Can David Price make it back as a 230-inning workhorse and co-ace alongside Chris Sale? That might be Boston’s biggest question mark this offseason, one that could inform a lot of what they do. As great as Price was as a post-elbow injury bullpen stopper in the playoffs, the Red Sox didn’t spend $217 million for a left-handed version of, say, Anthony Swarzak. Rick Porcello’s one-year journey from Cy Young winner to back-of-the-rotation punching bag only make Price’s status more pressing. Both could prompt the Sox to go hard after Ohtani, Darvish, or Jake Arrieta.
The right side of the infield looms as the other major question mark. Dustin Pedroia’s likely out until at least the end of May with a serious knee injury. Meanwhile, Mitch Moreland was never an adequate answer at first base. The Sox could’ve had Edwin Encarnacion anchoring their lineup at a reasonable price, but instead took the cheap way out by nabbing Moreland, plus the cost savings and vastly inferior performance, that he offers.