Reassessing Boston Red Sox's Offseason Plan and What's Next

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Reassessing Boston Red Sox's Offseason Plan and What's Next
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The Boston Red Sox entered the offseason by embarking on a World Series parade through the city of Boston. When the floats came to a stop, business picked back up for the 2013 champions. 

Since the start of business this winter, the Red Sox have been active. Yet due to their aversion to handing out long-term contracts, the team hasn't held a huge media gathering at Fenway Park to introduce the newest star to Red Sox faithful.

Instead, led by general manager Ben Cherington, they have used a calculated approach to building a consistent winner, eschewing sentimentality and the need to bring back the entire 2013 team for one more run at the AL East crown.

Thus far, contributors like Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jacoby Ellsbury have been allowed to walk to the highest bidder. In those cases, the Marlins and Yankees, respectively, stepped up to offer more than Boston was willing to pay.

Led by the great Koji Uehara, Boston's bullpen has an anchor. That made the decisions to non-tender Andrew Bailey and decline a $6 million option on Matt Thornton easier to swallow. Within weeks, Edward Mujica was signed and Burke Badenhop acquired to fill setup roles in front of Uehara in 2014. 

Although the team will miss the extra-base power of Jarrod Saltalamacchia, signing A.J. Pierzynski made sense for both the short and long-term plans in Boston. The new Red Sox catcher will thrive in the competitive environment of the AL East.

Of course, the most vital move thus far in Boston was re-signing Mike Napoli to a two-year, $32 million contract, per MLB.com. According to FanGraphs, Napoli was worth $19.5 million in 2013, making $16 million per year a very reasonable rate for his production.

Over the next few months, Cherington and the front office in Boston will have to continue to tweak a roster that is very capable of competing for a postseason berth next season. By following the plan laid out here, the Red Sox can ensure annual success at Fenway Park.

Here's what should be next for the Boston Red Sox.

*All statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference, unless otherwise noted.

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