FORT MYERS, Fla. — Rafael Devers, Eduardo Rodriguez, Christian Vazquez, and Alex Verdugo are obvious candidates for contract discussions, a topic often broached during spring training.
That is particularly the case for Rodriguez, who can become a free agent after the season.
Speaking in general terms, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom agreed.
“We have had some conversations internally,” Bloom said Sunday. “I expect as we get into the spring that those conversations will pick up. Don’t know what it would lead to, obviously.
“If and when they do pick up, it’s not something we’re going to speak publicly about unless there’s something to report. But this is the time when a lot of those things often happen. So I would expect we’ll at least have some conversations about it with some guys.”
Time to meet
To adhere to distancing protocols, the Sox will hold their annual “company meeting” in the right field stands at JetBlue Park on Monday morning instead of the minor league cafeteria.
Principal owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner, FSG partner Linda Pizzuti Henry, and CEO Sam Kennedy will take part.
Traditionally, John Henry and Werner take questions from reporters following the meeting. Their availability is “to be determined” according to a team spokesman.
Henry, who also owns the Globe, has not taken questions from reporters since Feb. 17, 2020.
One group of players is scheduled to work out before the meeting and another after.
“It’s an important one, having the whole group,” manager Alex Cora said. “Talk about what we’re planning on doing and how we’re trying to accomplish that.”
Cora said he did not plan to address the group regarding his return to the team following his season-long suspension. Those conversations have been held, he said.
“If they have something to tell me, my office is open,” Cora said. “I’ve been very open about this.”
Gonzalez on the way
The Sox reached an agreement with free agent infielder Marwin Gonzalez on Feb. 11 but have yet to add him to the roster. That could come as soon as Monday.
“Hopefully soon. Hopefully it won’t be too much longer now,” Bloom said.
The roster changed constantly through the offseason. But Bloom said there was nothing pending beyond Gonzalez, although he acknowledged there are some free agents “of interest” still available.
Through March 13, most games will be seven innings but could be five or nine if both teams agree. Nationally televised games, including the March 2 game against the Rays, which will be on ESPN, will be nine innings.
The Sox are generally planning on seven-inning games
“From our standpoint [five innings] doesn’t make any sense,” Cora said. “I’m not managing the other teams, but I think you still have to get the other guys ready, too.”
Managers also can stop innings if their pitchers get extended.
Cora has been pleased with how the Sox have followed MLB’s other pandemic rules.
“For three days they’ve been outstanding,” he said. “It’s cool to see them being disciplined and doing the things they have to as far as the virus.”
The pitchers and catchers had a short day ahead of the first full-squad workout. Garrett Richards threw live batting practice and had his two-seam fastball working. Cora told first base coach Tom Goodwin that Richards reminded him of Kevin Brown, a sinker-baller who won 211 games from 1986-2005. Richards has a more diverse mix than Brown, but Cora was referencing the quality of his fastball . . . Cora on Adam Ottavino, who also threw live BP: “Very smart individual. He’s very quiet. He moves very smoothly and very slow around. But when you talk to him, he opens up. He knows a lot about pitching. He knows himself. He told me a few days ago he’s excited to be here.” Cora said the Sox wouldn’t limit Ottavino to righthanders. “He’s a big part of what we’re trying to accomplish,” the manager said . . . Bloom had his standard answer ready when asked about free agent Jackie Bradley Jr. “We’ve continued to stay in touch to make sure we’re in touch with [agent Scott Boras] about his situation,” Bloom said. “We’re going to do that until it resolves.”. . . Hirokazu Sawamura is still working through visa issues and may be a week away from reporting. He’ll also have to quarantine before getting in uniform . . . J.D. Martinez arrived at camp wearing an orange t-shirt with a photo of an inebriated Tom Brady being helped off a yacht after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl victory boat parade earlier this month.