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Red Sox Bits & Pieces: On The Medical Staff, Sveum, Ortiz, And Yoennis Cespedes

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It was (quietly) a busy day for the Red Sox yesterday. While the beginning of the GM meetings hasn't brought the same kind of big-name inolvement as it has for, say, the Yankees (who are apparently in on both C.J. Wilson and Roy Oswalt -- also known as the "bad sign brigade"), the Sox have been active both in the free agent market and elsewhere.

Red Sox Eliminate Dr. Gill's Medical Director Position

The oft-referenced Dr. Gill may be done with the Sox after the team decided to reorganize their medical operations, eliminating his position of "Medical Director" in the process. Gill, who is also involved with the Bruins and Patriots, is the Chief of Sports Medicine at MGH, where the Sox would continue to employ, so Gill would not be completely removed. It just doesn't seem like he will be quite the medical face of the team that he has been in years past.

While it's hard to ever evaluate the performance of a medical staff as laymen, it's a telling sign that the team has made this move to restructure after a pair of injury-plagued years which saw minor injuries become major, and seemingly healed injuries continue to prove problematic. It's no guarantee of health, but if the Sox' restructuring can provide results and keep players off the disabled list, then it could be a bigger addition than any free agent signing.

Red Sox Talk To David Ortiz' Agent

Speaking of free agents, it's hard to really think of David Ortiz as being one, but that's the case.

The good news, however, is that the Sox are working to bring him back, and have the best shot of any team. Meeting late last night with Ortiz' agent, the Sox extended an offer to the hard-hitting DH according to Rob Bradford. There are no numbers out there yet, but it's a start.

What's more, even if the Sox' offer isn't up to snuff, Ortiz has said they'll essentially be given the right of refusal, allowing them to match any contract offer Papi receives if they are so inclined.

On the one hand, the market for designated hitters is way down, and the Sox should always be wary of overpaying any player this far on the wrong side of 30. But this is David Ortiz we're talking about. Even ignoring the huge value his bat brought to the Sox last year, there's something fundamentally wrong with the idea of him in another uniform. I think most of us would hope that's not a reality we have to face anytime soon.

 

Sox Still In On Yoennis Cespedes

The Sox' interest in Cuban defector Yoennis Cespedes continues, as Ben Cherington will personally be headed to the Dominican Republic later this week to get a look at the 26-year old outfielder 

While personally I want them to stay as far away from Cespedes as possible so I don't have to deal with the name "Yoennis" on a regular basis (it's deceptively difficult to remember), he is an intriguing prospect. Cespedes ripped through Cuban opposition before his defection, performing impressively in every aspect of the game. 

Ah, to hell with it, just watch this (NWS lyrics warning). It's, uh, something else.

Could Cespedes be an interesting solution to the right field issue? Absolutely, but as with all the others he's a real risk. The Sox also seem the sort to want to start him off in Triple-A (as much to help ease him into things culturally as competitively.

 

Dale Sveum Seeming More Likely By The Day

So you know how the Sox narrowed their managerial search down to two candidates a few days ago? Well, they apparently still don't have the second man to put behind Dale Sveum. If one is needed, he will eventually come from the group of four that have already been interviewed, but it's a pretty strong indication that Sveum seems to be their man.

Sveum isn't a candidate that excites me, really, and doesn't even have the comforting experience of a Gene Lamont. That being said, when it comes to managerial candidates who don't have significant experience to evaluate, there's really not much to go on other than the interviews. For a lack of having been a fly on the wall, it's not really fair for me or anyone else to criticize the choice. 

The one thing I do feel I can say is that Sveum is a difficult pick for management to make based on his past in Boston. No, his decisions at third base aren't terribly relevant when it comes to managing, but they still do effect the environment he has to come into. The fanbase and media are close to revolt as is, and bringing in one of the most aggravating coaches the team has had in recent memory to manage just seems to be asking for trouble in that department. Hopefully it's a PR situation they can handle and keep off the radar of potential free agent signings.