Boston Red Sox: What restrictions on finding an ace?

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Jul 26, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Detroit Tigers President, CEO and General Manager Dave Dombrowski works in the dugout before their game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Some things in baseball are just taken for granted. The seventh inning stretch. Losing teams being the victim of bizarre, fluctuating strike zones. Harold Reynolds saying something unintelligent, if not unintelligible. And that the bottom of the league team probably needs better pitching.

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So obvious is the last one that you’d wonder how the Boston Red Sox transitioned from 2014 to 2015 with five questionable pitchers, five “he’s the ace” t-shirts and every expectation of a different ending than the year before. So bad was Boston’s rotation in 2015 that it gave a whole new dimension to that Sandy Koufax quote about pitching being the art of instilling fear. Frequent and dramatic meltdowns were so commonplace that, had Red Sox relievers not also struggled so abysmally, turning to the bullpen in the 3rd or 4th inning may well have been a viable strategy.

It’s no surprise then that, as Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski is seeking to turn things around in 2016, he is focusing his attentions on upgrading the pitching. Not a particularly difficult task one could say. Ultimately, though, the most well-known secret of all is that Dombrowski wants someone who can lead the rotation, someone who can instill fear in the opponents’ hearts and not the fans’- an ace. He’s been talking about it since his first day in office, he’s mentioned it in almost every interview, he plays cards with only aces and uses his iPad to Ace Time his wife. Boston needs an ace and this offseason won’t finish without them having one, one way or another.

While speaking on Hot Stove Chat on WEEI radio, Dombrowski had this to say:

"“We want to get somebody that can lead the top of the rotation. You’re open to signing free agents, and you’re also in a position from our perspective where you’re open to trades. Those are different areas we would explore. Where it eventually would take us, only time will tell.”"

Obviously, there are many options available and, conversely, many weapons at Dombrowski’s disposal. What he’s actually saying however is that the Red Sox are going to do whatever it takes to get an ace, but it’s not a straightforward or easy thing to do. For a start, there’s not a club in baseball that doesn’t want another ace pitcher even if they have five of them already, except, of course, your 2015 Red Sox. Many other variables are in play as well, however.

As the hot stove starts to get toasty, let’s look at a few of the other factors which may lead Dombrowski and Boston to their goal this offseason.

Next: The Draft Pick