By Sean McAdam
It's here. Sunday began the time of year that former Red Sox CEO John Harrington labeled the "silly season" -- when free-agent bidding and negotiating officially got underway.
The Red Sox have a number of their key players eligible, including third baseman Adrian Beltre and catcher Victor Martinez, and need to seriously upgrade their outfield and bullpen.
Let's assume, for the sake of argument, the Sox will be unable (or unwilling) to retain Beltre and Martinez, and will have to go elsewhere on the market to replace them. That leaves the following areas the Red Sox will need to address this offseason: Catching (to replace Martinez), either third base (to replace Beltre) or first base (if they move Kevin Youkilis to third to fill that hole), outfield and relief pitching.
A position-by-position look at the task facing the Red Sox this offseason:
OUTFIELD ---> Will the Red Sox be willing to spend on the big guns?
THIRD BASE ---> How will Theo Epstein deal with a thin market?
FIRST BASE ---> Could a former Sox slugger be the answer in 2011?
CATCHER ---> Is there a bargain backstop to be had on the cheap?
BULLPEN ---> Which relievers could be headed to Boston?
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Mooke Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and a mix of Andrew Benintendi, Brock Holt, Blake Swihart and Chris Young brought postgame celebrations to a new level last season.
Most Sox fans are familiar with the outfield victory "Win, Dance, Repeat" where the trio would dance and pretend to photograph the game's best player between them. The celebration ended with a pose at first, but as seen the MLB the Show 17's freshly released trailer, a few more wrinkes were added in.
In fact, here's a taste of the celebrations and what else to expect from Playstation's 2017 MLB game:
Carlos Beltran, the 39-year-old switch hitter who was a potential target of the Red Sox as a DH, agreed to a free-agent deal with the Houston Astros, ESPN's Buster Olney reported.
FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reports that it's a one-year, $16 million deal.
Beltran played for the Astros in 2004. He was dealt from the New York Yankees to the Texas Rangers at the July 31 trading deadline last season. He totaled 35 homers, 101 RBI and hit .295 in 2016.
The Red Sox, looking to fill the void left by David Ortiz's retirement, will be looking for a DH at the Winter Meetings that begin next week. One possibility is the return of Mike Napoli, who played for the A.L. champion Cleveland Indians last season.
More on the Winter Meetings here from CSN Red Sox Insider Sean McAdam.