MacPhail meets with the media

President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail tackled a variety of subjects following the Rule 5 draft. For example:

On what he’s accomplished at the meetings:
“We have made some progress on the left side of the diamond. We made some progress with Koji. We have some other things we think we have in the offing that are encouraging. So by and large, we’re happy that we’re able to make a couple trades, bring a free-agent back subject to a physical, and other encouraging conversations. It was OK. It was a busy meeting for us.”

On why the deal with Koji Uehara was finalized so late:
“The Koji thing, the Japan time zone, everything’s like 12 hours delayed. We’re working during the day and then they’ve got to wait to talk to him and whatever. We were pleased with the progress we were making. We accomplished essentially what we wanted to accomplish. We always wanted to bring him back. It was really a function of just structuring the contract in a way that protected Koji if he was healthy and pitched well, and protected us in the event that he wasn’t healthy and had a reoccurrance of the first years that we had with him. It was really just a matter of not getting locked into an arbitration process and working around a deal that was a fair distribution of risk and reward.”

On what he likes about J.J. Hardy:
“We like his defense. If you look at those UZR ratings or whatever, he’s very top-of-the-chart. We think he’ll provide us more offense and he’s a good defender.”

On Cesar Izturis:
“We’re going to talk today before the day is out. Once we finalize this deal, that’ll give everybody a clearer picture of where we are.”

On other moves being made ahead of first base:
“There’s two parts to that. There’s also other options, different ways with bodies moving around to solve that issue. We thought we attacked it in the order it needed to be attacked in terms of supply and demand.”

On Boston signing Carl Crawford:
“We can only do what we can do. We have to know who we are and how we’re going to try to attack them, do those things we can do to make ourselves better and try to sustain the momentum that we had the last two months of the season.”

More on Boston’s big acquisitions:
“It is what it is. They just got ravaged by injuries. They’re going to be a force this year.”

On bullpen negotiations:
“We’ve got a lot of balls in the air. We’ve got a lot of conversations going on. Again, what happens at the end of the day, we don’t know.”

On whether Uehara is the closer:
“That’s up to Buck (Showalter), it really is, on how he uses him. And it’s also a function of what else we’re able to do.”

On the risk of not offering Uehara arbitration:
“I thought it only made sense. I didn’t associate that large a risk with it, to be honest with you.”

On the talks to acquire a shortstop:
“I would say the largest percentage of our time was probably spent talking to clubs or free agents about shortstop, and then I think bullpen probably next. The (Mark) Reynolds thing started in the GM meetings or even before, and that one was marching along. But we spent a lot of time on the bullpen and shortstop here.”

On whether he’d try to sign Hardy to an extension:
“My inclination is to focus now on the 2011 club and address some of those other things, like extensions, maybe in spring training.”

More on Hardy:
“There were a lot of aspects we really liked about J.J. - makeup, defensive ability, more offense at that position, he’s 28 years old. The fact that Reynolds is 27 and J.J.’s 28 is something that’s attractive to us. It potentially has applications beyond this year.”

More on first base:
“I’d say of all the things that we have going, those talks, while they’ve been considerable, are probably not as advanced as our bullpen, shortstop, third base discussions were at this point. But that’s a function of what we see as supply and demand and other options.”

On how many relievers he wants to add:
“I can see us bringing in one or two more. We were interested in the player (left-hander Joe Paterson) that got taken ahead of us in the Rule 5 draft or we might have been even more active in the draft. Fortunately, there’s a fairly good supply there, a couple different options for us. We’ll see what happens.”

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