However, the holiday shopping season in Major League Baseball has been going on for a month already, and the Red Sox are among teams still looking for something to give their fans this winter.
Ben Cherington's first offseason as general manager in Boston has already been a frantic one, and it's only going to get more and more busy. The new GM is still in the midst of finding a new manager and once that is done, he'll need to address a few areas of his team.
Jonathan Papelbon didn't come with any sort of Black Friday discount for the Philadelphia Phillies when he signed a four-year deal worth $50 million just as free agency opened up. As far as Cherington and the Red Sox are concerned, Papelbon's exit means it's time to find a new closer as well. If they don't fill the position internally, there are a few options on the market. Heath Bell and Ryan Madson are still out there for the taking and after Papelbon, they're considered the best options on the market at closer.
Starting pitching is kind of like socks and underwear when it comes to holiday gift giving — you can never have too much. That's why names like C.J. Wilson and Mark Buerhle, two of the best starting pitchers on the market, are going to be on plenty of radars. Could one of them be headed for Boston? Time will tell.
Cherington also has to address his right-field situation, a position that is suddenly open after J.D. Drew's contract has expired. One name that has already surfaced in regards to that vacancy is Carlos Beltran, an All-Star who teams are going to hope still has a few good years left in him.
Finally, while no one likes re-gifted presents, maybe Cherington and the Red Sox will give David Ortiz the type of deal he's looking for ensuring one of the city's most popular athletes over the last decade is able to return. If Ortiz walks, that's another hole in the lineup that would have to be filled somewhere, so if the price is right, a return for Big Papi may be just as good as plucking a bat off the market.
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