The baseball season is over, at least in Boston. For the first time in 85 years, the Red Sox have finished last in back-to-back seasons.

Yes, the team built some optimism over the last few months of the season. They had one of the American League’s best records after Aug. 1. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski rewarded Manager John Farrell and bench coach Torey Lovullo with contracts that will keep them in charge of the team next season.

Who else will be back? That’s the question surrounding the team as it heads into the offseason. Here are some early suggestions that could answer those questions:

OUTFIELD: The “BBC” outfield of Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley, Jr. and Rusney Castillo impressed everyone down the stretch. All three should be back in 2016. The only issue is who will be in which outfield position. For a long time I thought Bradley should be in center field, with his dynamic range setting him apart.

Mookie Betts has changed my mind. Betts has earned the spot in center. He has shown great range, and an arm that continues to improve. What’s more, Bradley has an arm that could have us thinking about Dwight Evans in right. And the athletic talent to handle the tough right-field corner at Fenway.

Castillo has quietly shown an ability to handle the nuances of playing the Green Monster, and has a strong enough arm to handle a corner outfield position. He should stay.

INFIELD: The Sox will be strong up the middle with Xander Bogaerts and Dustin Pedroia forming the cornerstone of the infield. They’re strong behind the plate with Blake Swihart and Christian Vazquez – two of the game’s top young catchers. The questions are at the corners. Will Pablo Sandoval be better than he was in his first season of American League play? The Panda was a disappointment, as was Hanley Ramirez.

The team has asked Ramirez to lose weight and play first base next year. If he does, he will block the progress of Travis Shaw, one of the bright surprises late in the season.

It would be a surprise if both are back. In fact, both might be gone by April.

ROTATION: Eduardo Rodriguez is a keeper. Rick Porcello has a big contract and isn’t going anywhere. Wade Miley had an inconsistent season, but is a serviceable back-of-the-rotation arm. The Sox have an option on Clay Buchholz, and have indicated they will pick it up. Henry Owens has shown he has work to do, but is close.

More than anything, the Sox need an ace. It’ll cost a lot – in money or prospects – to get one. That’s where things will get interesting.

BULLPEN: This is the one area where Dombrowski will need a complete overhaul. There isn’t much there you can depend on. He had trouble building one in Detroit, and will be faced with the task of building one from scratch in Boston.

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