Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherington met with the press and had lots to talk about, including his moves for Mark Melancon, Kelly Shoppach, and Nick Punto. Buster Olney suggests the team is still looking for closers and is currently pursuing Andrew Bailey, and ESPN Boston reminds us that the Cubbies (via Epstein) might be interested in bringing in Varitek and/or Wakefield:
Ben Cherington talks Mark Melancon, Nick Punto, Kelly Shoppach and Jason Varitek’s future - WEEI
"Cherington noted that while the Red Sox believe recently acquired right-hander Mark Melancon could close for the team, the Red Sox are still leaving their options open as to who will pitch the ninth inning. Boston traded for Melancon on Wednesday, sending pitcher Kyle Weiland and infielder Jed Lowrie to the Astros in exchange for Melancon."
Twitter / @Buster_ESPN: The Red Sox landed Mark Me ...
"The Red Sox landed Mark Melancon, but they are continuing their pursuit of other relievers, including Andrew Bailey."
Twitter / @bradfo: Cherington on Melancon: 'W ...
Cherington on Melancon: 'We think has intangibles to succeed in the American League East ... We definitely feel he's capable of closing'
Boston Red Sox hope to have Jason Varitek back in some role - ESPN Boston
"If Varitek wants to continue his playing career, he may have an interested suitor in the Chicago Cubs, who are currently led by former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein. Sources told the Chicago Tribune that the team has expressed preliminary interest in both Varitek and Tim Wakefield."
- Ben Cherington weighs in on deals - BostonHerald.com
"Speaking on a conference call this morning, Cherington praised recently acquired right-hander Mark Melancon as a potential closer with the stuff and demeanor to pitch in the American League East, said upgrading the defense with catcher Kelly Shoppach and utilityman Nick Punto was a priority, and didn’t completely close the door on Jason Varitek [stats]’s return in some capacity."
- Jason Varitek was never going to return as the backup catcher - The Providence Journal
"With the way Cherington talked about Lavarnway, however, it sounded as though Varitek never really was in the Red Sox's plans for next season -- at least in an on-field capacity."
- Red Sox Trade Kyle Weiland and Jed Lowrie to Astros for Reliever Mark Melancon - MLB Daily Dish
The Boston Red Sox have traded pitcher Kyle Weiland to the Houston Astros in exchange for reliever Mark Melancon, first reported by Jerry Crasnick and confirmed by Jon Heyman. Alex Speier is reporting that Jed Lowrie could be part of the deal...
- Signing of Punto not just for on-field contributions | Red Sox Blog | Rhode Island news | The Providence Journal
"Intangibles like heart and leadership can't be measured, but the signing of Punto -- a lifetime .249 hitter who has played on three playoff teams, including the World Series-winning St. Louis Cardinals last season -- indicates Cherington and the Red Sox do see some value in adding a so-called winning-type player to the clubhouse mix."
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