This story has been clarified. Read below
Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said Thursday on sports radio WEEI that the team's inability to sign a reliever at the trade deadline was costly. He said the Sox were pushing hard to sign Kerry Wood at the deadline but were outbid by the New York Yankees.
"There were four major league relievers who were traded during the year who ended up helping their club, five if you count August, when [Brian] Fuentes was moved. Two of those guys we had given opportunities before, Javy Lopez and Ramon Ramirez. One, Matt Capps, we couldn't have gotten unless we gave up [Daniel] Bard, and Fuentes was behind us in the waiver order, and the last one was Kerry Wood.
"That was an important decision. We scouted [Wood] on rehab, we liked what we saw. He was available last minute at the deadline ... and we put in what I thought was a pretty aggressive financial bid for him and we were outbid by the Yankees when they were willing to take on just a little bit more of his salary. It ended up being a great move for them and cost us."
The Yankees sent Cleveland a player to be named or $500,000, and the Indians gave New York $2,172,131. New York will pay $1.5 million of the $3,672,131 remaining on Wood's $10.5 million salary this year. His contract includes an $11 million team option for 2011.
Epstein said he pursued other relievers but that nothing panned out.
"There were a number of other relievers we were on that I thought would have made a difference. We were aggressive with our prospect proposals. Most guys weren't moved.
"I would have loved to have made a trade for a reliever. I feel bad. I feel like we didn't get it done. I said that on July 31 and it ended up being a factor and cost us. But not for lack of effort."
In a Sept. 30 story on ESPNBoston.com, a statement attributed to Boston Red Sox executive vice president and general manager Theo Epstein was incorrectly portrayed. Epstein said, in an interview with WEEI radio, that his team's inability to land a reliever was costly, but made no reference to how it affected the team's playoff chances.