If you could make just one free agent acquisition this off-season, who would it be and why?

Well, since it’s a free agent acquisition, I suppose I can’t talk about trading for Russell Martin. But seriously, trade for Russell Martin. Anyways, if I was to look to free agency for an acquisition, I’d go the relief route because we’re rather deep in starters. Even though I would love Brian Fuentes, he’s going to sign elsewhere as a closer. So who’s the best relief arm on the market that doesn’t expect to be a closer? Juan Cruz and Will Ohman come to mind, and I’m going to pick Ohman because he’s left-handed. Evan, Fire Brand of the American League

I would go after C.C. Sabathia. You can never have too much starting pitching and the Red Sox need a great starter for next year. Buchholz is a question mark, Wake may choose to hang it up, Beckett is coming off a year of multiple injuries, and Masterson might be needed in the bullpen. Sabathia’s second half numbers were inflated by pitching in the N.L. but he is a proven number 1 or 2 starter. It would also be nice to keep him off of the Yankees. — Matt O’Donnell, Fenway West

Mark Teixeira. Although the adage is you can never have enough pitching, the truth is the Red Sox do have enough pitching. Acquiring a top-notch replacement for Jason Varitek is going to be extremely difficult, and teams are likely to be asking more than the Red Sox are willing to pay. Absorbing Varitek’s sub-replacement offensive production is only palatable if the rest of the lineup is of a high caliber. Internally, we should see some improvement from Lowrie and Ellsbury to help fill some of the holes that cropped up this year. Externally, however, signing Teixeira would have the dual benefit of essentially replacing the healthy-Manny bat we lost after 2006 and replacing the declining production of Mike Lowell. It would provide protection for Ortiz — which could be done by Youkilis or even Bay, but seems to be important for Ortiz mentally than anything else — and it would give the Red Sox an incredibly fearsome infield, both at the plate and on defense. In short: The pitching is young and looks only to improve with a couple tweaks. The lineup is older, and signing a younger, dangerous bat will buy the Red Sox vital time for hitters like Lars Anderson and Ryan Kalish to develop. — Paul SF, YFSF

The free agent market is pretty weak this offseason but Theo
definitely needs to go after some heavy pitching.  Ben Sheets and AJ
Burnett are both way too injury prone and Rich Harden is going to stick
with the Cubs.  That essentially leaves Derek Lowe and CC Sabathia.  I
would personally go after Sabathia because as much as I love Derek
Lowe, he’s 35 yrs old and will command enough money so that they might
as well throw a few extra million into the equation and try for
Sabathia.  He’s the best pitcher on the market and has the potential to
dominate for the next 5 years. — Michael Christopher, Sox Addict

Call me crazy, but I say DLowe – provided you can get him at reasonable (for the Red Sox) dollars for three years or less, and that you do your homework on his off the field status. Much as I’d love Teixeira, he’s going to get a massive six plus year deal from someone, and it won’t be us. Ditto for CC, and with him you have overuse/weight issues potentially complicating the back end of the deal. Burnett and Sheets, meanwhile, are terrific pitchers…when they take the field. Which isn’t often. Sheets hasn’t thrown 200 innings since ’04, and Burnett’s done it only twice in the last six years. Plus, they’ll command a significant premium as high strikeout pitchers. Lowe, meanwhile, has thrown 200 four out of the last six (and just missed in
’07), while keeping his ERA since leaving Boston comfortably under 4. Park effects have a lot to do with that, of course, but with his groundball ratio it’s less true than it might be with other pitchers. If you have some assurances that the pitcher wouldn’t spend every available evening at Daisy Buchanan’s, then, and he’s willing to sacrifice either years or dollars to play where he wants, I think you have to consider it.” — Stephen O’Grady, wicked clevah

Who would your pick be? Leave it as a comment!