To start, they'll stick with the Voit/Bird platoon that worked so well down the stretch, and see if either wins out. Not sure Bird is really the answer. Great talent, but he's been hurt alot. You have to start thinking he's not durable enough to play every day in MLB. Voit played great after they acquired him last season, but you can't be sure he can do that again. But he's earned the right to try.
There's talk also about opening trying one of the young OF studs at first base in spring training too. Clint Frazier may get a look at 1B, although he is ticketed to replace Gardner in the OF some day. You might see Andrew McCutcheon grab a 1B glove in the spring too. And there is always Neil Walker hanging around.
Not really an issue. If they get into the season and need to upgrade, they have a glut of OF talent to exchange for a 1B. Still, they can carry a weaker offensive player at first, if need be, so long as he flashes solid leather. The line-up is deep, young, and getting better.
Watching the playoffs, it seemed as if you had a pretty big hole at 1st. Defense was subpar. Surprised you didn't go after Goldy.
Bird is actually a pretty decent first baseman defensively. He's only made three errors in his career in over 1,200 chances. He does a good job keeping his foot on the base while fielding throws a bit off the mark. He fields what he gets to. The knock in his defense is that his range is average at best, and he doesn't tend to bail out his infielders when they are way off the mark with a throw.
It's that latter tendency that gets attention. Both Torres and Andujar are young IFs who still rush throws sometimes and need a savior on the other end. Bird gives a good stretch and can dig out a bad throw, but not a really
As for Voit's defense, it's like the second coming of Jason Giambi -- and I wasn't a fan of the first coming. I read recently that Voit is committed to improving his footwork in an effort to make himself a good defender, and has been spending the off-season working on his defensive skills. Let's hope.
Truth be told, the difference between the Sox and the Yankees last year was defense. The Yankees are a better offensive team, probably have a bit in the edge in starting pitching when you get to the 3-5 starters, and a way better set-up and hold bullpen. But the Sox were just superlative defensively, especially in the OF, where their three OFs have so much range, you'd think they were playing with a fourth. Honestly, I don't remember ever seeing an outfield that so routinely turned drives into the gaps into harmless outs -- and then turned around and gunned throws back to the IF. Since all three of those guys are young, I don't expect that OF defense to suffer any time in the near future.