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Sports

December 9, 2013

What will Boston do at the Winter Meetings?

Don’t expect the Red Sox to sign any big-name free agent such as Shin-Soo Choo during this week’s Winter Meetings in Orlando.

With first baseman Mike Napoli signed to a new two-year deal, catcher A.J. Pierzynski on board with a one-year contract and both right-handed pitchers Burke Badenhop and Edward Mujica added to strengthen the bullpen, the Red Sox might not add any other significant piece before spring training.

“It could be that we’ve done most of our heavy lifting for the winter, but certainly still keep working and see what else we can come up with to improve the team,” Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said.

It shouldn’t be much of a surprise to those who follow the Boston Red Sox that Cherington could be finished with major acquisitions this offseason.

After all, since the Red Sox unloaded Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez and declared their main focus to be on developing players (and not overspending on free agents), the organization seemingly has been viewed in the same fashion as we look at small-to-mid market teams.

Last offseason and again this offseason, many of the top free agents have been considered out of the Red Sox’ price range. Yet the Red Sox remain a big-market team and so they undoubtedly could sign a top free agent at any minute.

But when will the Red Sox again be willing to offer a six-, seven-, or even eight-year deal to a free agent? Could Choo, the top position player remaining on the market, be a surprise addition to the Red Sox this week?

Realistically, the Red Sox won’t sign any free agent to a longterm mega-deal until they identify that player as a perfect fit.

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