When the Red Sox first cleared the deck in their big trade with the Dodgers in August, two things were apparent.
One, the Red Sox had plenty of money to spend. Two, the team would be looking to use that money on new starting pitchers.
While Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz will likely see a resurgence under new manager John Farrell, who once led their early-career success as Boston's pitching coach, the rest of the Red Sox' starting staff from 2011 looks shaky. Felix Doubront improved last year but won't be a No. 3 starter, and the other pieces that filled out the back end of the rotation -- Franklin Morales, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Aaron Cook and Daniel Bard -- are all either likely to leave the team or find new roles.
The Red Sox could head to the trade market and try to snag a big name, but their first option now that the World Series has wrapped up is to see which free agents could be lured to Boston for the right price. Having Farrell as manager is sure to help, and the core that the Red Sox already have ensures that whoever is acquired will be adding to a rotation, not being trusted to be its building block.
While several names have been floating around, the playoffs helped reveal a few things. Kyle Lohse should be on the Red Sox' minds. Huroki Kuroda continued to be better that everyone thought. And guys like Dan Haren and James Shields could definitely be snuck away after their teams failed to reach the postseason.
The landscape has changed, but the needs are still there. See who the Red Sox could get as they start handing out the spending money.
Click here for the top free agent pitchers the Red Sox could pursue>>