NEW YORK -- For all the Red Sox have to figure out this season, they at least know this much: They want David Ortiz and Cody Ross back.
Before the final game of his first season as general manager, Ben Cherington said Wednesday that he's already made inroads toward new contracts with the soon-to-be free agents.
"We've got a couple free agents we're talking to now," Cherington said. "David is a priority, and we've talked to Cody Ross also. I'm not going to comment anymore other than that, just to say we're talking to those guys. David is someone that we feel strongly about bringing back, and we're trying to figure out a way to do that. Cody fit in well and had a good year. It's an area of need going forward."
Ortiz, who turns 37 in November, played in just one game after July 16 because of a right Achilles injury. When the slugger was on the field, he was dominant, and the veteran is the most iconic player the Sox have.
Ortiz wasn't thrilled he and the Sox were slated for an arbitration hearing last winter, but the two sides hammered out a one-year deal before the hearing took place. Now it seems the Sox are trying to ensure Ortiz feels wanted.
"Is that bad?" said Ortiz in response to Cherington's comment that he is a priority. "We talked about it a while ago, but we haven't gotten back together since. We were just waiting for the season to go over and see how things go."
Ortiz hit .318 with 23 home runs and had a .415 on-base percentage in 90 games. Health-wise, he said he's close to being 100 percent.
"I will be pretty soon, feeling good," Ortiz said. "Things are going the way we're expecting. I'll be back in activity probably by next month."
Ortiz accepted arbitration last year, when his goal was to get a multiyear deal. That hasn't changed heading into this offseason.
Ross, who turns 32 in December, was one of baseball's best bargains last winter. Signed to a one-year, $3 million deal, he hit 22 home runs and put up a .267/.326/.481 line in 130 games. Fenway Park suits him particularly well, as he hit .298 there with 13 homers and 25 of his 36 doubles. Ross' OBP away from Fenway was .294 compared to .356 at home.
"Obviously we're trying to get on the same page," Ross said of a return. "I said I love playing here, I love the park, I love the fans, I love the city, love the media," Ross said. "But, you know, definitely it's a perfect place for me."
Nava to have cyst in left wrist surgically removed
NEW YORK -- Daniel Nava's headed for offseason surgery on his left wrist, where a cyst hurt his production down the stretch.
"It's a very minor thing," Nava said after the Red Sox's final game of the season, a 14-2 loss to the Yankees. "No one's expecting any problems or things like that. Simple go in, take it out and be good to go."
Exactly how much recovery time Nava will need is still a little unclear, but he reiterated it won't interfere with his offseason significantly.
"I'm still learning on how long it's going to be," Nava said. "Anywhere from just a couple weeks in a splint, but after that it'll be fine, good to do everything just as normal."
Nava, who started the season in the Minors and wasn't invited to Spring Training, wasn't the same player in the second half, and the wrist contributed to that. The 29-year-old hit .324 in June, but his best average in a month afterward was .235, in September. But Nava wanted to be out there as long as he could on a team in dire straits.
"Yeah, it definitely made things a little more difficult and challenging, but I was glad to get out there and play through it," Nava said. "It definitely was [a point of pride] I didn't end the season on the DL. I wanted to get back out there and play. Basically, if I physically wasn't able to go was the only way I was going to say, 'All right, enough is enough.'
"Considering how [the season started] and to where it is now, I'm definitely happy. ... It's baseball and there's things I'd like to work on and get better, but as a whole, I feel blessed to have this opportunity -- and hopefully everyone else saw some good things, too."
Nava's final numbers for 2012 included a .243 average, six home runs and an impressive .354 on-base percentage. A switch-hitter, he was much more effective against right-handed pitchers, with a .385 OBP.
Asked if his goal was to come into Spring Training and win a job next year, Nava said he's going to have to wait before making those kinds of declarations.
"I'm going to let it settle a little bit, but also because there's so much turnover that's going to happen," Nava said. "Who knows what's going to happen next year."
Bane joins front office as special assistant
NEW YORK -- As the Red Sox enter an offseason of overhaul, they wanted another veteran voice to help bring in the right people.
Eddie Bane, who's been around the game for 40 years, has been appointed as a special assistant for player personnel. He spent the last two seasons as a scout in the Tigers' organization, after the Angels let him go as their director of scouting at the end of the 2010 season.
"We're looking for someone to be a key evaluator for us, be part of the decision-making team," general manager Ben Cherington said at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday. "We've got strong evaluators that are part of that decision-making team already -- Allard Baird, Dave Finley. We want to add to that. Eddie's got a ton of experience."
Bane, 60, already has family in the organization. Jaymie Bane, Eddie's son, is a Sox scout on the pro side.
A lefty from Chicago and Arizona State product, Eddie Bane pitched parts of three seasons in the Majors, in 1973, '75 and '76, but he made his mark as a scout. The Angels drafted Jered Weaver, Kendrys Morales and Mike Trout under his direction from 2004-10. Bane spent two years with the Rays as a special assistant prior to joining the Angels, and before that, 11 years as a scout and national crosschecker for the Dodgers.
Bane also coached in the Minors, both as a pitching coach and manager.
"He's done just about everything that's important to me to have to find someone, who had done work in the Draft, internationally, at the pro level, Major League level," Cherington said. "He's scouted everywhere there is to scout. That was important. We're going to lean on him in all of those areas. He's got a great track record. Aside from the experience and the track record, I wanted to make sure that we added a fresh voice to the room. He'll help bring that. As I said last fall, we want the best evaluators and the best analytic minds working together. He's a step in that direction we think."
Bane probably represents the most noteworthy front-office addition the Sox will make this offseason.
"I wouldn't rule anything out, but there's nothing planned right now," Cherington said. "We've got a couple -- one or two scouting openings -- that we're working on filling, but not expecting any front-office additions."