Here is what will play out:
The Red Sox trade LRHP Franklin Morales to San Diego for C Nick Hundley. There have been very few rumors surrounding Hundley, probably because he is not exactly the most exciting name in MLB. But the truth is, he is available, and I say that confidently with absolutely no insider knowledge whatsoever and without having seen him mentioned in a single blurb.. He makes $4mill this year with an option for $5mill next year. Given the presence of Yasmani Grandal and the emergence of Austin Hedges, that is too much money for a backup catcher. Even the Red Sox do not pay $4mill for a backup catcher. Hundley has the defensive ability to start, but is not exactly known for his offense. This is unlikely to change. But hey, he bats ninth and won’t cost a prospect the Sox will have to worry about missing. The Padres actually have no left-handed relief pitchers on their roster right now unless Robbie Erlin moves into the role, but he seems to be regarded a little more highly. The acquisition of Burke Badenhop pretty much fills out the Sox bullpen barring future deals. As they are unlikely to move a SP until they know the status of all 6, Morales becomes all the more expendable. The Angels are another team with a surplus of catching and no left-handed reliever, unless you count the surgically-repaired Sean Burnett. A deal of Morales for Chris Iannetta (2 yrs / ~$10.5mill) does seem less likely to me, but I do prefer him over Hundley. Iannetta has been linked to Toronto earlier this off-season, but no actual demands were made public and his availability was not confirmed, and I am less confident in his being available than I am about Hundley.
The Red Sox will sign 2 free agents. The first will be Willie Bloomquist. Please calm down. He will be signed for his versatility and pinch-running ability. He has extensive experience at 3B, SS and OF, coincidentally where all the Sox younger players are scheduled to play. Arguments that Free Agent X or Free Agent Y are better players than Bloomquist are very likely to have some merit; Bloomquist is not the most talented fellow. But his skillset and experience coincide a little too much with the Sox roster question marks to ignore the fit. Juan Uribe was another good possibility for other reasons, but he will likely command more cash. Personally, I like Rule 5 pickup Cole Figueroa for this role, but that admittedly is a stretch. Bloomquist is the man. Time to face the facts.
The second free agent will be Mark Reynolds. Again – calm down. As unimpressive as these names are, how many said the same thing last February? Reynolds is a high-strikeout, high walk, high power “Three True Outcome” kind of guy no one likes. But he will be cheap. Corey Hart is another good possibility, but, really, what do people expect from Hart? Victor Martinez missed a season and then did not start really hitting until the following August. Do people expect Hart, a lesser hitter than Martinez and by a lot, to step right in and start hitting? A one year deal for Hart could easily result in a lost season. I know - everyne hates Reynolds. But really, he is a llot like Napoli, but without that lofty .250-.270BA, and, well everything else. But if you like strikeouts, waks and the occasional home run, REynilds is certainly one of several guys who can do that. I could see the far-more-lovable Jeff Baker as a signing, but 1) the Sox need fewer platoons, not more. And 2) there is a certain PR white flag stigma when your biggest FA acquisitions are Jeff Baker and Willie Bloomquist.
So there you have it:
SP: Lester, Buchholz, Lackey, Peavy, Doubront (5)
BP: Uehara, Tazawa, Badenhop, Miller, Workman, Breslow, and Dempster (7)
C: Hundley, Ross (2)
INF: Reynolds (1B), Pedroia (2B), Middlebrooks (3B), Bogaerts (SS), Bloomquist (UIF), Ortiz (DH) (6)
OF: Nava, Gomes, Bradley, Victornio, Carp (5)
The Sox also might bring in a RP with some options left in the event that Dempster moves to the rotation, presumably to cover for an injury. They could use Allen Webster in a bullpen role, as well.
There you go. Mystery solved. And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn't been for you meddling kids!!