Red Sox president Larry Lucchino not surprised by club's offseason moves

Red Sox president Larry Lucchino has been surprised by little this offseason, from the splashy upgrades the Red Sox were able to make to some of the sound bites coming from new York.

Going into the winter, the Red Sox knew well — quantitatively, in fact — that the club’s draw wasn’t what it had been just a few years ago, and they set out to change that.

“We have this thing we called barometer of demand,” Lucchino said in a radio interview on the Dennis & Callahan morning show on WEEI on Thursday. “And we thought that the barometer of demand was perhaps flagging just a little. It was still awfully good compared to other places, but not quite as intense in 2010 as maybe it had been in 2007, 2008. there were just minor indications of that, but what really drove us was finishing third and having the kind of frustrating season we had.”

In less than a week in December, the front office made good on what were likely the boldest of its plans, trading for Adrian Gonzalez and signing Carl Crawford. Both acquisitions were the product of deliberate planning, Lucchino said.

That the Red Sox coveted Gonzalez was no secret, and Lucchino acknowledged as much. Crawford’s agreement to a seven-year, $142 million deal, however, was harder to predict, and Lucchino credited the outfielder for sticking to his word.

“There are a lot of free agents who always keep that Yankee card in the back of their mind and try to play it in the 11th hour or earlier, but that was not the case here,” Lucchino said. “We had a deadline and we acted with some alacrity to meet that deadline, and the player honored the agreement.”

In those planning discussions, Lucchino said the idea had been raised internally that Boston may not need to make major moves because of who’s to return from injury: Josh Beckett, Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia.

Lucchino was assuring that any thought of the Sox resting on their laurels was quickly scratched because of the strength of the American League East; because “we just didn’t want to go into it with anything less than the best team that we could assemble.”

When asked about Hank Steinbrenner’s statement to the new York Post about the media’s treatment of the Yankees’ injuries vs. its treatment of the Red Sox’s injuries, Lucchino said, “The rivalry is hot again, and it should be. So let Hank talk.”

As for the rehabbing group, Beckett’s doing well, Lucchino said, while Pedroia said in a separate interview with WEEI that “there have been surprises” as he works back from surgery on his left foot.

“I’m two weeks away from Spring Training, and I’m just now kind of getting the program to where I feel good and to where I feel good to where I can play a game,” Pedroia said.

<a href="http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110127&content_id=16519374&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlbtag:news.google.com,2005:cluster=http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110127″>Red Sox president Larry Lucchino not surprised by club's offseason moves


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