Call it a transition year. Call it an unlucky year. Call it whatever you want, but the 2010 Boston Red Sox simply failed to meet the expectations of management, fans, and baseball pundits across the country.

There are a handful of factors worthy of blame here, including general manager Theo Epstein’s reluctance to part with prospects to shore up the bullpen or acquire a top-flight pitcher like Cliff Lee. But pointing fingers is no way to win a World Series.

So with the 2010 Red Sox season officially in the books, let’s forget the past and take a closer look at the decisions that will help shape the 2011 Boston Red Sox. First up, Boston’s free agent and arbitration-eligible players.

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