Red Sox decisions are said to split Valentine, Cherington

Bobby Valentine has spent most of this spring verbally sparring with the Yankees, but scouts along Florida's west coast are more interested in how Valentine's relationship with Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington will play out.

The two are said to disagree on three significant decisions that are playing out in the final days of spring training. Valentine is said by sources to favor moving Daniel Bard back to the bullpen, and also would like the Red Sox to keep both shortstop Jose Iglesias and catcher Ryan Lavarnway on the major-league roster.

Valentine, sources say, is not a fan of Kelly Shoppach, signed to be the backup catcher behind Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and is not excited about using Mike Aviles at shortstop. And Valentine, who has always felt that a strong bullpen is crucial to a team's success, is said to have some concerns about the back end of the Red Sox pen.

Cherington, meanwhile, is said to be in favor of Bard in the rotation, and Iglesias and Lavarnway beginning the season in Triple-A.

Disagreements between managers and general managers are hardly unusual, especially in the final days of spring training. What makes the Red Sox situation more interesting is the widespread belief that Cherington didn't favor Valentine as manager when the Red Sox were making their choice last fall.

Scouts who have watched the Red Sox this spring are split on the same decisions that are said to be dividing Valentine and Cherington. There's plenty who feel Bard should be back in the bullpen, but others who think the Red Sox are making the right move by starting him.

Similarly, scouts are divided over whether Iglesias has developed enough offensively to survive in the big leagues.

The Boston Globe also wrote about the Cherington-Valentine split on Bard and Iglesias.

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