Red Sox notebook: Alex Cora realistic when it comes to trade deadline

Rob Bradford
July 22, 2019 - 7:39 pm

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Part of the conversation involving the Red Sox 14-game stretch against the Rays and Yankees involves the standings. The other piece? That would be how the results might impact Dave Dombrowski's approach at the July 31 trade deadline.

Those in the Red Sox' clubhouse might not be surfacing the conversation on their own, the uncertainty when it comes to the team's direction is something that remains on their minds. Listening to Alex Cora before his team's game against the Rays, that becomes crystal clear.

"That’s the nature of the business. I think everyone is smart around here to understand how it works," noted the Red Sox' manager. "We do need to play better. Everyone knows it. We’ve been talking about this since Oakland. 

"The front office has a job to do. Obviously, our goals are set to win the World Series. If it doesn’t look that way and they go somewhere else and take another approach, you’ve got to respect that. At the end, we have to perform and we have to win games. We haven’t been consistent about it. We have to play better, win games, and I’m not saying put pressure on them, but at the same time, show them, yeah, this group is capable. We know the group is talented. It’s just a matter of going out there and performing."

While it remains to be seen if this team is going to be buyers or sellers -- with the Red Sox entering the three-game set at Tropicana Field three games out of a Wild Card berth -- there is undeniably an emphasis on trying not to let the uncertainty become a distraction.

"It’s one game at a time of course. Let’s take care of today," Cora said. "That’s the most important thing. We didn’t have a good weekend in Baltimore so we have to turn the page. Today, I think, we have Eduardo on the mound, he’s been throwing the ball well. Just, let’s take care of today, that’s the most important thing. Whatever happens today, we know what we have to do tomorrow. I’m not saying every pitch matters but it does. Every play. But I think every day is very important. We can’t get ahead of ourselves. You’re not going to gain ground, gain five games or 10 games in one day. Just make sure that we take care of the nine innings, hopefully not 15 innings, 15 if we play 15, but you understand what I’m saying. Let’s do that first."

- Mitch Moreland flew into Tampa Monday afternoon and worked out with the Red Sox prior to their meeting with the Rays. But the first baseman's activation from the injured list had to wait until Tuesday.

"Obviously it’s a little bit frustrating but trying to work as hard as I could to get back," said Moreland, who has been on the IL with quad injury since June 7. "Feeling a lot better. Obviously there’s still going to be some monitoring to it but for the most part, I’m ready to go."

Moreland is coming off a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket in which he went 0-for-13. Before being sidelined by back and quad issues, the first baseman had hit 13 homers while totaling an .859 OPS.

- While the Red Sox have gotten encouraging news on Steve Pearce's progress in his return from a knee injury, the news hasn't been as good regarding Steven Wright. The knuckleballer remains on the injured list after being hit in the foot with a line-drive on July 13.

"Still sore," Cora said. "It’s not broken but he’s sore. It’s kind of limited him to do all the stuff."