Free agents that matter, seriously:
CF: Jacoby Ellsbury
1B: Mike Napoli
SS: Stephen Drew
C: Jarrod Saltalamacchia
The only one of those not to receive the 1-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer (such that the Sox receive a draft pick if the QO is declined and the player is signed elsewhere) was Salty, which surprises me a little, as catcher seems like an area of strong need for the Red Sox, just a little less than first base. Maybe there’s more to it than I understand, though.
My guess is Ellsbury and Drew do not return, while Salty and Napoli do. Jacoby’s price tag is going to get too high, and Drew will get too many years to interest the Sox with JBJ and Bogaerts about ready to step in (pretty steep decline from Jacoby to JBJ in player quality, most likely). I think they’ll probably be willing to go with JBJ/Bogaerts/Middlebrooks at CF/SS/3B, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if they get a one-year stop gap for the left side of the infield and play M’brooks more like a utility guy who plays about half the time, rotating among the positions in the infield to get the starters rest.
Salty and Napoli, I don’t see decent alternatives for on the market or internally, unless they’re willing to break the bank for McCann at catcher. My guess is Salty on a 3-year deal (~3/39) and Napoli for 2 years (~2/26). Let’s see how it actually works out.