CARLSBAD, Calif. — Barely more than a week after they left Los Angeles as World Series champs, Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox baseball operations staff returned to Southern California Monday on a new quest, trying to build a repeat champion.

But as the general managers meetings kicked off, Dombrowski allowed that it was a good feeling to hear congratulations from his peers.

“Yes, it is nice – it’s everybody’s goal, it’s what we all try to do – some years it works, some years it doesn’t,” Dombrowski said. “I’ve been close a lot of times but it’s nice to get it done and have that feeling, sure.”

Dombrowski, who is battling laryngitis, was not complaining at all that the Red Sox championship run meant a late start to their offseason. But it has slightly delayed their routine. The organization will meet next week in Boston, rather than before these meetings.

“I don’t think it’s good to have meetings during the World Series,” Dombrowski said.

“We don’t have a lot of information from some clubs, they don’t call you as much, because they don’t want to bother you. There are guys being really aggressive. We’ll make up that ground quickly but it’s different, sure.”

The GMs meetings got underway in earnest Tuesday for two days of internal talks between team leaders on a number of issues including sign stealing, pace of play and trade deadlines. Before and after those get-togethers, teams will meet with an array of agents and free agents to begin the courting process. In addition, general managers will huddle among themselves to begin trade discussions.

Dombrowski said last week the Sox’s No. 1 need is bullpen help. At the moment, they are not expected to be one of the primary suitors for closer Craig Kimbrel, but it’s much too early to eliminate them from the discussion. Kimbrel is expected to reject the Red Sox’s qualifying offer by next week’s deadline and then sign a multiyear deal with another club.

The Red Sox could also lose free agent Joe Kelly, who upped his stock considerably with his impressive October.

Nathan Eovaldi and Steve Pearce are also on the list of free agents the club would like to resign.

“I wouldn’t tell you who we’re going to prioritize – I’ve also said that as much as we’d like everybody back, it’s probably very difficult in today’s game with rules and all that but we’ll see what happens,” Dombrowski said.

He hinted last week the Red Sox may deal from a position of strength in the catching department, and trade one of their three – Sandy Leon, Christian Vazquez or Blake Swihart.

The Red Sox also will monitor the second base department because it’s not known if Dustin Pedroia can return next season. Brock Holt and Tzu-Wei Lin are internal options, but they may want to upgrade.

The two biggest names on the free-agent market are shortstop Manny Machado and outfielder Bryce Harper, each of whom is expected to sign a contract for 10-plus years.

Other names that will draw attention include former agent and new Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen; Chaim Bloom of the Rays and Farhan Zaidi of the Dodgers who are in the running to be the new Giants GM; and Yusei Kikuchi, a left-handed Japanese starter who was just posted and can be had at a hefty price as Scott Boras will represent him.