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With Dombrowski aboard, what's next for the Red Sox?

The Red Sox made a significant change in their organization last week when owners John Henry and Tom Werner hired Dave Dombrowski as president of baseball operations and gave him full autonomy of all baseball decisions, pending ownership's approval. GM Ben Cherington immediately announced he was stepping down, with Dombrowski announcing he would be hiring a GM to replace him, something he did not do in Detroit.

The Red Sox likely will finish the 2015 season in last place in the AL East for the third time in four years. However, they have MLB's best farm system, a major league team loaded with six contributing rookies and the financial wherewithal to compete with the biggest markets in baseball. Given that, the Red Sox are confident they can turn things around in one offseason and be contenders as early as next year.

Dombrowski has a lot of work ahead of him, and here's what you can expect next from him and the Red Sox in the months ahead:

Objective No. 1: Acquire an ace

Dombrowski's teams have reached the World Series three times, and one of the common threads in all three is he had an ace atop his starting rotations. He knows how to get them. His organizations drafted Josh Beckett (Marlins) and Justin Verlander (Tigers), and he traded for Max Scherzer (Diamondbacks) and David Price (Rays). But this time around, it's more likely he lands his ace in a fashion he has never done before: free agency.