Red Sox have a big off-season facing them. Here's my position by position breakdown of what I'd suggest GM Ben Cherington should do regarding the every day players. In another post I'll make my suggestions regarding the pitching staff.
C - the Red Sox for better or worse are set with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ryan Lavarnway. Everyone hopes to get much more offense out of this duo than we saw in 2012. Even though Salty hit 25 HR - his overall batting performance leaves room for much improvement. Many are hoping that Lavarnway gets close to his minor league batting performance so that he can be the catcher of the future (say 2014).
1B - My preference for first base next year would be for the Red Sox to trade for Victor Martinez. I'm guessing that Detroit would be happy to shed the final two years of Victor's contract ($13 million in 2013 and $12 million in 2014) - so he would cost much in terms of prospects. Martinez has shown he can thrive in Boston both on the field (.322 career batting average at Fenway) and off (media favorite). He'd also be both a big clubhouse presence with the stature to stand up to anyone and also would be insurance at the catcher position if either Salty or Lavarnway have issues.
2B - Dustin Pedroia
SS - This is a weak spot for the Red Sox. What I'd suggest to turn this into a strength is to trade fan pariah John Lackey to Texas for Elvis Andrus. Jon Heyman has reported that the Rangers have no plans to trade Andrus this winter which normally would mean Andrus should have his bags packed. Andrus has two years left on his contract for a reasonable $11 million but the problem is in Texas he's blocking super prospect Jurikson Profar. I'd even throw in Jose Iglesias to make this deal happen.
3B - Will Middlebrooks
LF - The first item of business for Ben Cherington should be wrapping up Cody Ross on a multi-year deal (say 3-years $18 million). I say first item of business because with Ross in the fold then that gives them a little more leverage over David Ortiz as Ross could be made DH. Ortiz should be the second item of business. I will admit that Ross's home / road splits this season concerns me (.921 OPS at Fenway but just .684 OPS on road in 2012).
CF - Let Jacoby Ellsbury play the year and go to free agency. Guessing he will have a big year and be overpaid by someone else. All that is important is that he has a big 2013 first.
RF - Another problem spot for the Red Sox. Do the Sox go with existing options Ryan Kalish or maybe Che-Hsuan Lin? Or do they go for an outside option. Supposedly the Indians would be open to trading Shin-Soo Choo. That would be perfect. I'd even more in favor of giving Choo a long term deal than I would be for extending Ellsbury.
DH - David Ortiz. Just give the man a 2-year $22 million deal with some incentives for Ortiz to up the possible value of the contract.
If the Red Sox were to make these suggested moves they would field very formidable team in 2012. So llet it be written - so let it be done!