I can't believe that we haven't started an official HOT STOVE thread, yet.
What are the issues facing the Sox this off-season?
Third base: Do you resign Lowell, or look to the alternatives? I'd say 3 years on Lowell is enough. He was basically my favorite Sox player this year, but I have to say that his numbers this year are as good as they'll get. I am not sure he would repeat those numbers in any of the 3 years I'd give him.
News flash: ESPN reports that Lowell and the Sox are finalizing a 3-year/37.5MM. So, this question is moot.
Infield then looks the same as last:
Youk at 1B
Pedroia at 2B
Lugo at SS
Lowell at 3B
I expect an up year from Lugo and Lowell to dip slightly. Youk will deliver the same numbers (he's not going to deviate much offensively in the next few years). Pedroia will be the same.
Your starting OF looks like this:
Manny in LF
Ellsbury in CF
Drew in RF
Coco might be dealt, but you need a 4th outfielder. Manny missed time this year. It will be Ellsbury's first full year, and Drew (as some know) isn't "Mr. Durability". However, I do think that Drew has a much better year upcoming.
Ortiz at DH
Strangely enough, this off-season looks like building a bench. Wow. That's not much to worry about...
Starting rotation this far:
That's it so far...
Another setup guy would be great. I could see Buchholz getting the fifth starter role with Lester coming out of the pen. The Sox want to resign Timlin. Lopez will probably be back.
So, should the Sox trade for Santana? What if the Twins wanted Buchholz and Lester? That's a tough call. Beckett, Santana, and Daisuke for the next few years nearly guarantees a WS win or two. Santana is only 28. So, if you could sign him long-term, I would have to say go for it. Plus, the Sox still have two young guns in the minors in Masterson and Bowden...and the Twins want Coco. So you might even be able to give the Twins a proven major leaguer in Coco, then Buchholz OR Lester, and another prospect.