In an interview with Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe, Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington hinted that the team could look to significantly increase their payroll this winter.
With all of the salary that the Red Sox got off the books this past summer in their deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston can afford to pick up at least one or two big-name free agents, if not more.
While there are a number of different players that the Red Sox can go after this winter, they will have a lot of competition for the top talent. The following players are ones that are likely to start the 2013 season in a Red Sox uniform.
While the Boston Red Sox struggled last season, they did have a bright spot in Cody Ross. The outfielder put up some of the best numbers of his career and was a rare leader in the locker room.
Ross hit the free-agent market this winter when the Red Sox were unable to re-sign him, but Ben Cherington has noted that Boston is still trying to bring Ross back next season (h/t Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe).
Bringing Ross back would fill one of the holes in the Red Sox outfield and give them a strong bat in the lineup.
The Boston Red Sox do not need another catcher since they already have Jarrod Saltalamacchia, David Ross and Ryan Lavarnway on their roster, but that will not prevent them from going after Mike Napoli according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.
Boston is currently without a first baseman and that is where Napoli would seemingly fit in. The All-Star veteran has a big bat and could help turn things around in Boston if he produces at a high level next season.
Shane Victorino would give the Red Sox a new center fielder if they were to deal Jacoby Ellsbury at some point of the year. If they keep Ellsbury, then the Red Sox will have a very strong defensive outfield.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN has reported that the Red Sox have Victorino on their radar. This would be a very smart addition for the Red Sox and they should push to get a deal done.