John Tomase of the Boston Herald looks at the Red Sox’s top three needs this winter. Aside from finding a replacement for Jacoby Ellsbury and a solution to their catching vacancy, the Red Sox need to make sure they have protection for David Ortiz in the lineup. If Mike Napoli returns, he could easily fill the No. 4 or No. 5 hole. If not, it’s possible that Xander Bogaerts could be the man to take over. More from the AL East..
- With catcher Jose Molina all but officially announced as re-signed and the bullpen reconstruction expected to be ongoing into January, the Rays presumably will turn their attention to first base, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Topkin notes that all of the Rays’ potential trade targets are still out there, including Ike Davis of the Mets and Texas’ Mitch Moreland.
- The Red Sox and the Cardinals are staying flexible this offseason, writes Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. The Cards probably won’t re-sign Carlos Beltran while Boston seems likely to lose at least three of Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Napoli, Stephen Drew, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia this winter. As CEO Larry Lucchino put it, it’s all about not falling “in love” with your veterans.
- Relief pitcher Oh Seung-hwan of the KBO Samsung Lions decided to move to Japan’s Hanshin Tigers on a record-breaking contract, his agency told The Korea Herald. Seung-hwan, who boasts a 94-96 MPH fastball, had drawn interest from the Yankees.
- Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com looks at the candidates to back up Matt Wieters in the wake of the Orioles‘ acquisition of Johnny Monell.