Red Sox Could Pull Another Offseason Shuffle Depending on Daisuke Matsuzaka’s Status

With the official signing of Matt Albers on Thursday and the Bobby Jenks deal nearly complete, the Red Sox have taken big steps toward finishing their offseason overhaul. All that remains are a few cosmetic maneuvers and then a trip to Fort Myers.

In all likelihood, that is.

With the way this offseason has gone for Boston, it’s not too late to consider them in the mix for one more big move. Do not count on anything major, but do not rule it out.

Among the moves that could still gain traction is one which involves Daisuke Matsuzaka. If the righty would waive his no-trade clause for a particular destination like Seattle or Los Angeles, he could bring back more help for the bullpen, a back-of-the-rotation candidate, another bat off the bench or a combination of the three.

If Matsuzaka stays in Boston, the organization still will bring in some starting pitching depth to compete once spring training rolls around. There is always some uncertainty over Matsuzaka and having other proven options at the Triple-A level cannot hurt, even with Tim Wakefield prepared to pick up the immediate slack if Matsuzaka goes down.

Although the move fizzled, the Sox did just that last spring when they brought in Boof Bonser as a reclamation project and a potential fill-in starter down the road.

Aside from that, there is not much remaining on the checklist. The bench right now consists of Jason Varitek, Jed Lowrie and Mike Cameron, and a whole host of candidates for the final reserve spots. Darnell McDonald and Daniel Nava are among those that will get a chance to stick when the club heads north next March, but there may be an infield type higher on the list, perhaps an outsider such as Nick Punto or Jerry Hairston Jr.

Those names may not excite the fan base, but everything up to now has, and the chance remains for one more major shuffle.

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