The Red Sox are a last-place team and general manager Ben Cherington is wearing down his cell phone battery collecting trade proposals. That has led to angst in the clubhouse and manager John Farrell is left with the task of keeping the players focused.
It goes beyond Jon Lester. The Red Sox have made lefthanded reliever Andrew Miller available and would consider trading righthander John Lackey, who is scheduled to pitch Friday. Other veterans such as Jonny Gomes, Mike Carp, and Craig Breslow could go in minor deals.
“We’ve got a number of guys that are of interest to a number of teams. To comment specifically on an individual, I can’t say to what level a team has interest in any one player or pitcher,” Farrell said Tuesday before the Red Sox played the Blue Jays.
The Red Sox appeared listless in a 14-1 loss to Toronto on Monday. It was their sixth loss in seven games.
“There’s a lot of talk. We’re not unrealistic to see that players are hearing and seeing their name associated with the potential [for a trade]. Those are some common distractions that are associated with the trading deadline and we do what we can to maintain an open line of communication. That’s the here and the now,” Farrell said.
“I will say this: It is important that we all continue to focus as a team. This is us in uniform. The things that we established a year ago and the things that we continue to build, that can’t be sacrificed and can’t be jeopardized with a so-called distraction taking away from the way we play. That’s unacceptable in my mind.”
That has led to some players being called in for meetings, although Farrell denied the entire team is affected.
“To say that with a broad brush, no, not at all,” he said. “Are there some things that we address internally? Yes, there have been.”
One player who appeared particularly disinterested on Monday was lefthander Felix Doubront. He allowed six runs on six hits and two walks in the sixth inning, throwing what amounted to batting-practice pitches.
Farrell acknowledged that he spoke to Doubront about his effort.
“Yes, and that’s all I’ll say about it,” he said.
Doubront has said he would prefer to be traded rather than remain in the bullpen. A 6.07 earned run average suggests his trade value would be minimal.
Farrell said the players have to be able to ignore outside factors, even if their careers are in the balance.
“Regardless of the time of the year, there’s always going to be distractions,” he said. “Whether it’s your role, whether it’s a rumor, whether it’s how you’re trying to be a consistent performer. That’s part of being a major league player. I think it’s important to remember we don’t sacrifice the expectation of what goes on between the lines.”
The Yankees arrive at Fenway Park for a three-game series starting on Friday and will pitch lefthander Chris Capuano in the first game.
Capuano was 1-1 with a 4.55 earned run average in 28 relief appearances before the Red Sox released him July 1.
He made four minor league starts for the Rockies before being traded to the Yankees July 24.
Capuano, a West Springfield native, started for the Yankees against the Blue Jays on Saturday and allowed two runs over six innings.
Allen Webster and Clay Buchholz are the other two scheduled starters for the Red Sox. They would face Shane Greene and David Phelps, respectively.
Taking a look
The Red Sox are among the teams that have scheduled a private workout with 27-year-old Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo. Their session will be Friday in Florida. The Mariners, Phillies, and Yankees also will work Castillo out, according to Baseball America.
Castillo, who is 5-foot-8-inches, has good speed and some power according to scouting reports but is not considered the same caliber of player as Athletics outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, or White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, all recent Cuban defectors.
Napoli sits out
For the second time in three games, Mike Napoli was out of the lineup as Carp started at first base.
Farrell said Napoli had swelling in his left ring finger, which was dislocated in April.
“We felt a day down and added treatment would give him a chance to try to get ahead of it a little bit more,” Farrell said.
Time to help
The Red Sox wives are joining the Greater Boston Food Bank for a fund-raiser at Fenway Park on Friday and Saturday. Fans can stop by tables on the concourses and donate $10 for an autographed photo of a Sox player. Or go to my.gbfb.org by Aug. 11 to enter a raffle for four seats for the Aug. 21 game against the Angels, a visit to batting practice, a photo in the dugout, and other extras. The Sox wives have helped raise nearly $290,000 the last 20 years to fight hunger in Boston . . . Daniel Nava will be at Melrose High Thursday to lead a youth camp . . . The Red Sox will be affiliated with the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League this season. Play starts Oct. 7 . . . Lefthander Henry Owens became the first pitcher in Portland Sea Dog history to win 14 games with a 3-2 victory over Reading Tuesday. Owens is 14-4 with a 2.60 ERA . . . The 2015 Eastern League All-Star Game will be at Portland’s Hadlock Field on July 15. Tickets go on sale Nov. 1 . . . For the fifth time, the MLB Players Alumni Red Sox chapter gave Dustin Pedroia its “Heart and Hustle” award. Tim Wakefield made the presentation before the game.