AL East Offseason in Review: Boston Red Sox
With news a little slow on the Baltimore Orioles front, I decided to take a look at the other teams in the AL East and how their offseasons have gone so far. After previously doing the other three teams in the division, it's time to wrap this up with the Boston Red Sox.
After a surprising 2021 that saw them go all the way to game six of the ALCS, the bottom fell out for the Red Sox in 2022. Everything that could go wrong went wrong, with the Red Sox finishing in dead last in the AL East, ending the season 78-84 and far out of the playoff race.
AL East Offseason In Review: Boston Red Sox
Entering the offseason, the Red Sox had a lot of things on their to do list. They had to re-sign Xander Bogaerts, extend Rafael Devers, add some depth in their outfield, add multiple starting pitchers, and retool their bullpen. Let's take a look at what they've done
- Xander Bogaerts-signed with San Diego Padres (6.1 fWAR in 2022)
- JD Martinez-signed with Los Angeles Dodgers (1.0 fWAR)
- Nathan Eovaldi-signed with Texas Rangers (1.0 fWAR)
- Matt Strahm-signed with Philadelphia Phillies (0.3 fWAR)
- Rich Hill-signed with Pittsburgh Pirates (1.8 fWAR)
- Eric Hosmer-DFA'd, signed with Chicago Cubs (0.3 fWAR)
- Abraham Almonte-DFA'd, signed MiLB deal with New York Mets (-0.1 fWAR)
- Franchy Cordero-signed MiLB deal with Baltimore Orioles (-0.2 fWAR)
- Darwinzon Hernandez-traded to Baltimore Orioles (-0.5 fWAR)
- Michael Wacha-free agent (1.5 fWAR)
- Tommy Pham-free agent (0.6 fWAR)
So, yeah, that's quite a lot of good talent gone this offseason, including Bogaerts, who was the franchise cornerstone of the Red Sox. But what can't be ignored is the additions they did make, so let's check those out.
After a mostly quiet November, the Red Sox signed lefty reliever Joely Rodriguez the day before Thanksgiving, signing a one year deal for just $2 million. They continued to add to the bullpen with a two year deal for Chris Martin as well as closer Kenley Jansen, finally stabilizing the closer role after a revolving door of pitchers since Craig Kimbrel departed.
On the same day he was posted from Japan, the Red Sox scooped up outfielder Masataka Yoshida, agreeing to a five year deal. Third baseman Justin Turner came over from the Los Angeles Dodgers to provide insurance on the infield corners and serve in the DH spot. They also added a piece to their starting rotation in Corey Kluber on a one year deal.
So, let's recap it real quick. To replace Eovaldi, Wacha, and Hill in the rotation, Kluber is coming in, reliever Garrett Whitlock is being worked out as a starter, plus they have top prospect Brayan Bello seemingly ready to make the jump to the majors full time.
So far, they haven't signed a shortstop to replace Bogaerts, and Trevor Story just had surgery, so the middle infield is currently a huge question mark. They did extend Devers to a 11 year deal and Triston Casas looks like the everyday guy at first base, so the corners are fine, with a need still existing for a backup first baseman (sound familiar?).
The biggest improvement the Red Sox have made this offseason is in the bullpen. To join Matt Barnes and John Schreiber in the high leverage innings, Martin and Jansen are good additions, with Rodriguez also having experience in the high leverage department.
This offseason, it looks like the Red Sox took a small step backwards from 2022, not a good sign for a team in a gauntlet known as the AL East. They did make their bullpen much better and got rid of some 40 man roster deadweight, but the lineup depth has suffered with the losses of Bogaerts, Martinez, and Pham. The rotation also doesn't look any better, despite some upside in Whitlock and Bello to go with a hopefully healthy for opening day Chris Sale. Everything could boom for the 2023 Red Sox, but everything could bust, to