Patriots

Red Sox 'had more dialogue' with Napoli

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Red Sox 'had more dialogue' with Napoli

BOSTON On Wednesday, 16 days after reports of a three-year, 39 million deal, there was no news on the Mike Napoli front, as both the Red Sox and Napolis agent remain mum on the topic.Theres really nothing to comment on, said general manager Ben Cherington Wednesday afternoon. As with any free agent, until its done, its not done. We continue to work on different ways to improve the team.Ill comment on it as soon as I can, but I cant right now. Weve had some more dialogue. I wouldnt classify it as one way or the other. Well see what happens. Were trying to improve the team and hopefully we can do that.Napolis agent did not respond to requests for comment.Asked about a report by SI.coms Will Carroll that the Sox wanted to reduce the number of years of the deal to protect themselves, Cherington could not clarify.I havent seen that, Cherington said. Im not going to comment on discussions were having, other than to say were still talking. Were still working through some issues and will continue to do so.Cherington did say, however, the Sox continue to work on other fronts, in case they are not able to work things out with Napoli.Sure, weve got to keep active, he said. Until something is done, its not done. Even then we cant be blind trying to improve the team in other ways. Were still working on a number of fronts so hopefully we can add to the team. That will continue through January and until spring training.Were working on a number of fronts, not just first base but other areas on the team. Cant give you a time line on whether this or that will happen or if itll happen.First base is the area as we go back to the beginning of the offseason we clearly identified as a need. We havent been able to address that yet. Still working on it, still working for ways to improve the team across the scope of the roster well see what opportunities come our way. Theres usually a little bit of a lull Christmas and thereafter. Things pick up in January.
-- The Sox have not officially announced the addition of shortstop Stephen Drew yet. He has not yet had a physical, but Cherington expects that to happen soon.
With the addition of Drew, it appears Jose Iglesias could be starting the season at Triple-A Pawtucket.At this point in his career he should be playing every day, Cherington said of Iglesias.
-- Cherington said the Sox remain committed to having Jacoby Ellsbury as their starting center fielder in 2013.-- While the Sox have had no discussions with outfielder Cody Ross recently, Cherington said they remain open to talks.
We have not closed the door by any means, Cherington said. I have not had a conversation recently with him. But no we have not closed the door.
-- The addition of Dempster gives the Sox a starting rotation of Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, and Felix Doubront.We have a number of guys that are proven winners at the major league level Lester, Buchholz, Dempster, Lackey, Doubront, who had a really promising first full season, Cherington said. And then other guys on the team who are capable of pitching in that role Franklin Morales, Alfredo Aceves has done it some. So at the major league level I also think our depth underneath that is improved compared to where we were a year ago, guys who are getting towards the top of the system and could be options at some point during the 2013 season.So I think were in solid shape but were always open-minded about ways to improve. Ive said before, Ill say it again, I think were excited to have Ryan Demspter here. The performance of the other guys that were already here is going to have a bigger impact on our overall rotation performance than any one player we were going to add. We think Dempsters a really good fit for a lot of different reasons.
-- To make room on the 40-man roster for right-hander Ryan Dempster, Pedro Beato was designated for assignment. After being acquired from the Mets in August, Beato made four relief appearances for the Sox in 2012, going 1-0 with a 4.70 ERA. He also made seven appearances, including three in the postseason, for Pawtucket.

Morning Skate: Golden Knights happy to get Malcolm Subban back

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Morning Skate: Golden Knights happy to get Malcolm Subban back

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while watching old Super Friends episodes with my 4-year-old on a Saturday morning.

*Has anybody ever been as excited to get a healthy Malcolm Subban back in the lineup as the Vegas Golden Knights are this weekend? Pro Hockey Talk is asking the question, and I think I can honestly answer with a resounding “No.” We’ll see if he’s actually worth all the excitement, but obviously, he’s better than what the injury-plagued Golden Knights had in the interim.

*The Buffalo Sabres continue to get very little return for any of the investments they’ve made in the team over the last couple of years.

*Ryan Suter knows what it takes to remain among the NHL defenseman workhorses in the NHL, and he is consistently there year in and year out.

*Dustin Brown has been a resurgent performer for the Los Angeles Kings this season and is one of the big storylines behind their turnaround.

*The Detroit Red Wings are beginning to more openly adopt Jeff Blashill’s speed game, but the question is how much that will pay dividends for them.

*For something completely different: Good piece in the Boston Globe about Danny Ainge’s relationship with recently passed Red Sox great Bobby Doerr.