Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz runs out his RBI-double that scored Xander Bogaerts, right, during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox in Boston, Thursday, July 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer
July 31, 2015

BOSTON (AP) The Boston Red Sox will have to wait a little longer to start rebuilding their team.

Mired in last place for the second straight season, the Red Sox headed into the trade deadline hoping to get a head start on their offseason upgrades. But general manager Ben Cherington made just one small move before the 4 p.m. deadline on Friday, acquiring middle reliever Ryan Cook from the Oakland Athletics for a player to be named or cash.

''We had a busy few days,'' he said in the dugout before the series opener against the Tampa Bay Rays. ''We worked on a lot of stuff, talked about a lot of stuff - big, small, and in between. In the end, didn't find enough compelling to do much. It just didn't come our way.''

Cherington took responsibility for the team's performance this year, which has resulted in a 45-58 record heading into Friday night's game that was tied for the worst in the AL. It would be the second straight last-place finish for the once-proud franchise, and the third in four years.

''It's safe to say at the end of July that we were wrong at the beginning of the season as to what this team could do. And so we've got to figure out,'' Cherington said.

''Obviously, the results are the results. That means the team we built is not as good as what we thought it could be, so we're all responsible. I'm more responsible than anyone for that, but we're all responsible.''

It's been an odd few years for the Red Sox, who collapsed in September of 2011 - missing the playoffs on the final day of the season - and then never competed in 2012 under manager Bobby Valentine. John Farrell came in and won the World Series in his first year in Boston, but last year's team was limping along at midseason and Cherington sold off the pitching staff - including Jon Lester and John Lackey - to prepare for the future.

The team's performance in the first half of this season gave Cherington another chance to cash in on some veterans who might be useful to a contender. But he didn't find anything to his liking - and the Red Sox didn't have much that interested other teams, either.

''When you've got two starting pitchers as we did a year ago, there's going to be a lot more attraction from those teams (who) are looking to add a starter to potentially get them over the hump,'' Farrell said. ''In Lester and Lackey we had those two. This year, that's not the case.''

Some high-priced players - like Mike Napoli, Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez - could still be traded in August because they are likely to clear waivers. Cherington said he knows that the pitching and defense need to improve for 2016.

''I think it's incumbent on us to make real improvement between now and opening day. We didn't feel like it had to be this week,'' he said.

Cook, 28, made four appearances in Oakland this year but spent most of the season in Triple-A Nashville, going 4-1 with eight saves and a 4.05 ERA.

''This is a guy that's been a closer in the past,'' Farrell said. ''You look at guys that have had success in the past. You're looking for the potential of a bounce back ... how could that play into the construction of a bullpen going into next year.''

You May Like