Wednesday marked the final day of the General Managers meetings in Arizona. While the Red Sox didn’t make any trades or free agent signings, the Sox brass did do a lot of tire-kicking. Over the course of the three day meeting, we heard Boston connected to big names like Pablo Sandoval, and smaller players like Alex Avila. With the information gathered at the first meeting of the offseason, the Red Sox will regroup back in Boston, and begin to construct the 2015 team. Over the course of the next few weeks, fans can expect to see an increased amount of talks between free agents and interested teams. In fact, the Red Sox have already scheduled a meeting in Boston with Pablo Sandoval. And former Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester is set to meet with Boston’s ownership group in the near future. Of course simply meeting face-to-face isn’t an indication that a deal is on the cusp of being complete, but it is an encouraging advancement in negotiations. For Sandoval, the Red Sox only competition appears to be the San Francisco Giants. Prior to hitting free agency this offseason, the 28-year old spent his entire career in San Fran, and helped bring three World Series wins to the bay area. Over the past few seasons, the Giants front office has built a reputation of doing whatever it takes to keep their own — even if that means grossly overpaying. Therefore, the Red Sox will need to decide how high of a bid they’re willing to thrown in for the switch-hitting third baseman.
- In the past, the Red Sox have never had a problem overpaying a free agent in order to bring him to Boston, so Jon Lester’s situation should be handled no differently. The 30-year old southpaw is a hot commodity on the free agent market this offseason, and should reel in a contract close to $150M. Therefore, if Boston truly wants to bring back their former ace they’ll need to match or better some huge offers. (Time to find out how much Red Sox really want Jon Lester)
- Along with needs in the starting rotation and at third base, the Red Sox could also use some reinforcements in the bullpen. However, Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherington will hold off on fortifying the teams relief core until later in the offseason. With Koji Uehara back in the fold, Boston would like to also retain right-hander Burke Badenhop, and acquire a left-hander. (Bullpen not a top priority for Ben Cherington)
- Among the plethora of holes currently peppering the Red Sox roster is their need for a catcher to pair with Christian Vazquez. While David Ross seems like a logical option to return, Boston is reportedly more interested in obtaining a left-handed bat. Such a desire won’t be appeased in free agency, as all of the available catchers bat from the right-handed side of the plate. Therefore, the Red Sox have expressed interest in Tigers backstop Alex Avila. (Red Sox pursuing Alex Avila trade?)
- Ever since the Red Sox nearly got burned by the long term contracts of Carl Crawford and John Lackey, the team has been reluctant to shell out big deals. However, that fright seems to be withering away now that the Red Sox are connected to virtually every top tier free agent this offseason. As Boston dips their toes back into the waters of lucrative, long-term contracts, the team insists that they will be more meticulous this time around. (Red Sox revisit long-term deals, but due diligence key)
- While the Red Sox have expressed a lot of interest in Jon Lester, they’re certainly not alone in courting the left-hander. Boston, along with six other teams, are vying for the services of the 30-year old southpaw. Most assume that the Theo Epstein lead Chicago Cubs will present the strongest competition for Lester, while teams like the Angels and White Sox could also pose a threat. (Six teams showing “legitimate interest” in Jon Lester)
- Tweet of the day: Prospects are sometimes deemed “untradeable” too often.
Theo Epstein: "Teams get burned just as often by not giving up their best prospects as they do by putting them into deals."
— Brian MacPherson (@brianmacp) November 12, 2014