Pablo_SandovalWith the offseason now officially underway, it will be interesting to see when the Red Sox pull the trigger on their first move of the shopping season. Early speculation predicts Boston to be heavily involved in both the starting pitching market and third base front. Perhaps the most discussed target for the Sox in the early stages of the offseason has been Pablo Sandoval. The Kung Fu Panda, as he’s affectionately called across baseball, declined the qualifying offer that the Giants extended to him on Tuesday, and officially became a free agent. Sandoval’s decision to not sign the 1 year, $15M pact with San Francisco isn’t a surprise by any means, since he’s in line for a lucrative multi-year deal on the open market. For a team like the Red Sox, the 28-year old would undoubtedly provide some thump and a much needed left-handed bat. However, concerns over his plummeting offensive stats over the last three seasons has a large group of Red Sox fans lukewarm to the idea of giving Sandoval a big deal. Right now it seems as though Sandoval and former Yankees third baseman Chase Headley are Boston’s top two targets for the hot corner. But as we’ve come to know, the course of offseason markets rapidly changes, and new opportunities can arise at almost any moment. Could the Athletics part with young slugger Josh Donaldson? Would the Rangers trade Adrian Beltre in an effort to free up salary? Only time will tell what doors will open, and what doors will close, but you can rest assured that Boston is monitoring the third base market with an extremely close eye.

  • Outside of the gaping hole at third base, perhaps an even large hole lies atop of the Red Sox starting rotation. After gutting their starting staff during the trade deadline last season, Boston must address their lack of pitching depth by adding at least one or two arms this winter. Early speculation has linked the Red Sox to free agent right-hander James Shields, instead of more expensive candidates like Jon Lester and Max Scherzer. (Red Sox should sign free agent James Shields)
  • While the Red Sox enter the 2015 offseason with a lot of holes in their roster, they also have a lot of money to rebuild with. But given the demand for lucrative, long term deals in free agency, should Boston dole out the type of money necessary to reassemble a playoff contender? (The Red Sox are poised to spend, but should they?)
  • Tweet of the day: The guys over at MLB Net are churning out more ground breaking work…