So Theo Epstein has returned as Red Sox general manager and all is well again in the Boston front office. Jed Hoyer and Ben Cherington, who had been co-GMs since mid-December, were given new assignments as assistant GM and VP of player personnel, respectively. Now Boston needs to get the final two spots in the field filled, with free agent Alex Gonzalez the likely candidate to sign at short and outfielder Coco Crisp being traded from Cleveland to take over the departed Johnny Damon‘s role in the field and the lineup. Reports this morning say that the Crisp deal has hit a snag because Guillermo Mota, whom the Indians wanted in the bullpen and who has missed time over the last two seasons due to injury, failed his physical Tuesday. It doesn’t mean that the deal is dead, but the Sox and Tribe will need to work out another package to make it work (there are also several other teams that may get involved in a mass player swap, including Philadelphia and Cincinnati).
Pitchers and catchers report in 23 days (17 February) to Fort Myers; we can smell the outfield grass from here.