This was always going to be the problem from the moment the Red Sox pulled the ejection lever on Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Adrian Gonzalez last summer.
The Sox were universally praised for moving themselves out from underneath a mountain of bad contracts.
But where were they going to go to fix things in the short term?
The answers have started arriving in earnest this week at the Winter Meetings.
They are going to go to Mike Napoli. And to Shane Victorino. And to Jonny Gomes, whom they signed last month.
Whether they go anywhere other than last place in the AL East remains a legitimate question. Fourth place, maybe.