As if winning three World Series titles in 10 years isn't enough, the Red Sox head into the offseason with an abundance of starting pitching, a very strong farm system and a good shot at retaining their own free agents. Or, at least, collecting a draft choice if their players sign elsewhere; they're expected to make qualifying offers to Stephen Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Napoli, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
Boston also has the financial resources to be active in free agency, although it just proved that it's not necessarily the biggest names from the previous offseason that are needed to build a winner.
General manager Ben Cherington will continue to identify which players are the best fit for his roster and is highly unlikely to get into a bidding war for an overpaid veteran and putting them back in the same boat as they were before the Dodgers kindly took on the mega-contracts of Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez in last year's blockbuster trade.
Don't expect a boring winter in Boston, though. Cherington does actually have a plethora of starting pitching and no roster spots for a handful of minor league prospects who are just about ready to make an impact in the majors. A trade or two is likely.
Here's everything you'll need to know before Cherington and the front office get started.