The Boston Red Sox have attempted to bolster their bullpen and bench, trading for pitcher Mark Melancon and signing infielder Nick Punto. 

And if they add some guys who can pull together their fractured clubhouse, that's OK, too. 

The Red Sox traded for Melancon, the former Astros reliever, and signed former St. Louis Cardinals infielder Punto as a free agent. General manager Ben Cherington said on Thursday that Punto, "understands his role on a winning team."

Cherington would not say whether Melancon would be the closer. The GM says that will be up to new manager Bobby Valentine. 

The Red Sox blew a nine-game lead in the AL wild-card race last season to miss the playoffs by one game — the biggest September collapse in major league history.