LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Red Sox, who kept up with the fast pace of their competitors in the week leading up to the Winter Meetings, will still be active in trying to improve their roster over the next four days.
"We were kind of talking [about] what it would feel like," said general manager Ben Cherington, when asked if the active market in recent days will take away from the Winter Meetings. "I have a feeling it will be just as busy. The pace won't be any different. We'll just be talking about different kinds of things."
In fact, Cherington and his staff look forward to trying to get creative.
"When there's a clear need to fill, it's more of a linear process," Cherington said. "You're focused on certain things and trying to march down the field on certain things -- whether it be a certain trade or player or whatever. When you're not doing that kind of thing as much, it's a bigger universe. There will probably a lot of ideas floating around the room, a lot of conversation, a lot of meetings and gathering of information and reading and reacting to what other teams are doing."
Over the past week, the Sox lost Jacoby Ellsbury and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, while re-signing Mike Napoli and striking deals with two key free agents: catcher A.J. Pierzynski and reliever Edward Mujica.
Stephen Drew remains a free agent, and he might be tough for the Sox to afford unless they move some payroll. But that is certainly possible, given Boston's depth in the starting rotation.
Though there are young, internal options that Cherington is certainly comfortable with at shortstop (Xander Bogaerts ), third base (Will Middlebrooks ) and center field (Jackie Bradley Jr. ), he will still take a good, long look at the market to see if there are some veteran options out there.
"Every deal that's made, every free agent that's signed, every trade that's made -- even if it doesn't involve the Red Sox -- [will shift] the market to some degree, and there's a reaction to that," Cherington said. "If somebody signs somewhere, it might create an opportunity somewhere else or whatever -- so those are things that we'll be looking at and trying to take advantage of if we can. But I do think we go into the Winter Meetings in a position of strength, with a very strong roster and one that we feel good about going into the season if not much changes."
MLB.com will have the Winter Meetings covered from start to finish. If there's a trade, a signing or even a hot rumor, continue to check redsox.com and MLB.com for the latest.
Red Sox manager John Farrell will also be at the Meetings, and he will hold a news conference on Monday afternoon. Check back for updates on what Farrell has to say regarding several topics, including who might as the leadoff man now that Jacoby Ellsbury is gone.
Readers should use the comments section in this story and others to weigh in on what the Red Sox might do for the rest of the winter.
The Winter Meetings will wrap up following Thursday's Rule 5 Draft.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne.