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Quiet at Meetings, Sox expect talks to heat up

Dombrowski continues pursuit of big bat, lefty reliever
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Winter Meetings are over, but the offseason is just getting started for the Red Sox.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has already informed members of his staff to keep their phones and laptops accessible during the holiday season, because things could be heating up at that time.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Winter Meetings are over, but the offseason is just getting started for the Red Sox.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has already informed members of his staff to keep their phones and laptops accessible during the holiday season, because things could be heating up at that time.

The free-agent market for bats hasn't started to move yet, but once it does, Dombrowski will be ready to act.

 Video: Cora discusses his first Winter Meetings experience

The Red Sox haven't acquired a player for the Major League roster since the 2017 season ended, but Dombrowski is quick to note that the start of Spring Training is still two months away.

"I didn't really anticipate much different, actually," Dombrowski said. "When everybody kept saying, 'You're going to the Winter Meetings, and a bunch of things could happen,' I think I said to a couple of people, 'Well, there's a long time after the Winter Meetings before the season begins.' I just know where we are and some of the things we're talking about will probably take a while."

Video: Could Martinez and Hosmer be heading to Boston?

What's next
The Red Sox will be in plenty of contact with agent Scott Boras in the coming weeks. He represents J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer, the two free agents who have been linked most often to Boston.

Video: Evaluating fits for free agent J.D. Martinez

A big bat is Dombrowski's biggest priority this offseason, and he won't stop until he gets one. Giancarlo Stanton (Yankees), Shohei Otani (Angels) and Marcell Ozuna (Cardinals) went off the board. Without much depth in terms of elite talent in the upper levels of farm system, the Red Sox seem better positioned to make their acquisition in free agency rather than a trade.

By this point, does Dombrowski have a pretty good idea of his competition for the bats he is seeking?

"Well, you do your best job to try to find that information out," Dombrowski said. "I think you make hopefully educated guesses on that. But I don't think you ever really know that totally, because it's just like their people don't share that information with you. But I think, again, you do your homework and try to have the best pulse as possible."

Video: Dombrowski discusses pursuit of big bat

Though the quest for a bat has gotten the most attention, Dombrowski is engaged in trying to fill some other needs as well. One is for a lefty reliever to complement the team's solid stable of righties.

The Red Sox will also keep in touch with free agent Eduardo Nunez, who blended into the team nicely after being acquired from the Giants in July. Nunez would give Boston a starting second baseman while Dustin Pedroia spends the first two months or of the season recovering from left knee surgery. And once Pedroia returns, Nunez could move into a super-utility role. But there could be some stiff competition for his services.

Rule 5 Draft
The Red Sox did not select any players in the Major League phase of Thursday's 2017 Rule 5 Draft, but they did select two players in the Minor League phase. Boston took right-hander Andrew Ferguson from the Royals' organization and center fielder Luke Tendler from the Rangers' organization.

GM's bottom line
"Well, I don't know how to characterize [these Winter Meetings]," Dombrowski said. "You gather a lot of information, you do what you need to do. We had a lot of conversations, it was busy, but you continue to move forward from here, and again, it's not very surprising for me where we are at this time."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox