Funny you say that because the Red Sox had a better lineup last year, and look to have a great bench this year. The platoon in RF is going to be a big upgrade over the corpse of JD Drew and a streaky Reddick, and if Crawford improves even a little on a career-worst there will be a big improvement out of LF as well. Already discussed Salty, and don't be surprised if Lavarnway forces his way in mid-year. The bullpen looks pretty great and could get better depending on how the starters shake out.
Not to mention the off-season is far from over, and it looks like waiting out the market is going to let them scoop up someone surprising for good value. Arbitrage isn't as exciting as big splashes, but I sure remember how I felt going into the 2011 season and just how well that panned out...
You sound like you are feeling as good as you felt going into 2011, hopefully this pans out better.
You are right about RF being a sinkhole last year, our collective RF'ers were last in MLB in wRC+.
Whoever starts in Lackeys place won't have to do much to improve on him, as he was one iof the worst MLB starters in terms of ERA.
The team does look a bit weaker at closer. Bailey has not proven he can stay healthy the past 2 years.
SS also looks to be weaker. Neither Punto or Aviles has played much SS the past 3 years and Punto has spent a bit of time on the DL the past 3 years.
I think if Crawford can regress in a positive fashion as you hope, without too much negative regression from guys like Jacoby, Papi and Pedroia, and if Youk can stay healthy, and the top 3 SP'ers stay healthy, this team can win 95+ games.
Health is really a key to any teams performance, especially when you don't have a lot of high level prospects who can fill the holes. Red Sox have been a tad unlucky the past couple of years, and maybe that changes for the better.