The Red Sox also spoke to CC Sabathia and had a meeting with A.J. Burnett's agents last winter, but it was more a case of Theo Epstein doing his due diligence on the free agent front. A major league source confirmed that Epstein did the same on free-agent righty John Lackey in Chicago during the General Manager's Meetings.
The Red Sox do have a need for a starting pitcher. They were after Felix Hernandez, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay at the trading deadline, therefore it would reason that they would have interest in Lackey and would surely get involved with Hernandez if Seattle can't work out a long-term deal with the best young pitcher in the game. Halladay is also available to them in a deal.
The Red Sox also have the issue of a long-term deal for Josh Beckett they may address this offseason though there's a possibility the team will wait and see how Beckett performs before rolling the dice on a long term deal. It does not appear the team wants to go any longer than three years and an option on Beckett.
The Red Sox need to add a starting pitcher, a bullpen piece and a hitter or two this offseason. Obtaining a free-agent pitcher and hitter (Jason Bay/Matt Holliday) would be helpful because they could devote a package of young players toward someone like Adrian Gonzalez.
The offseason is young and before it's over Epstein and his staff will likely speak to a lot of agents who represent clients the Red Sox won't sign. But on a player who you can bet the Yankees will be involved with you can bet the Red Sox will at least make it known they have interest. Especially after last offseason when Mark Teixeira slipped through their fingers.