Well, the dust has somewhat settled after the Red Sox signed David Price to a mind-blowing 7-year, $217 million contract, which is the richest for a pitcher in MLB history. There is no question that the Red Sox have found their ace, but is this team done? Are they already loading the truck at Yawkey Way and preparing for Spring Training?
In short, I sure as hell hope not.
Going into the offseason, Dave Dombrowski blatantly pointed out that this team needed three things: an ace, a closer, and a 4th outfielder. As many, if not all, of us know, the Red Sox went out and did just that. They signed ace David Price and former Yankee outfielder Chris Young, while also trading prospects for all-star closerCraig Kimbrel.
To any team, that would be a great offseason, but not the Red Sox. Like I mentioned in The Biased Boston Sports Report, this team needs to find an identity. They can't just spend money aimlessly, but rather develop talent and put together a consistently good, if not great, ball club. Thankfully, we have seen the Red Sox adopt this philosophy, at least up until this point, by hanging onto their young core of Xander Bogaerts, Blake Swihart, Mookie Betts and Eduardo Rodriguez.
However, if the Red Sox want to be competitive next season, their offseason is far from over. This team is still in desperate need for pitching, which seems crazy to say, considering they went out and acquired arguably the best starting pitcher on the free agent market, and the best closer available via trade.
Sticking with the rotation, the Red Sox should be inclined to look for a #2 starter. While Porcello and Buchholz have shown flashes of brilliance, if this team wants to contend for a World Series, then they will need a consistent hurler to back up Price. Furthermore, I believe that it is imperative that the Red Sox get a right handed flamethrower, not just some Joe Shmo off the street. They already have enough lefties, with Price, Rodriguez, and Miley all expected to be in the rotation, and, aside from Price and at times Rodriguez, all struggle to throw consistently in the mid-90s.
Look for names like Shelby Miller, Carlos Carrasco, James Shields, and perhaps even Tyson Ross to be floated around this team during the Winter Meetings, which start Sunday/Monday.
The other area of concern for me, which I think needs to be addressed, is the bullpen. Even with the addition of Craig Kimbrel, I feel uneasy relying on Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa in crunch-time situations. Additionally, who is to say that Koji comes back as the same pitcher after breaking his hand last season? If they can add one, or even two, power-bullpen arms, I will feel 10 times better about this team.
The Red Sox offseason is certainly in full-swing, but hopefully the party has just started.
By Pete Packowski