As we enter the final few days of the 2014 season, fans are still full of questions about 2015, and to be honest there aren’t many answers to give based on the performance of the young pitchers and continued lack of performance by Jackie Bradley Jr. and Will Middlebrooks.

It appears the only assumptions the Red Sox leadership can make is that they have to fill some major needs via trades or free agency because they can’t take the same leap of faith they did last offseason and hope their young players are the solutions.

It appears they will commit to Xander Bogaerts at shortstop, Christian Vazquez at catcher, and Rusney Castillo in center field. Mookie Betts deserves a spot somewhere. Beyond that, it’s hard to project any of the pitchers in meaningful spots, but they may have to commit something to Rubby De La Rosa and possibly Allen Webster.

Stay tuned, as they say. It should be an eventful offseason.

Here’s the mailbag:

I see the Red Sox’ primary offseason needs to be boosting the pitching staff and filling the hole at third base. I don’t think they’re likely to sign any of the three top-tier free agent pitchers – Lester, Scherzer, Shields – but feel they’ll make a big push for Kenta Maeda. And if Philly becomes slightly reasonable on its demands for Cole Hamels, the Sox may bite the bullet on a trade. What are your thoughts?

Joe, Attleboro

You may be right about the inability to sign the top pitchers, but they’ll be in the hunt for Shields for sure. There are other guys like Maeda, Brandon McCarthy, and Justin Masterson that they’ll attempt to sign. A …read more