The Boston Red Sox have had an eventful offseason, but without a true ace, they can’t expect to seriously contend for a World Series.

After losing out on the Jon Lester sweepstakes, the Red Sox currently plan to start the year with Clay Buchholz atop the rotation. Buchholz has had flashes of dominance, but he’s lacked consistency. In his eight-year career, Buchholz has never started over 30 games.

Along with Buchholz, the Red Sox enter 2015 with Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson and Joe Kelly filling out the rest of the rotation.

General manager Ben Cherington seems content with this solid rotation. In an interview with The Boston Globe‘s Peter Abraham, Cherington said, “We think we have enough pitching talent to put together a good pitching staff, one that can help us contend in the division.”

James Shields still remains on the market, and according to USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale (h/t CSNWashington‘s Chase Hughes), Cole Hamels could be available. If the Red Sox aspire for more than just a division title, they must add one of those two players.

In all three of their championships, the Red Sox have relied on at least one ace. In 2004, they had Curt Schilling and Pedro Martinez. Josh Beckett led the 2007 staff, winning 20 games and posting a 3.27 ERA. And in 2013, Jon Lester had a 3.75 ERA, including a 1.56 ERA in the postseason.

While Boston’s pitching is lacking, they have an embarrassment of riches on offense.

With the additions of Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, the Red Sox have a potent lineup. But they still have some important decisions to make, especially in the outfield.’s Ian Browne predicts that Cherington will have to make a trade or two by the end of spring training to clear up the outfield.

Hanley Ramirez will start in left, and Rusney Castillo looks to be the everyday center fielder. Right field will be much more competitive, with Mookie Betts and Shane Victorino vying for the job. Victorino battled through a back injury most of last year, while Mookie Betts proved he belongs in the big leagues, hitting .291 through 52 games.

Regardless of who earns the spot, the Red Sox will end up with a great fourth outfielder. Boston also has Daniel Nava and Allen Craig, who can both play the outfield and first base. Craig struggled in his time in Boston, and after a slow start, Nava had a strong second half of the season.

There’s no need for the Red Sox to have both Nava and Craig, and Craig seems like the probable trade candidate since the Marlins are reportedly interested in him, according to The Boston Globe‘s Nick Cafardo (h/t NBC Sports’ Drew Silva).

The Red Sox are built to bounce back from their disappointing season last year, but to return to championship form, they still have a few more moves to make. Whether that’s before Opening Day or around the trade deadline, don’t expect the Red Sox to be playing deep into October if they refuse to address the rotation. 

Read more MLB news on