Ben Cherington

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington on outfielder Shane Victorino after trade to Angels: 'We wouldn't have won the World Series without him'

John Tomase
July 27, 2015 - 4:28 pm

Trading Shane Victorino wasn't easy for Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington. But it was the right move. With the Red Sox out of contention and Victorino's contract expiring at the end of the year, the Red Sox wanted to get something for the Flyin' Hawaiian before he departed in free agency, so they shipped him to the Angels on Monday for former Rockies infielder Josh Rutledge. "It came together this weekend," Cherington said on a conference call. "We talked to Shane this afternoon during batting practice, before it became official. It was tough for everyone. John and I were in there with Shane and he's meant a lot. It's stating the obvious that he was a part of something very special in 2013, and a part of a lot of great moments that October. As you guys know, he's always, not just with the Red Sox, but throughout his career, played with incredible passion. He's a passionate person who cares a lot. It was a difficult conversation. "I think on the one hand, he's happy to have an opportunity to go to a contender and hopefully have a chance to play meaningful games down the stretch. On the other hand, this is an important part of his career, being in Boston. We expressed to him how grateful we are for everything he's done. We wish him the best. He leaves a mark on the Red Sox and the people still in that clubhouse." Cherington praised Victorino's fearlessness in right field, as well as the aggressiveness he brought to the field on a daily basis after signing a three-year, $39 million deal before the 2013 season. Victorino supplied no shortage of highlights, chief among them the grand slam against the Tigers in the ALCS that sent the Red Sox to the World Series. "My opinion is that we wouldn'€™t have won the World Series without him in 2013," Cherington said. The issue for Victorino thereafter was health. He missed most of last season with an assortment of injuries to his back and legs, appearing in only 30 games. He has played in just 33 games this year. "Obviously the DL time got in the way of making the same kind of contribution in the last two years, unfortunately," Cherington said. "I think just what he did in 2013, I think makes us feel anyway like it was a worthwhile deal. We can dice up the contract, values, and all that, but what I think about is a guy who may be one of the more passionate baseball players I'€™ve ever been around. He played with incredible grit, a tough, smart player, and we wish him well."