Red Sox president of baseball operations addressed the Boston media today and discussed a number of offseason-related topics. Some highlights from the session (all links to Twitter unless otherwise indicated)…
- The team’s top priority this winter is finding a front-line starter, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald tweets. He adds that Dombrowski said the team needs to find a “horse” to front the rotation. The Herald’s Scott Lauber tweets that Dombrowski said sorting out the back of the rotation won’t be the difficult part of the team’s offseason pitching puzzle, with Dombrowski citing quality depth.
- The Red Sox view Junichi Tazawa as a setup option, and while Koji Uehara is the current ninth-inning option, the team will look for additional closing options, tweets Mastrodonato.
- Trading Allen Craig would be an “ideal” scenario, Dombrowski said (via the Providence Journal’s Tim Britton), but the president recognized that it’ll be difficult to find a taker for the first baseman/corner outfielder/DH. Craig is owed $21MM through the 2017 season (including the buyout on his 2018 club option).
- Boston’s payroll will not go backwards in 2016, Dombrowski said (via Mastrodonato). As Mastrodonato points out, the team is shedding the contracts of Shane Victorino, Justin Masterson, Mike Napoli and others, giving the Sox a good deal of payroll flexibility this winter.
- The Sox are still firmly committed to Hanley Ramirez playing first base in 2016, said Dombrowski (via MLB.com’s Ian Browne). Ramirez is owed $66MM over the next three seasons, and while the Sox will undoubtedly be open to moving him this winter, that would be a difficult task. Via Mastrodonato, Dombrowski said Travis Shaw and Sam Travis are both still valuable depth pieces at first base.
- Regarding the outfield, Mastrodonato tweets that Dombrowski implied that the starters will be Jackie Bradley, Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo, although Britton adds that Dombrowski seemed to express more confidence in Bradley than Castillo. The Sox will be looking for bench options for the outfield, Mastrodonato adds. I’d imagine that Brock Holt will see some time out there, although that certainly doesn’t rule out further additions, of course.
- John Tomase of WEEI.com has a full-length post recapping some comments from Dombrowski and GM Mike Hazen, including the announcement of some front office promotions. Eddie Romero has been promoted to VP of international scouting, and replay coordinator Adrian Lorenzo will step up to the position of international scouting director.