With not much going on within Red Sox Nation, here are some of the better tidbits from Theo's candid conversation on WEEI's Dale and Holley show earlier today:
On the Yanks signing Teixeira:
"We're not building this organization through free agency. I don't think that's an intelligent way to build an organization. We're building it through drafting players, signing players internationally, developing a homegrown core from within, and complementing it with trades and free agents. So I always assume if the Yankees want a player, they're going to get him, so that's why it can't necessarily be a part of our business model to assume we're going to land the big-ticket free agent. With respect to this particular negotiation, I don't think we were swimming upstream because he could always go back to the Yankees again [in the end]. I don't necessarily feel that way, I know it can be interpreted that way."
In a paragraph, Theo articulately details why the Sox have enjoyed recent success, and the Yanks haven't.....but Theo's not trying to tell Hank/Cashman how to do their job or anything...
On the off season signings of Dusty and Youk:
"With Pedroia and Youkilis, we knew that they were among the players that we wanted to sit down and have multi-year conversations with. And, you know, they were really reasonable. And so we were able to work something out. I hope we will look back and say that was an important part of our offseason, being able to lock Pedroia up for the length of time that we did, six years and an option, and then Youkilis for four years and an option. We get these guys through their prime years, get the club option . . . they get a lifetime's worth of security, we get cost-control, affordability, and the knowledge that we'll keep a good part of our offensive and defensive core intact. So it's a win-win there for all sides."
Pretty much saying these guys are real Sox players...putting winning above money. Manny, not so much.
On Youk's ability to be a clean-up hitter:
"Oh, yeah. And it's not my responsibility. I think Tito [manager Terry Francona] is open to hitting him all over the lineup. When people say that Youkilis isn't a traditional cleanup or middle-of-the-order hitter, I think they haven't quite noticed how he's evolved as a player. When he first came up, his clear strength as a player was plate discipline, he had a way above-average walk rate . . . and only had power sporadically, only on certain pitches he could drive. He's really changed, you've probably noticed, over the last couple of years, last year in particular. He's still got an above-average walk rate, he's still got above-average plate discipline. But he's sacrificed a little bit of that patience to drive the ball earlier in the count. He's adjusted his approach where there are a number of different places in the strike zone he can drive the ball."
Well said and great point in regards to sacrificing patience to establish early in the count power. I don't know why Theo continues to impress me, he is our GM, but he manages to do so every time.
On Mike Lowell's health:
"..he’s started swinging the bat and doing some agility work so he’s on schedule to be available by the end of spring training. And that’s really what we’re focused on, what he’s going to look like at the end of spring training rather than the beginning."
Can't help but be encouraged by this news, alongside Ortiz, Lowell is the biggest offensive question mark going into the season.
On any other off season moves:
"I think we’re probably done. There is always something else that might fit as we round out our spring training roster and there’s always trade discussions as well, so I wouldn’t rule anything out. But nothing is that hot or active right now. I think most teams are packing up and heading down to spring training seeing what they have the first few weeks of camp then trade discussions will pick up from there."
I think we all know how ITM feels about acquiring a long term catching solution, but like we always say, in Theo we trust.
To see the entire transcript from today's meeting click here.