Bobby Valentine must have tremendous frequent flyer miles.
The new Red Sox manager was on MLB Network Radio yesterday and said he would be meeting with Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz and Carl Crawford this weekend in Texas.
Valentine said he’s eager to meet with Crawford, whom he has reached out to a couple times.
“There is no, from what I gather, any adversarial relationship with either situation. I just want to talk to Carl about his plan for next year,” Valentine said. “Talking to [Dustin] Pedroia, who has had a couple of text messages with him, Carl is working his butt off and doing everything he can to put up and make people shut up, and that’s all I’m asking.”
Valentine said he was pleased with the trades that added Mark Melancon and Andrew Bailey to the Red Sox’ bullpen.
“These two guys begin to fill a very big void that it seemed like we had after [Jonathan] Papelbon left and [Daniel] Bard was given an opportunity to go into the starting staff, along with [Alfredo] Aceves,” he said.
“All of a sudden we went from the cupboard being bare to a cupboard that’s plentiful and we’re all excited about.”
Bailey, acquired this week from Oakland, may step into the closer’s role. Valentine said he considers Bailey “an upstanding young man.”
“I’ve been extremely impressed with his competitiveness and his ability to get both right- and left-handed hitters out,” he said. “Hopefully, like he said, he’s going to be healthy as this year comes on, and if he is, he’s going to be a big plus to the Boston Red Sox.”
While the plan is for the Red Sox to put Bard into the rotation, Valentine said that it is not guaranteed. He told Bard if the move to become a starter falters, “be ready for plan 1A and that would be where you’ve been the last couple of years. He was fine with that and so am I.”
Valentine also said Buchholz is “100 percent healthy,” but needs to prove he can withstand the physical rigors of a season.
“I don’t think he’s a guaranteed 200-innings guy right now,” he said, “but it sure would be nice if he delivered that.”