After going 71-91 and finishing in last place in the American League East for the second time in three years, the Red Sox and general manager Ben Cherington find themselves looking to add pieces to build a winning team in 2015.
“We’d like to add to the rotation, there are different ways to do that and we’ll look at all ways,” said Cherington Monday at Fenway Park. “Some interest in adding a left-handed hitter somewhere — there’s different ways of doing that too. And then I imagine there will be some work done in the bullpen. So from a player perspective those would be basic three areas.”
Here are some players the Red Sox could be targeting both in free agency and through trades:
James Shields, SP
Shields is arguably the most talked about Red Sox target this offseason as the dependable 32-year-old is set to be a free agent and unlike Jon Lester, will not be seeking a five-plus year contract. Instead he will likely be looking for a three year deal or above average money – something the Red Sox would be willing to do. Shields went 14-8 with a 3.21 ERA with the Royals and has hurled over 200 innings in eight straight years.
Justin Masterson, SP
The former Red Sox pitcher could be an option to come back to Boston as the Cardinals pitcher will be a free agent. Masterson spent five years with the Indians before being traded to St. Louis this season. Plagued by injuries, 2014 wasn’t his best season as he finished a combined 7-9 with a 5.88 ERA. But this could help the Red Sox as his value isn’t as high as it once was.
Johnny Cueto, SP
Cueto isn’t a free agent, but was one of the best pitchers in the National League, finishing with a 20-9 record and an ERA of 2.25, second in the NL. With the Reds struggling this season, they could be in the prospects market, looking to rebuild. The Red Sox have plenty of players ready to be plucked from the farm.
Geovany Soto, C
The catching market isn’t a great one, but the Sox will likely be seeking one to serve as a backup to Christian Vazquez for a season before Blake Swihart is ready for the majors. Soto, a free agent, split time between the Rangers and A’s this season and hit .250 in just 24 games this season while dealing with back issues.
Andrew Miller, RP
When the Red Sox traded Miller at the deadline, they made it be known they wanted him back this offseason when he was a free agent. Between Boston and Baltimore, Miller had an outstanding season, posting a 2.02 ERA overall and a 1.35 mark with Baltimore.
Follow Metro Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter: @RyanHannable