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The temptation for most teams that win the World Series is to bring back the same players and go for it again. Unless age or injury mandates change, why mess with what works?
But the Red Sox didn’t try to retain free agent center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, not even when the Yankees became his primary suitor. Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia was gently prodded out the door and the Sox passed on chasing shortstop Stephen Drew.
The Red Sox took the emotional capital gained by winning the Series and invested it in the future, letting expensive free agents go to create opportunities for young players this season and in those to come.