How will the Sox manage veterans after trade deadline?


BOSTON -- The deadline has passed and the Red Sox didn't make any big personnel changes.

Two months of the regular season remain, with the team essentially out of contention. Without a playoff spot to chase, how will the Red Sox best use those August and September?

"One of the things I want to do now, now that we've passed the deadline, is really get together with John and his staff and talk about how we can best use the next two months," said GM Ben Cherington.

"I do know that we have to use the next two months in the most productive way possible and that likely means a combination of playing time with  certain guys, there may be development areas with certain guys, or teaching areas with certain guys and anything that will help our players take a step forward and/or help us get information on how we improve in the areas we need to improve in this offseason.''

Of more immediate consequence, perhaps, is playing time for some veteran players who remain. The Sox couldn't get a deal done to trade Mike Napoli to a contender.

It's likely that Napoli will clear waivers easily in August and still be dealt.

In the meantime, with the need to showcase him for interested team lessened, will he remain the regular first baseman?

"Ben's focus and concentration is for the obvious reasons,'' said manager John Farrell. "Whether we shift direction right now because we're past the deadline, those discussions will be had. But then more specifically, who are the guys that we want to take a look at? There may be a staging effect to that but in the short run, no, no change with Nap."

Part of the issue, for the time being, is that there aren't a lot of alternatives at first to Napoli.

Daniel Nava was designated for assignment, and while Brock Holt is capable of playing first, currently he has to play second base most days in place of Dustin Pedroia, who's back on the DL with a recurring hamstring strain.

David Ortiz has said, due to age and past injuries, he's incapable of playing first on a regular basis.

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