3) Make alternate plans for catcher and either first or third base.
Increasingly, the chances of retaining Adrian Beltre and Victor Martinez (right) seem more and more remote. Beltre is looking for a five-year deal and would prefer to play on the West Coast. He's likely to get such offers from the Angels and A's. As for Martinez, a bidding war could break out involving Texas, Detroit and the White Sox, all of whom seem to be more comfortable giving him a four-year deal than would the Red Sox.
Together, Beltre and Martinez supplied 48 homers and 181 RBI. Those numbers won't be easy for the Red Sox to replace.
The likely plan is to shift Kevin Youkilis to third for 2011, since there are far more short-term options at first base than there are at third. The Sox can choose from among Adam LaRoche, Lyle Overbay, Aubrey Huff and Derrek Lee as possible first base solutions.
As for catcher, the Sox have to make a determinaton about Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Would the Sox be comfortable going into 2011 with Saltalamacchia targeted for 110 or so games behind the plate?
If the answer to that is 'yes,' than the Sox could bring back Jason Varitek in a backupmentor role. If, on the other hand, they think Saltalamacchia isn't ready to handle that load, they need another short-term solution behind the plate. John Buck and Miguel Olivo are among their choices on the free agent market.
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