In the aftermath of Tuesday's agreement with free agent outfielder Shane Victorino, conventional wisdom held that the Red Sox [team stats] suddenly have the flexibility to trade center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury [stats], preferably for a starting pitcher.

Not so fast.

"No, that's not our intent," general manager Ben Cherington said yesterday as baseball's winter meetings entered their final hours. "We're expecting Jacoby to have a really big year in 2013, be a huge part of what we're doing."

But after reaching agreements on twin three-year, $39 million contracts with free agent slugger Mike Napoli and Victorino, Cherington admitted the Red Sox are focusing their attention on bolstering the pitching, the biggest deficiency en route to losing 93 games this season.

And while the free agent market for outfielders has taken shape swiftly over the past few weeks with the signings of B.J. Upton, Angel Pagan and Victorino, there has been less movement in the pursuit of pitching.

"Every team is telling you (it) needs a starter," agent Scott Boras said. "I think everybody is waiting for the cascade of that market to kind of unfold. And once it does, I think you'll see a lot of things happen more rapidly."

The Red Sox expressed interest in right-hander Dan Haren, but concerns about the health of his hip prompted them to take a pass before he agreed Tuesday to a one-year, $13 million contract with the Washington Nationals.