Ben Cherington entered last year's offseason under pressure to improve his last-place team, but the Red Sox general manager is blessed with several options this winter, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes. The Sox have the payroll space to make a splash in free agency, use some of their prospects or excess starting pitchers to make a trade or even "implement a very conservative offseason plan" since the team's core is already strong. Here is some more from around the AL East…
- Cherington denied a report from ESPN's Gordon Edes saying that Stephen Drew will be playing elsewhere next season. “That’s not something I’ve been told,” Cherington told reporters, including the Boston Globe's Peter Abraham. “We’re still talking with him and we’d like to have him back. We’ll see what happens.”
- A team official tells Abraham that Jacoby Ellsbury is a "long shot" to re-sign with the Red Sox.
- The biggest factor in a David Price trade for the Rays would be if the club trusts its young pitchers to fill Price's spot in the rotation, MLB.com's Bill Chastain writes.
- The Blue Jays have already accounted for much of the rumored $150MM they have in 2014 payroll, so MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm looks at where the Jays could create some space for further spending.
- Earlier today on MLBTR, we covered another batch of AL East notes, a collection of Yankees notes, Matt Swartz broke down David Price's arbitration case, and we learned the Red Sox made a one-year offer to Mike Napoli.