Unfortunately instead of writing how the Boston Red Sox are making preparations for Game 1 of the World Series tomorrow night, we are talking about how they are getting ready for the offseason. There are going to be lots of questions to be answered this offseason for Theo Epstein and company.

Should they resign Jason Varitek? What do they do with Julio Lugo now that Jed Lowrie is the lastest from the farm system to emerge? What do they do with Coco Crisp? Do they trade him for some bullpen help? With Mike Timlin likely to retire, who will take over his role of eating innings in the bullpen? Do they bring back Mark Kotsay, Sean Casey and Alex Cora? Do you keep Justin Masterson in the bullpen or do you get him back starting next season? Do you go after C.C. Sabathia and Mark Teixeira among others in the free agent pool?

Theo addressed most of those questions yesterday at a press conference.

“He’s (Varitek) an important part of the organization. There’s no doubt about that. Obviously, he’s coming off a year that wasn’t hit best. But he’s important nonetheless. He’s a free agent, and we’ll be talking to him. We have an obligation to explore all of our options. We have to do that. We do that with every position.

“There’s not a lot of elite catching out there. At the same time, that changes the standards from what you’re looking for. What we like to do is be league-average at least in every position, and then be above league-average at as many positions as we can. The state of catching shifts the target a little bit. What’s league-average? What’s above league-average? If we do our jobs well, we’ll be at least league-average at every position. It’s been well-documented there’s not a ton of catching out there. We’ll try to figure it out. “

“We’re at a point now where we have a very solid foundation in the organization,” Epstein said. “We’re not just going out this winter to try to address the 2009 team and that’s it. Instead, a better way to look at is we’re continuing the process of building and evolving the organization, and the 2009 team comes to fore as the most important version of the Red Sox that we’ll have. But we’re also going to continue to look at 2010, 2011, 2012, etc. versions of the team. We’re building an organization. When he succeed at the major league level, because of the foundation that we’re trying to build as a whole organization, not just as a major league team.

“We’re at a point now as an organization where we’re not desperate to improve in any one area. If you look at our starting pitching, if we bring back our starting corps and just make minor tweaks, I think we can be solid there. That said, is there an opportunity to potentially improve our starting pitching? Absolutely. We’re expecting to use a great deal of our time this winter trying to improve. If we just brought back our bullpen, would we have a pretty good bullpen? Yeah, I think it would be pretty darn good. That said, are we going to look to improve the ‘pen? Absolutely. We’re going to spend countless hours. Same thing if you look at our position player core.

“We can bring back the same group in any one are and be solid and have all of our bases covered. We can now pick our spots and look for areas to improve. We can be selective shoppers in free agency. Last offseason was great, because we didn’t have to be desperate, because we had built up our organization to the point where there’s no desperation in free agency. I think that’s the same approach we’ll take this year. Being smart, finding value, and being selective — maybe aggressive in some areas, but selective at the same time. And the same with the trade market. We don’t feel like there’s anything we have to do. There’s a lot of opportunities out there. Maybe there’d be a fit out there.

I can’t give you one theme, ‘This is what we need to improve.’ I think we’re pretty solid. But we need to get better, too. Looking at the caliber of play in our league and our division reinforces the notion that we have to always strive to improve. It’ll be essential that we continue the process that we started several years ago of getting younger and more dynamic.”

As for my feelings, I think you need to bring back Tek on a 1-2 year deal and hope that your catching prospects in the minor leagues develop some more. A good part of the success for the Red Sox pitchers can be credited to him for all of the preparation that he does for each game.

Julio Lugo probably doesn’t have that much trade value so you’re most likely going to have to eat some or all of his contract to move him. If you can’t trade Lugo, I don’t see Alex Cora coming back but I’d much rather have a Cora who knows he’s a backup than a Lugo who thinks he’s a starter.

I think Coco should be moved for some bullpen help especially if you’re going to move Masterson back into the rotation. Personally, I think they should keep him in the bullpen. There’s no situation that kid can’t handle.

Mark Kotsay is probably gone unless he’s willing to accept a backup role like Sean Casey did. Unless Casey gets a better offer and a starting position, I could see Theo bringing him back.

As for the free agents out there, like Theo said they can be selective. If they did sign Teixeira, you’re obviously going to have to move Lowell and with him having surgery on his hip yesterday that’s going to be tough to do. The surgery by the way was successful. I’m sure they’ll make a run at all the big names out there either to drive up the price for the Yankees or even try to steal one of them away.

For more playoff slices of Boston Red Sox goodness, head over to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Hartford Courant and Providence Journal websites.