Red Sox manager John Farrell made sure he was by his telephone Monday afternoon. President Obama wanted to speak to him.
“Called to congratulate,” Farrell said. “Hopefully there’s a chance somewhere around Opening Day next year when we open up in Baltimore that we might be able to swing by [the White House] as a group and say hello.”
According to the White House, Obama commented on Farrell winning the World Series in his first season and the performance of Koji Uehara in the postseason.
He also asked Farrell to extend his congratulations to Series Most Valuable Player David Ortiz.
General manager Ben Cherington said the team’s expectation is for the entire coaching staff to return next season. That includes bench coach Torey Lovullo, whom Farrell has endorsed as a future manager.
“There have been no requests for permission [to interview] any of the major league coaches,” Cherington said.
The Tigers moved quickly to hire Brad Ausmus and did not interview Lovullo. The Cubs were considered a potential landing spot, but Lovullo could be blocked from going to Chicago.
When Theo Epstein fled the Red Sox for the Cubs following the 2011 season, it is believed the teams agreed he would not be allowed to hire any Red Sox employees for a span of several years.
That agreement could be amended, but it had not been as of Monday afternoon.
The Cubs already have interviewed five candidates and hope to have a manager in place within a week.
In Clay Buchholz, Ryan Dempster, Felix Doubront, John Lackey, Jon Lester, and Jake Peavy, the Red Sox have six starters under contract.
They also have a strong group of prospects led by Brandon Workman, Drake Britton, Allen Webster, Anthony Ranaudo, and Matt Barnes.
But Farrell said retaining pitching depth was a priority, something Cherington backed up.
“We could certainly envision a scenario where everyone that’s currently under contract is in Fort Myers and in fact, at this point, that’s what I would expect,” Cherington said. “We’ll see what the offseason brings.”
Farrell suggested Workman would have a place on the roster regardless.
The rookie righthander had a 4.97 earned run average in 20 appearances in the regular season before throwing 8⅔ innings in the postseason without allowing an earned run.
“You can see him occupying a spot in the bullpen,” Farrell said. “In the event of unforeseen injury, he’s a guy I personally feel very comfortable with him stepping right into the rotation.”
Cherington said the Red Sox would look to add to the bullpen group.
Uehara will be 39 in April and made 86 appearances counting the postseason. But the Red Sox are comfortable with him remaining as closer.
Third baseman Will Middlebrooks had a disappointing season, hitting .227 with a .271 on-base percentage. He spent two months in Triple A and was benched for the final eight games of the postseason.
But Cherington spoke supportively of Middlebrooks.
“You’re talking about a young player who 15 months ago was sort of taking the league by storm and a lot of people, including us, were talking about as one of the better young third basemen in the league,” he said.
“I don’t think that changes just because he has a bit of a down period. He went through some lumps this year. He went back to Triple A, as a lot of good young players have to do in their career, and came back and played very well down the stretch, played much better.
“Having a young third baseman with Will’s ability, power, athleticism, ability on both sides of the ball is a really important thing for the organization.”
The idea of moving Middlebrooks to first base should Mike Napoli leave as a free agent has not been considered.
“We’re not there yet,” Cherington said. “We see Will as a third baseman and [that’s] certainly what he’ll be focused on this offseason.”
A place for Bogaerts?
The Red Sox made a qualifying offer to shortstop Stephen Drew and would welcome him back. But 21-year-old Xander Bogaerts has a place in the lineup, Cherington said.
“He certainly looks like he’s ready to play in the big leagues,” the GM said. “We’ve obviously thought very highly of him for a long time. You don’t know exactly when the stage is going to arrive, but he looked very comfortable on it when he got on it. We’ll see. [It’s] very early in the offseason, and there’s plenty of time this offseason and in spring training to figure it all out. We’re glad he’s on our side.”
Outfielder Quintin Berry and infielder Brandon Snyder were outrighted to Triple A Pawtucket and are now free agents.
Berry played in 13 regular-season games and three more in the postseason. In all, he was 6 for 6 in stolen bases. Snyder hit .180 in 27 regular-season games.
Righthanders Andrew Bailey and Alex Wilson, outfielder Ryan Kalish, and lefthanded pitcher Andrew Miller were reinstated from the 60-day disabled list.
The Red Sox 40-man roster is now at 36. Bailey and Miller are eligible for arbitration.
Ortiz does the tour
Ortiz was on “The Late Show With David Letterman” Monday night and on Tuesday morning is scheduled for the syndicated talk show “Live with Kelly and Michael.” Before he went to New York Monday, Ortiz and Shane Victorino had their beards shaved at the Gillette World Shaving Headquarters in Boston. The company made a $100,000 donation to the One Fund. Ortiz also will be on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week . . . Cherington had no date for when second baseman Dustin Pedroia would have surgery to repair the torn ligament in his left thumb.