long as you can" before deciding to give up on the season on focus on the coming years. "I think the more general statement is that we're going to work to get to a good team, get to the team that we believe we are actually closer to than many believe as quickly as we can," Cherington said. "So I foresee a scenario where we would even be interested in acquiring major league players, adding to the major league team. Depending on what our record is, it may be that those types of talks would be more geared towards players that we control, not just this year, but beyond this year, but I think that'll continue to be where our focus is." A name that has come up in terms of possibilities of moving at the deadline is Clay Buchholz due to his improved pitching and favorable contract. "I really think our focus is going to be to continue to improve the team, build the team that we want as quickly as we can," Cherington said. "With respect to the record, of course that's going to have to guide us a little bit on certain types of transactions, but the big picture, the bigger considerations we're going to be focused on trying to improve the team and be good as we can as quickly as we can, and so Clay obviously can be a big part of that." In his most recent column, Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan wrote that Hanley Ramirez's attitude "has irked some respected members of the Red Sox' clubhouse." Cherington said he's seen the piece, but that Ramirez's "irksome" attitude is not something he's heard about. "I've been in the clubhouse every day since spring training and during the season," he said. "I will tell you that when things are not going well and you're losing games, and obviously that's happened for us, none of us are in a particularly good mood. I might irk my coworkers probably from time to time when things aren't going well, so I think what I take from it is that we just need to win more games because when you're winning, that type of stuff is not written about. "I think Hanley is, again, coming into a difficult situation, and if we were winning games then there would be less of a spotlight on him, but because we're not and because he's a big presence and because he got a big contract and all those things, there's a lot of scrutiny, and I think he understands that," Cherington added. "I think the moral here is just we got to win games so that there isn't as much scrutiny on any one individual." Cherington said that he's satisfied with Ramirez's effort and pointed out that everybody in the organization has an obligation to be better for the Sox to be a better team. While the Red Sox were in the midst of defeating the Orioles 5-1 on Wednesday night, Cherington was in Pawtucket checking in with the Triple-A squad. The PawSox were also victorious in their game, grabbing a 3-2 win over the Rochester Red Wings in 11 innings via a walk-off RBI single. Lefty Brian Johnson was on the mound to start for the PawSox and hurled 6 2/3 innings of one-hit ball with seven strikeouts, a walk and just one unearned run. The impressive outing might have spawned some talk of moving him up to Boston, but Cherington said that the southpaw has been making a case for himself all year. "It seems that it's more a question of when and not if that he'll get an opportunity at some point," he said. "We have not made any decision on as to when that will be, but he's pitching his way into the conversation, just like other guys have before him so we'll see, but he threw well." With Joe Kelly's spot in the rotation in question, though not confirmed one way or another, Cherington said Kelly and Johnson are not directly linked. "John [Farrell] and I will get together on [Kelly Thursday], and we're certainly trying to figure out what the right plan is for Joe to help him make a step forward," he said. "We know he's got the ability to be better than he has been, and knows that, so we're working through a plan to try to address that, but they are not directly related in my mind." Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Red Sox News, visit the team page at On why Mike Napoli is struggling: "I don't know, and I think Mike is frustrated and trying to figure that out himself. He's a guy that cares a lot and wants to be a part of what we're doing here in Boston and obviously has been a big part of what we've done in the past. We obviously saw him get on a hot streak, he was Player of the Week already once so he's capable of getting on a hot streak again. It just hasn't come for him yet with any kind of consistency, and it's not a lack of effort or anything like that. It has been a little surprising because of how good he looked in spring training and because he [came in feeling] so good. One thing, and I don't know that this is the reason, I don't know that this is any factor at all, but despite the fact that he was healthy and he went through the sleep thing and he is sleeping better and all those things are good, it did interrupt his offseason, and because of the recovery from the surgery, he was not able to have the sort of offseason that he normally has. And so, who knows, spring training is one thing, you're feeling fresh and strong. As you get into the season, that work that players do in the offseason, that's sort of a gas in the tank that you rely on when you get into June, July and August, etc. And, again, I'm just speculating, but it's because I know that he cares and he's working hard, and I think because he is generally feeling good physically, and he's taking care of the sleep thing, I still believe that this guy has a really good run in him, which we saw a little pocket of it, and we're certainly hopeful we see it again."