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Peter Abraham

Dave Dombrowski’s priority list starts with fixing Red Sox rotation

Greetings, Dave Dombrowski, and welcome to Boston. Your new club is in last place and has been for two years now. There’s a lot to do.

As you get settled into your new surroundings at Fenway Park, here’s a list of things that require your immediate attention:

1. The rotation: Red Sox starters have a 4.88 ERA, the worst in the American League. You remember Rick Porcello from Detroit. He has a 5.81 ERA and is signed for four more years. Eduardo Rodriguez, the bright young prospect, has a 4.48 ERA. Wade Miley might be a No. 4 starter on a contending team. This team needs starters, at least two.

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2. Make a decision on Clay Buchholz: He has a team option for next season worth $13 million. Ben Cherington loved Buchholz, but you might take a closer look at all the games he misses and decide your money is better spent elsewhere.

3. The bullpen: Another mess. The closer, Koji Uehara, will be 41 next April and is out for the season with a broken wrist. Outside of the overworked Junichi Tazawa, there’s not a reliable set-up man. They need some power arms.

4. Hanley Ramirez: He’s one of the big reasons you’re here. Cherington made a mistake signing Ramirez to play left field. Ramirez’s hitting has declined, too. If you can trade him, that would be swell.

5. John Farrell: The manager is out for the season while he undergoes cancer treatments. Common decency suggests bringing him back for 2016, and he is under contract. But his record the last two years suggests change might be the best thing. A tricky one.

6. Pablo Sandoval: His defense at third base has been poor, his slugging percentage remains in decline, and he seems a little Boston-phobic. The Panda was signed to a long-term deal, too.

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7. Dustin Pedroia: This may sound like heresy, but second base has become a bit of a problem. Pedroia is on the disabled list with a hamstring strain, the latest in what has been a series of injuries. Mookie Betts can play second, and the team dropped $61 million to sign hotshot Cuban second baseman Yoan Moncada, who is now raking in Single A.

8. Catcher: The old administration loved Blake Swihart, a good athlete and hitter who may not be suited for catcher. That’s your call. Defensive wizard Christian Vazquez will be back from Tommy John surgery next season. Veteran Ryan Hanigan also is under contract for another year.

9. The 40-man roster: Bring your broom. The Sox have a lot of aging prospects and below-average pitchers to clean out.


Follow Peter Abraham on Twitter @PeteAbe.