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Red Sox continue to monitor J.D., others

Dombrowski content on waiting until the right deal materializes
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- As winter gave way to the official start of Spring Training on Wednesday, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski remained in a holding pattern in his quest to add a big bat to his lineup.

As long as J.D. Martinez is still out there in free agency, the speculation won't stop that he could wind up with the Red Sox.

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- As winter gave way to the official start of Spring Training on Wednesday, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski remained in a holding pattern in his quest to add a big bat to his lineup.

As long as J.D. Martinez is still out there in free agency, the speculation won't stop that he could wind up with the Red Sox.

"I do not know if we're close to doing anything or not," said Dombrowski. "It's been a long, lengthy process this wintertime. I don't think it's really changed a great deal. We continue to have conversations with a lot of clubs and agents. We'll see what happens. But I don't know that answer."

Dombrowski will stay in position to be opportunistic if the right deal presents itself on the trade market or free agency.

"I would say we have a pulse of what's taking place. That's probably the best way. You talk to clubs, you talk to agents -- not only me but other people in our office -- to have the pulse of what's taking place everywhere," Dombrowski said.

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The one thing Dombrowski made clear is that he doesn't feel there is urgency to make an acquisition -- at least before the season starts.

"Well, we have a chance to be improved based upon some of our players coming back from a health perspective," said Dombrowski. "But we'll see. We still have two weeks before we start playing games, and a month after that, so we're a long way from the season. And I will caution just because you start a season a certain way doesn't mean that's how your club finishes, because if you're willing to do some things, but people don't want to take what you think is a fair offer, that doesn't mean you can't switch gears and make additions during the season too."

At this point, Dombrowski hasn't presented Martinez or any other free agents a deadline for signing with the Red Sox.

"We haven't established a firm date on that," Dombrowski said. "At some point I'm sure you'd like to have it but every circumstance is different."

Dombrowski also indicated that some of the team's evaluations of the current roster during Spring Training could influence whether a move is made.

"I just think you just have to keep taking a pulse of what's taking place and continually analyze what's going on," Dombrowski said. "So if I told you that everybody was healthy, and Hanley [Ramirez] was coming out and looked like the guy he was two years ago, and [Dustin Pedroia] is looking like he's bouncing back, all of a sudden your situation is a little bit different, so you continue to analyze what's going on."

Swihart up for whatever
A day after manager Alex Cora said that he envisioned Blake Swihart playing all over the place this spring, including second base, the switch-hitter was receptive to the roving role.

"Definitely," Swihart said. "You guys know me. I've always gone out there and done whatever's asked of me. If he needs me to go out there and put in work, I'm going to put in work at second base, third base, shortstop, first base -- wherever. You guys know, wherever I'm asked to be, that's where I'll be.

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"I mean, I pride myself on being an athlete. I feel like I can play other positions. Catcher is my favorite position to play, but if I need to play somewhere else, I can. I need to work at it. I can't just show up one day and I'm going to magically do it. I feel like if I put in work, I can play anywhere."

Porcello eyes rebound
Red Sox right-hander Rick Porcello was excited for the start of Spring Training, as he can officially wipe the slate clean from his tough 2017 season, when he went 11-17 with a 4.65 ERA.

"I looked at last season and looked at the things I didn't do well, and took those and made the adjustments mentally that I need to focus on in Spring Training," Porcello said.

He broke his struggles down in simplistic terms and is confident he can fix the issue.

"Just too many pitches in the middle of the plate. Honestly, I can come up with a whole bunch of different reasons, but it boils down to one simple thing: The ball was flat and in the middle of the plate too often," said Porcello. "That gave guys the chance to drive the ball."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, J.D. Martinez, Rick Porcello, Blake Swihart