The Red Sox probably will make a big trade; they have the prospects, they have the need, and they don’t like bidding on free agents. Ortiz, Lowell, and Beckett will all, most likely, walk away next year as Type A free agents. If Papelbon is still on the team after 2011, he probably will too. That’s a lot of extra picks to restock the farm from an Adrian Gonzalez trade.
Peter Gammons also mentioned the (highly unlikely) possibility that Beckett is traded. Would a package like the Indians got for Cliff Lee do it? The Erik Bedard deal? They could pile up on prospects over the next couple years and even a big FA signing like Matt Holliday would only take away one of those picks. They know the Rays and O’s are lurking and the Yankees will be spending; the Red Sox won’t stand still.