NEW YORK -- Though the Red Sox entered Saturday night's contest with a 7 1/2-game deficit in the American League East, general manager Ben Cherington wasn't ready to concede that his team will go into a seller's mode by the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.
"Focused on 2014," said Cherington. "We're trying to look realistically and be honest with where we are -- I'm not sugarcoating where we are. It's not where we want to be. We've created a deficit for ourselves. But we still think the deficit is one we can overcome. We still believe in the talent. We believe we can be a good team this year.
"So that's what we're interested in doing, is trying to be as good a team as we can. If at some point, the picture changes, then it changes. Then we'll have to adjust at that point. But we're not at that point yet."
There is no perfect formula. Cherington will continue to evaluate the team on a daily basis before finalizing a strategy for trade season.
"It's a combination of where you are, how many games you have left to play, what talent we have, what talent we think is potentially attainable -- throw it all in a pot, mix it up and try to make the best decision," Cherington said. "If at some point, one of those factors changes or multiple factors change and the whole thing looks different, we'll react to that. Right now we're focused on just trying to get better.
"I think we'd be allowed to do whatever we think is in the best interest of the Red Sox. I understand we can put potential moves into one bucket or the other. We can put moves into the seller bucket or the buyer bucket, and I get it. But I'm not sure every move falls neatly into either of those buckets.
"We're going to try to make the organization better and the team better. We think we can do it this year. We'll see if we can. If that picture changes again, we'll have to adjust. I think everyone here knows roughly what we need to get better, and that's tomorrow and maybe three weeks from now and maybe a year from now. We're going to look to get better in those areas."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.