BOSTON (AP) -Theo Epstein won't talk publicly about Johan Santana, even though the Boston Red Sox appear to be trying to add the two-time AL Cy Young Award winner to their already strong rotation.
``There are a lot of interesting names held out there on the trade market and whether those names are moved remains to be seen,'' the Red Sox general manager said Friday during a conference call.
Epstein plans to focus on improving the team's bench and bullpen in the coming weeks.
``That doesn't mean we're going to look past an opportunity to get better,'' he said in response to a question about possible trades.
The Red Sox and New York Yankees are trying to acquire the Minnesota Twins left-hander, with Boston willing to offer a package of players that might include left-hander Jon Lester - the World Series Game 4 winner - right-hander Clay Buchholz or center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury.
One possible scenario has the Red Sox shipping veteran center fielder Coco Crisp and one of the pitchers to the Twins.
Crisp was benched in favor of Ellsbury during the World Series sweep of the Colorado Rockies. Epstein acknowledged Crisp hasn't hit as well in his two seasons in Boston as he did in his prior two years in Cleveland - .268 last season compared with .300 in his last year with the Indians. But Epstein still considers Crisp to be ``one of the best center fielders in the league.''
``I think we're very lucky to have two very good center fielders on the roster, and they're not mutually exclusive,'' Epstein said. ``There can be roles for both guys on the club, and even a little competition in spring training.''
Epstein also said the team was amenable to re-signing free agent reliever Mike Timlin and outfielder Bobby Kielty, who hit the home run that turned out be the margin of difference in Game 4 of the World Series.
The team also hopes to sign manager Terry Francona to a contract extension before spring training, Epstein said.
``It's safe to say we're in a little bit better position this year, where we don't have to delve into free agency to fill holes,'' Epstein said.

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Opening 2018 World Series Odds The 2018 World Series opening odds have been released. Who is favored, who is the biggest challenger, and who is also in the mix?
Thumbnail Astros vs. Dodgers Pick Are the Houston Astros going to clinch their first-ever World Series title Wednesday night in Game 7 with an upset win at the Los Angeles Dodgers? Game time is...
Thumbnail Astros vs. Dodgers Pick Can the Houston Astros clinch their first-ever World Series title Tuesday night in Game 6 at the Los Angeles...
Thumbnail Dodgers vs. Astros Pick Are the Los Angeles Dodgers going to ride Clayton Kershaw to a victory over the host Houston Astros in a pivotal Game 5 of the World Series Sunday night? First pitch is at...
Thumbnail Dodgers vs. Astros Pick Are the Houston Astros going to win a third straight game over the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday night in Game 4 of the World Series? First pitch is at...

MLB Team Pages