Red Sox prez says deals take 'two to tango'

Updated: November 23, 2004, 10:03 PM ET
Associated Press

BOSTON -- Red Sox president Larry Lucchino thinks it might take a while to determine whether Pedro Martinez and Jason Varitek will re-sign with Boston.

"It takes two to tango, so I can't be certain," he said Tuesday.

Sixteen players on the World Series champions became free agents, among them pitcher Derek Lowe and shortstop Orlando Cabrera, and only one has agreed to a new deal, outfielder Gabe Kapler with the Yomiuri Giants.

As general manager Theo Epstein and his staff examine the market, the Red Sox already have met with pitcher Carl Pavano, who also plans to meet with Detroit, the New York Yankees, Baltimore, Seattle and Anaheim.

"You have to operate on all cylinders," Lucchino said. "That means you have to focus on your own while you still have an eye on others."

Agent Scott Boras has said he's asked for a five-year contract for Varitek, believed to be worth $50 million to $55 million, and a no-trade clause.

"I'm confident that we're doing what we can to get deals done with our free agents," Lucchino said. "It takes two parties to agree, so I can't express complete confidence."

He does know that there will be several roster changes.

"Change is inevitable every year and change can be beneficial every year," he said. "When you win and when you don't win, there needs to be some turnover, and there will be. Teams that repeat, teams that stay competitive, don't stand pat."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press