CATCHER: Christian Vazquez and Sandy Leon both return, with Blake Swihart in the mix. The position may not be a strength, but it certainly isn't a weakness.
INFIELD: The left side is set with Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers. With Dustin Pedroia out for a significant length of time, a decent second baseman that can ideally back up elsewhere is needed. There's also a hole at first, hence the Eric Hosmer rumors.
OUTFIELD: Barring a trade to clear a spot for J.D. Martinez (Red Sox Nation has unrealistic hopes), the trio of Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts will continue to dance after every victory. With Chris Young a free agent, a right-handed reserve is likely to be brought in.
DESIGNATED HITTER: Supposedly, one of the reasons for hiring Alex Cora is to motivate Hanley Ramirez. Good luck with that.
BENCH: Brock Holt ended the season healthy so he'll be back in his Swiss knife role. The rest depends on how the club deals with first and second.
ROTATION: Chris Sale, Drew Pomeranz and Rick Porcello are locks. After his playoff heroics, David Price enters the season with starting intentions. The fifth spot is up for grabs with Eduardo Rodriguez out for at least six weeks. Steven Wright and Brian Johnson are in-house candidates.
BULLPEN: Despite some playoff issues, the bullpen is fine, with Craig Kimbrel front and center. Tyler Thornburg could be back, though the history of those returning from thoracic outlet syndrome is worrisome. Carson Smith, Joe Kelly and Matt Barnes are all viable in leagues where relievers are useful.
PROSPECTS TO WATCH: With Devers promoted, only Michael Chavis is reasonably close to contributing. The problem is Chavis' natural spot is the hot corner and his bat isn't ready to be an MLB first baseman.
POSSIBLE ACQUISITIONS: At least one big stick will be signed, likely to play first base. An impact infielder and perhaps pitcher is also a strong possibility.
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