1) The Sox will aggressively pursue signing switch-hitting 1B Mark Teixeira. Assuming they sign him, they would shift Youkilis permanently to 3B (his natural position and one he's very comfortable with). They would then explore trading the rehabbing Mike Lowell. I'm in favor of this move, assuming the contract doesn't get ridiculous. The Red Sox would lose two 2009 draft picks to the Angels, but they are currently well-stocked in the minors and can absorb the loss. Plus it means that the Red Sox' toughest competitors (Yankees, Angels) don't get Tex.
2) The Red Sox picked up SP Tim Wakefield's 2009 option. At $4 million this was an easy call. Wake tossed 181 innings with an ERA+ of 112. That's significantly better than league-average, and a leagu-average SP usually earns as much as $10m per year now.
3) Because of Wakefield's option (and a few other factors), I'm changing my opinion from this post and am now against the Red Sox signing CC Sabathia. Sabathia will be looking to equal or better the contract the Mets gave Johan Santana; plus, if the Sox signed him they would lose 2 draft picks to Milwaukee. Upon further consideration I think this price is too high for what they'd get. The Red Sox have also expressed concern over Sabathia's future durability... the man does have a TON of innings on his arm for his age, and if he gets a 6-year deal he could be high-risk for injury during the final three years.
The Red Sox rotation currently looks like this:
1. Josh Beckett
2. Daisuke Matsuzaka
3. Jon Lester
4. Tim Wakefield
5. Justin Masterson/Clay Buchholz/Michael Bowden
That is a very strong rotation; Matsuzaka might see some regression but Beckett should see improvement and Lester just keeps getting better. The only potential problem is that the Sox don't have a reliable innings-eater... they do have extra guys they could call on is someone goes down with an injury, but you can never have enough SP. I think that the Sox would be foolish to go out and spend big ($ and prospects) to sign a free agent like Sabathia, Ben Sheets or Derek Lowe. They should search for a few more low-risk, high-reward guys like they did with Bartolo Colon last year (and hope they get more innings than Colon gave them). Mark Mulder would be intriguing, for example.