The Boston Red Sox might not make the biggest splash at the Major League Baseball winter meetings.

That honor will belong to whichever team signs Shohei Ohtani if he signs this week in Nashville — and it’s unclear whether the Red Sox will be swimming in those waters.

Still, Boston needs to improve its roster this offseason, after another last-place finish in 2023, and the MLB winter meetings offer an opportunity to wheel and deal. We could see a flurry of free agent signings and/or trades, starting Monday. Will the Red Sox be involved?

We asked several members of the NESN Digital staff who the Red Sox should target (besides Ohtani) at the winter meetings.

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(We eliminated Ohtani because he’s the clear top free agent available — a transcendent two-way superstar with immense marketing power — and presumably would dominate the responses.)

Below are the results, which feature an emphasis on pitching.

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

Tim Crowley: Jordan Montgomery, LHP
The time for Boston to go get Montgomery seems right. The lefty ate innings last season to lead Texas’ rotation and rose to the occasion in the postseason. He is already living in Boston this winter and adds the impact arm (or first of multiple?) the Red Sox’s starting rotation has been searching for.

Jason Ounpraseuth: Yoshinobu Yamamoto, RHP
The 25-year-old right-hander is among the most hyped players on the free agent market not named Shohei Ohtani — and for good reason. He’s been dominant in Japan, winning the NPB Triple Crown three years in a row, and scouts believe his skills can translate to MLB. Yamamoto would fit well with Boston’s young core and give the Red Sox a No. 1 starter they need to get back into contention.

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Keagan Stiefel: Shota Imanaga, LHP
I’m swinging for a single with this one, as Imanaga projects to be a No. 3 or No. 4 starter when he makes his way over from Japan. I’m a believer the Red Sox need multiple starters, though, and Imanaga is the perfect second addition if Boston hopes to revamp its rotation. The 30-year-old struck out nearly 30% of the hitters he faced and walked just 3.8% in 148 innings last season, posting a 2.80 ERA.

Ricky Doyle: Corbin Burnes, RHP
Yamamoto probably should be the pick here, as a high-ceiling free agent who’s entering just his age-25 season and therefore fits any competitive timeline. But let’s tap into the trade market, where there are several prime-age hurlers with upside, including Burnes, a three-time All-Star and the 2021 National League Cy Young Award winner with the Milwaukee Brewers. Burnes, 29, is entering the final year of his contract, so the Red Sox should explore a contract extension if they go down this path. A package centered around the big right-hander and shortstop Willy Adames would help solve Boston’s pitching, middle-infield and defensive woes, and the Red Sox sure could use a needle-moving shakeup.

Mike Cole: Dylan Cease, RHP
OK, we’re sure we can’t say Ohtani? No? All right, fine. Try to find a way to trade for White Sox starter Dylan Cease instead. The Red Sox desperately need someone who can take the ball every five days, and the 27-year-old has done just that for Chicago over the last four straight seasons. He has logged at least 32 starts in each of the last three campaigns, highlighted by a 2022 breakout in which he finished second in American League Cy Young Award voting after posting a 2.20 ERA over 184 innings pitched. It sounds like Atlanta might be the front-runner to land him, so if the Braves are interested in a guy, you probably should be, too.

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