Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/20/12

Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said the team is in position to contend for a playoff spot, and he is intent improving the team ahead by the July 31 trade deadline.

"We feel good about (our chances)," Cherington said Friday on 98.5 The Sports Hub radio, according to ESPN Boston. "We've gone through some tough stretches. As I've said before, I think the strength of the team is really just its toughness; that includes players, coaches and manager.

"We're in position now to we hope win a lot of games and make a nice run here in the second half."

The Red Sox began Friday in third place in the American League East and just a game back in the wild-card standings.

"Yeah, we feel like we're in this thing. ... We can be as good as anyone in the league and beat anyone in the league if we're generally healthy and playing well," he said. "...Our fans and our players deserve to be given every chance to win the second half of the season, and that's our aim."

Cherington said the Red Sox were not looking to trade star players including Jon Lester, Josh Beckett or Jacoby Ellsbury.

The GM said he would be aggressive in adding players to help the team down the stretch, but only to a degree.

"If there's ways to improve the team prior to July 31, we'll look to do that," he said. "... We won't look to make a trade just for the sake of making a trade."

Ellsbury will be a free agent after the 2013 season, but Cherington hopes the center fielder would remain with the Red Sox for a long time.

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