I love the offseason. Not only does it allow speculation to run rampant, but this year we have the added bonus of basking in the glory of a World Series title.
That said, our offseason moves have already begun. Jon Heyman has reported that the Red Sox will make qualifying offers (1 year, $14.1 million deals tied to draft pick compensation should they be refused) to Ellsbury, Napoli and Drew. No news yet on if we'll offer one to Saltalamacchia.
So I figure now would be as good a time as any to discuss what we plan to do with the rest of the team. From my personal estimations, as well as estimations I've read from others, we have approximately $40-50 million to spend in annual salary if we intend to stay below the luxury tax threshold of $189 million.
We appear to have a need for a catcher, a first baseman, and perhaps an outfielder, a third baseman or shortstop and a relief pitcher. Lester's option will be picked up, Uehara is under contract and Miller, Carp, Morales and Tazawa are arbitration eligible and likely to be tendered contracts.
For the convenience of discussion, here's a rundown of the better free agent options available at our possible positions of need. I have not included relievers because there would be too many to list.