posted at 9/10/2013 12:28 PM EDT
In response to moonslav59's comment:
This winter is not the time to try and upgrade our rotation. (I think this will be the first winter I have held that view since I became a Sox fan back in '72.)
We have had a high need for a great middle order (probably RH'd) hitter since Manny departed. I don't see any free agents that blow me away, but there could be a few that upgrade several slots. The big bopper would likely have to come by trade. Having 6 starters under contract and a number of outstanding pitching prospects in the wings makes us one of the front runners in any bopper sweepstakes trade offers (Stanton?).
If we offer Ellsbury, Drew, Napoli, and maybe even Salty a qualifying offer, we will be sitting pretty on comp picks next spring, and have about $30-35M to spend on free agents and remain under the luxury limit. We have a number of young players that could fill some of the voids, but I doubt more than 2 or 3 will be handed a FT job before ST (Middlebrooks, Boggy, and JBJ are the leading candidates).
Here's the 2014 layout:
C ______ Ross/Lava (Vazquez/Butler/Swihart/Denny)
1B _____ Middlebrooks/Carp/Nava/Papi (Snyder/Almanzar/Shaw)
2B Pedroia/Holts (Meneses/Betts/Coyle)
3B _____ Middlebrooks/Bogaerts/Holt (Snyder/Cecchini/Almanzar)
SS _____ Bogaerts/Holt (Marrero/Vinicio/Lin)
LF Nava/Gomes/Carp (Brentz/Hassan/Kalish/Hazelbaker/de la Cruz)
CF _____ Victorino/Bradley (Kalish/Ramos)
RF _____ Victorino/Nava/Gomes (Brentz/Hazelbaker)
RP Uehara/Bailey/Tazawa/Breslow/_____/Miller/Villarreal/de la Rosa
(Workman/Britton/Wilson/Beato/de la Torre/Hernandez/Martin)
Qualifying offer is somewhere around $14 million, seems like there's a good chance Salty, Drew and Napoli would accept this.