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Epstein: Sox disappointed, but proud, to stand pat
Despite having what he described as ''countless, countless, countless opportunities'' to make a trade prior to today's 4 p.m. trade deadline, Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said none of the potential deals they could have made would have benefitted the team in the long term. And, thus, the Sox wound up standing pat and not making a trade.
''We came close on a lot of things, but that's the nature of these deals,'' Epstein said at a 5 p.m. press conference at Fenway Park. ''It's pretty easy to come close, pretty hard to find something that works for both teams.''
Epstein said the Sox were ''most aggressive for quality starting pitching, and very little quality starting pitching changed hands.
''It wasn't for lack of effort,'' he said. ''We came very close to a couple of very high caliber starters.''
What held the Sox back was their determination not to trade off their young talent -- such as pitchers Jon Lester, Manny Delcarmen and Craig Hansen off the major-league roster, and prospects such as Pawtucket's Dustin Pedroia and Portland's Edgar Martinez -- and kill the team's long-term plan to build from within.
''We have a long-term plan,'' Epstein said, ''and as much as we desperately wanted to do something to help our big-league team, it would have been shortsighted to sacrifice the long-term plan to incrementally increase our chances this year. We were asked over and over again for a lot of good young players who are part of our long-term plan, and it just wasn't worth it.''
Still, Epstein freely admitted it hurt not to make a trade.
''It's very disappointing,'' he said. ''We had a lot of people in the front office and lots of scouts in the field trying to get something done . . . but, again, in the end you have to do a balancing act. Is it worth sacrificing a high piece of your future for an incremetnal improvement over the next two months?
''I'm proud of the process and proud of the result. We didn't want to do something emotional, reactive and shortsighted, that would lead to us doing something we regret that would be detrimental to the franchise.''
The Yankees were very active, acquiring outfielder Bobby Abreu, pitcher Cory Lidle and first baseman/outfielder Craig Wilson, but Epstein said the Sox weren't tempted to make a deal in response to the Yanks.
''Not for one sceond,'' he said. ''Our approach to the Yankees is to respect them, assume they're going to win 100 games every year, and forget about them until October . . . To scrap that approach, to all of a sudden get emotional or reactive, would be to throw out the window everything we believe in.''
-- ART MARTONE
Posted by Art at 5:26 PM | Permalink
| Comments 7
One hour to go . . .
With the 4 p.m. trade deadline looming, some quick hits on Red Sox trade rumors . . .
-- In the last 90 minutes, a Kip Wells-to-Boston rumor took fire in virtually every corner of the Internet. However, a baseball source says the deal is ''not close''.
-- A high-ranked baseball insider said the Sox were negotiating a contract extension with the agents for Julio Lugo, indicating a deal with the Devil Rays might be close. But the St. Petersburg Times' Marc Topkin, in his blog, says He is not going to Boston, at least not as part of rumored three- and four-way deals that were flying around Fenway Park and the Internet Sunday night.
More momentarily . . .
-- SEAN McADAM
Posted by Art at 3:11 PM | Permalink