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In 2014, a new chance for Red Sox to build winner

October 31. 2013 2:37PM
Associated Press

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(AP) The Boston Red Sox built a World Series champion in 2013 by avoiding the expensive free agents they've made mistakes on in the past.

They'll have to do it again this winter.

Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury is a free agent, as are first baseman Mike Napoli, shortstop Stephen Drew and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The team will almost certainly prevent pitcher Jon Lester from becoming a free agent by picking up his $13 million option.

Expect the team to avoid trying to make a big splash on players like they did when they overpaid for Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford. Instead, general manager Ben Cherington will follow up on a strategy that brought in Shane Victorino, Jonny Gomes and Koji Uehara all key parts of this year's title.

Associated Press

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