It’s time to reach for the checkbook.

The Boston Red Sox addressed their bullpen Friday by acquiring closer Craig Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres in exchange for four minor leaguers. Boston’s focus now shifts to the starting rotation, which Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski expects to address via free agency.

“Well, my guess would be — and again, these are only guesses at this time — going into the wintertime and then through conversations we’ve had with clubs over the last month, my thought process is most likely any acquisition we’d make in starting pitching would first happen as far as the free agency field is concerned,” Dombrowski said on a conference call Friday. “You never know, but that would be my guess.

“I thought that our acquisition of the relief pitching aspect would more likely come through a trade. We’re in a spot that this is probably our major acquisition for the wintertime as far as the trade market is concerned. You never can tell, but that’s what my instincts tell me.”

Dombrowski has made it clear he’d like to land an ace this offseason to spearhead the Red Sox’s rotation. There are several intriguing options available in free agency, like David Price, Zack Greinke, Johnny Cueto and Jordan Zimmermann. And it now sounds like the Sox are prepared to dive right in.

It’ll be expensive, sure. But the Red Sox aren’t messing around after back-to-back last-place finishes.

Click for 10 potential Red Sox ace targets >>

Thumbnail photo via Raymond Carlin III/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Toronto Blue Jays pitcher David Price