Red Sox still with plenty of holes to fill
With the MLB Winter Meetings now in the books and the Red Sox having added Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino, their 2013 roster is rounding into form. Here are three ways GM Ben Cherington may elect to fill out the rest of the roster:
Add a starting pitcher
Pitching was arguably Boston’s greatest downfall in 2012, so the Sox are likely to add at least one starting pitcher to their roster with the hopes of filling out their rotation.
Some free agents still available are Ryan Dempster, Zack Greinke, Rich Harden, Carl Pavano, Kyle Lohse and Anibal Sanchez.
The most likely player for the Red Sox to go after is Dempster, as the team reportedly showed interest in him at the Winter Meetings. Boston has also been rumored to have some interest in Pavano for a minor league contract.
Consider signing a shortstop
Having signed Napoli and Victorino, the starting lineup is virtually set, with the exception of shortstop. As it stands now Jose Iglesias would be the guy, but it’s still unclear whether or not the organization believes he can be a full-time starting shortstop.
Iglesias has an outstanding glove, but he struggles at the plate. In 83 big league plate appearances over two seasons he is hitting just .118.
If the Red Sox were to look to sign another shortstop all signs point to Stephen Drew, the younger brother of J.D. Drew. Stephen, 29, has spent seven years in the league and is a career .250 hitter.
Don’t trade Jacoby Ellsbury
The big talk the past few days has been the Red Sox considering dealing away centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury. A team trading for Ellsbury would likely give up prospects and not an impact player.
Trading Ellsbury would leave a major void at the leadoff spot and then force the team to add a starting right fielder, with Victorino moving to center. The team already has prospect Jackie Bradley Jr. in line to take over once Ellsbury likely leaves Boston following this season when his contact expires.
In a contract year, Ellsbury should perform quite well, so the team should let the year play out and see what happens next offseason.