Now that the rivals are both finished, both teams look to fill the gaps that cost them an early exit. The two teams have similar issues, one of the biggest being the pitching staff. The starting rotations for both teams were a let down throughout the year, and especially late in the season.
Red Sox fans know the struggles that haunted big John Lackey. There is not a lot of patience left in Red Sox Nation for Lackey, but it looks like the Sox are going try and work with John. With that being said, there is still a need for another starting pitcher.
The Sox do have Clay Buchholz and Dice-K coming back off of injuries, but we've seen Dice-K come back from an injury before and struggle. With Buchholz, he's a little bit more of a promising comeback prospect but there is still concern. Even if the Sox get lucky with one of those two coming back strong, there is still a need for one more solid, reliable starter. Will they go after the left-handed free agent from Texas, C.J. Wilson?
Wilson has established a strong reputation in Texas, although he is pitching in the weak AL-West. Wilson has been the number one man in the 2011 playoffs. The Rangers have a similar offense to that of the Red Sox in that they score a lot of runs. With run support not being an issue, Wilson could be a great guy to pair with Jon Lester and Josh Beckett. This would push John Lackey to the number four spot in the rotation, taking off some of the pressure, which could help in his "rebuilding."
Another off-season free agent that could be sought is Grady Sizemore. The Indians will have until three days after the 2011 world series ends to decide if they are going to pick up the option on Sizemore's contract. Sizemore is coming off an injury that only allowed him 268 at-bats this season, but has been an All-Star in the past. With the right field position looking to be vacant at Fenway next season, a man with the speed of Sizemore could be a great fit in Boston. If the Indians decide not to pick up his option, let the bidding war begin!
These two players could make the off-season very interesting to watch as the large market teams could be throwing around some pretty big money to fix their problems. Not just Boston and New York, but look for the Philadelphia Phillies to be in the mix too, remember the Phillies had an early 2011 playoff exit as well.