After seeing a lot of good work from my fellow posters here at OTM, I thought I would throw in my two cents:
Let's start with the Manager:
There are a lot of good options out there, but I've limited my list to three: Pete Mackanin, Ryne Sandburg, and Ron Gardenhire. Mackanin is a very baseball-smart man. We would have seen the last of the bonehead bunts, pinch running, and pitching changes (or lack thereof) which we have gotten used to with Tito. Sandburg has a high profile name, was a former player, and has a lot of energy and charisma. Many argue (myself included) that the talent is there, and that the Sox need a hardass to go in there and take no BS from anyone... enter Ryne Sandburg. However, I think the best option is Ron Gardenhire. We would need to pry him away from Minnesota, which would be difficult but possible. He managed a Twins club that (outside of 2011) overachieved for the better half of a decade, and while I haven't intently watched Twin games to see if he makes good decisions, he has always struck me as a guy that seems to know what he is doing. And while he looks a bit like Santa Claus, he has been known to be rather intense. If we get any of these three, I'm happy, but if the Twins let Gardenhire walk, I hire him in a heartbeat.
Make the push for Mike Maddux. This goes along with my idea that the talent is there, and the discipline isn't. I don't want Maddux as a manager, but he is a damn good pitching coach. Next, fire Bogar and replace him with anything: a former player, a young coach, a jockstrap, you name it. The medical staff needs to go. I'd definitely keep Magadan and Hale, and past that, I don't think there is anyone that needs to go.
We can start by offering Arb to Wheeler and Pap, and tendering contracts to Morales, Miller, Hill, Aceves, and Bard. Notice I left off Albers. At 1.3 mil, there is no reason to bring this guy back unless it is a minor league deal. The same can be argued for Morales and Miller (1 mil and 1.6 mil respectively, but considering that both can miss bats and both are young with powerful stuff. I think that both know that this is their last real shot, and will therefore be motivated. Worst comes to worst, both get DFAd and we eat 2.6 mil. Now, getting into the bigger stuff, if Wheeler and/or Pap take arb, so be it. I don't anticipate either will, so the replacement will be Ryan Madson. Even as a Boras client, he will be cheaper and just as effective as Pap, so I give him 3 yrs and 25 to 30 mil.
Beckett, Lester, and Buchholz take up 3 of the 5 spots. I make the effort to sign Roy Oswalt. I'd go as high as 2yrs with 8-10 mil a year. If we don't get him (and I don't think we do), we look elsewhere. I start by giving Erik Bedard 1 year, 6 mil with a vesting option for 6 mil if he starts 25 games. Then I trade for Jair Jurrjens. He is 26 and is under team control for 2012 and 13. To get him, I trade Ryan Kalish, Oscar Tejeda, Jed Lowrie, and Alex Hassan. This is a steep price, but to get a great starting pitcher who is only 25, I do it in a heartbeat. So that gives us our 5, but I sign Kyle Davies and Scott Kazmir as AAA depth/reclamation projects. I also groom Weiland to be a reliever and Tazawa + Doubront to be starters. At least one gets to the bigs pretty quick with the fragile Erik Bedard as our #5 starter.
Sign Grady Sizemore for 2 years, 17 million. An injury prone outfielder coming to Boston, what a great fit! But in all seriousness, Grady gives us a lot when healthy, especially considering that I traded Josh Reddick. This gives us a starting RF and potentially a CF for 2013 if Ellsbury walks. Since both he and Ells are young and talented, it gives the Sox some options. This is a low risk move, considering that Kalish is ready to go if Grady goes down.
Tender contracts to both Lowrie and Aviles, as well as Salty. Keep Kalish, Lavarnway, and Aviles on the bench and bring up Che-Hsuan Lin to play 5th OF. We need a 5th OF considering that Crawford, Grady, and Ells tend to get knicked up here and there.
2012 projected roster:
Starters: 1: Lester 2: Beckett 3: Buchholz 4: Jurrjens 5: Bedard. Minor league depth: Doubront, Tazawa, Davies, Kazmir, and Wilson
Infield: Salty, Gonzalez, Pedroia, Scutaro, Youkilis
Outfield: Crawford, Ellsbury, Sizemore
Bench: Lavarnway, Aviles, Che-Hsuan Lin, Josh Reddick
So there you have it, LesterJohn's 2012 Red Sox. A world series winning team, if you ask me.