The Red Sox's 25-man roster: What does it look like now?

The Red Sox haven't done anything big so far this offseason. They've been quiet ... maybe too quiet. As most of us sit back and wait for Mark Teixeira to sign on the dotted line (hopefully), I think it'd be helpful if we looked at the 25-man roster and see where the Sox are at right now:

CATCHER
George Kottaras, Dusty Brown
Yup, we have zero catchers from last year. If the season started tomorrow, Kottaras or Brown would be our starting catcher.

FIRST BASE
Kevin Youkilis
It's almost guaranteed Youk will be around this year -- at least.

SECOND BASE
Dustin Pedroia
MVP! MVP! MVP!

SHORTSTOP
Jed Lowrie, Julio Lugo
Hopefully Lugo won't be there when Opening Day rolls around.

THIRD BASE
Mike Lowell
He's still here.

OUTFIELD
Jason Bay, Jacoby Ellsbury, J.D. Drew
One of the best outfields in the bigs.

DESIGNATED HITTER
David Ortiz
He's still the rock of the lineup.

STARTING PITCHERS
Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Tim Wakefield, Clay Buchholz
Buchholz is the likely 5th man if the Sox don't make a move this winter.

RELIEF PITCHERS
Jonathan Papelbon, Hideki Okajima, Manny Delcarmen, Justin Masterson, Javier Lopez, Ramon Ramirez
Solid bullpen.

With the roster listed above, there are three spots available. Those spots, most likely, are one more bullpen arm, a fourth outfielder and either a fifth outfielder or a corner/utility infielder.

  • Players on the roster that could fill the last bullpen spot: David Aardsma, Wes Littleton, Miguel Gonzalez or Hunter Jones. Aardsma was on the roster last year, but Littleton was an addition recently, so the Sox probably like him out of the gate. Gonzalez was a recent Rule 5 draft pick that has potential, but needs to stick with the club or be offered back. Jones is a solid relief pitcher in the minors that we'll probably see in '09.
  • Players on the roster that could fill the fourth outfielder spot: Jonathan Van Every, Jeff Bailey, Chris Carter or Jeff Corsaletti. Van Every impressed in a small time with the club last season, as did Bailey. Carter is better suited as a 1B or DH, but could play a backup role. Corsaletti struggled in his first season at Pawtucket last year, but was an All-Star in Portland before his promotion.
  • Players on the roster that could fill the utility spot, other than listed above: Gil Velazquez or Jeff Natale. Velazguez saw some time in the bigs last year, but doesn't project more than a backup infielder. Natale is an OBP machine, but probably isn't versatile enough to play multiple positions in the bigs.

I really feel that if the Sox don't make any big moves then they are still in a pretty good position. Going into the season with Kottaras and Brown as catchers would definitely be an issue, but it's probably the only issue at all with the roster listed above. Rest easy if Mark Teixeira doesn't come by Christmas because this is still a very good team.

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