Ordinarily, this would be the time of the year when the Red Sox would be engaged in bidding for one or two of the premier free agents on the market -- matching the top offer, proposing another guaranteed year, including an opt-out option.
But this is no ordinary offseason for the Sox.
Instead of looking to spend their way out of doldrums that come with an underachieving season with a big-ticket star or two to goose ticket sales and re-make themselves into contenders, the Sox are instead looking to cut payroll.
As such, their forays into the market have nothing to do with Gerrit Cole or Anthony Rendon or any of the other elite free agents. The Sox have to be content with finding value in the bargain aisle as they attempt to re-set their Competitive Balance Tax (CBT) and get under the initial CBT threshold of $208 million.