With Adrian Gonzalez gone, the Sox are looking for a long-term plan at first base. That could mean a veteran holdover until a young player comes up, or Boston could look into the likes of 31-year-old Mike Napoli, whose ability at both first base and behind the plate could give the club versatility for years to come.
The outfield will be a major focus for Boston management, which needs to lock up its corner positions. While the club would like to re-sign Cody Ross, it will also need a left fielder, and the free agent market has plenty of options for multiyear deals as well as single-year holdovers until Boston can bring up some young talent. What to do with center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury — who has just a year left on his contract and will likely want a big, long-term deal — will also affect the dealings.
Plenty of names are floating around, from the big catch of power hitter Josh Hamilton to players who have proved effective elsewhere in the American League East, like Ichiro Suzuki, Nick Swisher, Raul Ibanez, Mark Reynolds or Carlos Pena.
It’s time to start moving the pieces, with plenty of teams ready to get into this offseason’s free agent mix.