FORT MYERS, Fla. — No new hitters, the same lineup. This simply wasn’t the plan, and Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski acknowledged as much on Wednesday.
“From a positional player perspective, no, that wasn’t, per se, our plan,” Dombrowski said. “As I’ve said every single year of my career when people say, 'What do you think the winter time will bring?' I’ll say, 'I don’t know, I have no idea,’ because I don’t. And this year’s free agent market is much different, and it’s led us to be at this point now.”
Dombrowski gave no hints as to whether the deadlock is about to break.
"I do not know if we're close to doing anything or not,” he said. “It’s been a long, lengthy process this wintertime. I don't think it's really changed a great deal. We continue to have conversations with a lot of clubs and agents. We'll see what happens. But I don't know that answer."
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Dombrowski noted there’s an unusually high amount of trade talk for this time of year as free agency stagnates. Some of that trade talk is directly related to what could happen when free agents do come off the board.
“You figure somebody gets somebody, then they may have excess or they're in a spot where they may get a deal for someone,” Dombrowski said. "So they're looking to move another particular player. So yeah, names of prominence.”
He’s aware of the chatter that’s out there about whether the Sox should make a major move. Not just via the media, but directly from fans — over coffee from a top Red Sox sponsor, no less.
“I go out every morning, I have a cup of coffee, I sit at a Dunkin Donuts and I bet you I have about 10 people a day that talk to me,” Dombrowski said. “It’s really split. So your pulse, you must hear that and probably that’s a louder voice but people are very supportive: don’t do anything if you think it’s unwise.”
The Sox didn’t add to their bullpen after the departure of Addison Reed and Fernando Abad.
“Bullpen-wise, we're pretty deep, particularly from the right-hand side,” Dombrowski said. “You don't have a lot of openings on the big-league club, so we're not a destination where everybody earmarks. But we'd be interested if the right guys come up to bring in non-roster invitees.”