For one more year, this team still belongs to David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia. After massive changes over the past two seasons—from the trade of fellow face-of-franchise Jon Lester to the firing of Ben Cherington to the exodus of Don Orsillo—Ortiz and Pedroia have remained two constants in Red Sox Nation. They are Boston’s Song of Ice and Fire, if you will, Ortiz chilling in his performance under pressure and Pedroia red-hot when he’s firing lasers off the Green Monster. Together, these two have fronted championship-caliber teams, basement-dwelling units and, on a few occasions, teams that have fallen somewhere in between.
But Ortiz is retiring after the 2016 season, and while Pedroia won’t be going anywhere for a while, his days as Boston’s best position player have already passed. Over the past two seasons the Red Sox have begun the process of transitioning away from their nearly decade-long run with these two at the core, and toward a future headed by Betts and Bogaerts. That transition could still go in one of two very different directions, and the upcoming season should give us a good hint as to which is more likely.
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