There's a new sheriff in town, and I don't mean John Farrell.
This winter will mark the first time we can truly see what general manager Ben Cherington is made of. Last year's awful record cannot and should not be chalked up to any Cherington related moves or signings.
The payroll was hampered by overpaid and underperforming "stars" that never truly showed up to play.
Having shed some $270 million in future payroll (thanks again Dodgers, we'll be sure to send you a Christmas card), Cherington has wiggle room to make some real impact to this roster.
The catch? Boston does not need to spend anywhere near that much to be competitive in 2013.
Obviously, the first move was impressive, acquiring John Farrell from the Blue Jays in exchange for a disgruntled Mike Aviles.
It's clear that Aviles was never in the future plans at shortstop. He was a serviceable player that filled a role while here, but with players like Jose Iglesias and Xander Bogaerts waiting in the wings, it was only a matter of time before Aviles became expendable.
Beyond moves to bring the managerial staff into shape, this team does have several holes that need to be filled.
It is nice to see David Ortiz getting his two-year deal. Check that one off of the shopping list as well. However, the outfield, first base and pitching all need to be addressed.
Here we'll examine five players that would make a lot of baseball sense to sign without breaking the bank.