Cherington: ‘Timing just didn't line up' to make trades

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BOSTON -- While insisting that it's not necessary for the organization to  go "in reverse'' to fix what ails them, the Red Sox were unable to use the non-waiver trade deadline to find any forward solutions.

"We worked on a lot of stuff, talked about a lot of stuff -- big, small and in-between,'' said Cherington an hour after the deadline passed. "In the end, we didn't find enough compelling to do much. It didn't come our way. But I thought we had a really productive week nonetheless. We got a lot of information. We know a lot more about what may or may not be in play for us going forward, in the offseason.

"A lot of work and discussion, just not as much activity this year,''

A year ago, the Red Sox were the busiest team at the deadline, trading four regulars -- Stephen Drew, Jon Lester, John Lackey and Andrew Miller -- on July 31.

But this year, the only addition was obtaining Ryan Cook, a reliever, from Oakland.

The Red Sox were chiefly in the market for controllable starting pitching and had discussions with San Diego (Tyson Ross) and Cleveland (Carlos Carrasco), but were unable to pull anything off.

"I think it's incumbent upon us to make real improvement between now and Opening Day (2016),'' said Cherington. "We didn't feel like it had to be this week. So we went into it with the mindset that we were going to pursue things that we think fall in line with improving ways we need to improve between now and Opening Day. If we can find those things, we'll do it now; if not, we'll wait and tackle it in the offseason.

"I think we learned a lot about our players, other players and what could be available going forward. The timing just didn't line up to make a lot of moves now. We know what we need to do going forward and have more information to guide us going into the off-season.''

The GM confirmed that there was considerable interest in some of the team's better prospects, but nothing compelling enough to lead to a deal.

"We're willing to give up young talent to build a good team,'' he said. "We have to consider what alternatives are there and we pursued some things and talked about a lot of different things. But in the week leading up to to the deadline, there are some dynamics in play that maybe don't allow you to see what all of your options are. So ultimately, we just felt like that we got a lot of information but didn't find anything that made sense right now and we'll keep working and go into the offseason with a lot of information and see what we can do then.''

Cherington said there was some interest exhibited from other teams for some of the team's veterans (Mike Napoli, Alejanrdo De Aza) and that those talks could continue into August, when deals can be made assuming players clear waivers.

"There was some interest,'' said Cherington. "Again, it just didn't get to a level where we felt compelled to do anything. There could be things along those lines that we look at in August. We just have to wait and see.''

Indeed, De Aza was dealt last year from Chicago to Baltimore in mid-August, and likely could be traded again this August. Napoli, who has slightly more than $5 million remaining on his current deal this season, will clear waivers without much difficulty, and he, too, could be sent elsewhere.

In addition to looking to upgrade his rotation, Cherington singled out defense as an area that needs to improve.

"I think we need to improve in both (pitching and defense),'' Cherington. "Some of that, undoubtedly will have to be with some additions from outside and we think we know more about what those possibilities might be now than a week ago. And a lot of has to continue to be improvement internally, and guys that are here, getting more out of these guys.

"The pitching and defense has to improve. We see those two things as connected and really have to improve in concert and help each other.''

Despite the fact the Sox seem headed for their second straight last-place finish, Cherington doesn't believe that improvement will take long.

"I think we can envision a good team here quickly and it is fixable, but not easy,'' said Cherington. "It's not one action, one piece or move. As I mentioned before, it's going to be a number of things in terms of  potentially (new) personnel this off-season, but also finding ways to get more out of the guys we have here. Our play has not been nearly good enough - there's no other way to say it. And when you perform the way we have, you have to look under every rock and look at every possible way to get better.

"But it's do-able, absolutely. And we can envision here a very good team here quickly. But we're going to have to work hard, we'll have to do a good job and it's not going to be (just) one thing.''

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