The Red Sox are not likely to make significant changes to their starting pitching before spring training, according to Scott Lauber:
Hearing that it's "unlikely," at this point, that #RedSox will add or subtract a prominent starting pitcher before spring training begins— Scott Lauber (@ScottLauber) January 3, 2014
Half of this has been obvious. With six starting pitchers in Jon Lester, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz, Jake Peavy, Felix Doubront, and Ryan Dempster (to say nothing of Brandon Workman and the many Pawtucket starters), the Red Sox were hardly likely to make an addition. Their interest in Masahiro Tanaka has been almost non-existent, and he's the only available pitcher who could possibly carry enough weight for the Sox to even consider adding to their starting corps.
The other half is less obvious. There's been no lack of speculation that the Red Sox would try to unload one of Jake Peavy or Ryan Dempster in order to shrink their rotation to the standard five men rather than have Dempster start the year as a swingman. John Lackey's name has even been mentioned at times.
But if Lauber's got it right, then that would mean the Sox are comfortable leaving any such move until the last minute. That would at once protect the Red Sox against dealing from depth that winds up tested by spring injuries, and also allow any teams that run into that sort of injury situation to get appropriately desperate, putting the Sox in a position of strength. With that in mind, we really shouldn't be surprised to see all six men still with the team come March.