BOSTON RED SOX (95-67, 2nd)
MANAGER: Terry Francona (6th season)
PAYROLL: $130 million
X-FACTOR: If John Smoltz has one more comeback left in that Hall of Fame arm, he should make for quite a midseason addition.
BEST CASE: Mike Lowell comes back refreshed and fired up following hip surgery and an offseason of Mark Teixeira rumors. … Josh Beckett, healthy and focused, makes a strong run at his first Cy Young after finishing second in '07. … Manny Who?
WORST CASE: Those nagging injuries that knocked Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis out of the World Baseball Classic crop up again. … Big Papi's wrist still isn't right and he misses Manny Ramirez hitting behind him. … Re-signing Jason Varitek proves a rare instance of Sox management being overly loyal.
CF Jacoby Ellsbury
2B Dustin Pedroia
DH David Ortiz
1B Kevin Youkilis
3B Mike Lowell
RF J.D. Drew
LF Jason Bay
C Jason Varitek
SS Jed Lowrie
RHP Josh Beckett