Temperatures have dropped around New England. In baseball, free agents are now able to shop their services to any team. General managers are meeting in Florida this week to discuss future plans (and to escape the wind chill).

Just like that, it’s time to fire up the hot stove.

In his two full seasons with the Red Sox, Dave Dombrowski hasn’t waited very long to ignite that stove. On Nov. 13, 2015 – not quite three months after moving into his new role as president of baseball operations – Dombrowski traded four prospects for closer Craig Kimbrel. Eighteen days later, he signed starter David Price to a seven-year, $217 million contract.

That’s the largest contract Dombrowski has ever given out, and still one of the largest in major league history. Like most nine-figure contracts, the worthiness of the deal remains up for debate.

Price has gone 23-12 with a 3.84 ERA in his two seasons with the Sox, battling through an injury-plagued 2017 before pitching well out of the bullpen in the postseason. By any measurement, he has not lived up to his lofty career standards. His ERA for the Red Sox is well above his career 3.22 ERA, and his advanced metrics are worse than the numbers he posted while pitching in Tampa Bay, Detroit and Toronto.

The point here is not to add to the criticism of David Price. It’s just to serve as a reminder that long-term contracts can generate quick headlines and long-term concerns for a team.

Which brings us to Giancarlo Stanton. The outfielder, who slugged a big league-leading 59 home runs last season, is reportedly being shopped by the Miami Marlins. He would be the biggest catch of the offseason for any team looking to add power.

The Red Sox, who finished last in the American League with 168 home runs, are one such team. They’d possibly have to put together a staggering package of talent to secure the services of Stanton. They’d also inherit a contract owing him $295 million over the next 10 years (if he doesn’t opt out of his contract in 2020 at age 30). The contract also offers complete no-trade protection for Stanton.

Any team interested in adding Stanton would no doubt ask the Marlins to pick up a portion of that salary. But the Marlins are looking to shed a significant portion of their payroll and won’t want to pay a great deal for a player hitting homers for another team.

Even if the Marlins pay part of Stanton’s contract, there would be a massive amount of money remaining for his new team. Would the Red Sox be willing to take on that salary while also trading away impact players?

Some long-term contracts pay off. The Red Sox probably wouldn’t have won the 2004 and 2007 World Series without Manny Ramirez, who was worth the eight-year, $160 million contract Dan Duquette signed him to in 2000.

There are far more cautionary tales about teams being hamstrung by long-term deals, however. Financial flexibility helps teams navigate through uncertain futures.

That said, home runs win games. Dombrowski will have to weigh what Stanton can do for his club now versus what Stanton’s contract will do to his club in the years to come.

Tom Caron is a studio host for Red Sox broadcasts on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.