The MLB regular season is drawing to a close, and the Boston Red Sox will not be playing deep into October. It has been a year to forget for fans, as the nine-time world champions will finish last in the American League East for the first time since the abbreviated 2020 season and before that, 2015. On top of that, Boston’s faithful have been forced to watch their team sputter in the second half of the season while their archrival the New York Yankees have soared to the second seed in the AL.
A season riddled with injuries and contract drama has left Red Sox fans confused and disappointed. Big offseason acquisition Trevor Story has been a letdown, hitting 19 home runs with an OPS of just .737 over 94 games. Injuries to Nathan Eovaldi and Chris Sale have crippled the pitching staff, resulting in a lowly 4.54 team ERA good for third worst in the AL. The brightest spots on the team are of course franchise staples Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts, who are the only qualified players with an OPS over .800 on the Red Sox roster. However, both of these fan favorites are poised to be free agents in 2023 with Bogaerts planning to opt out of the player option on his contract. Most fans are hoping that controversial Red Sox president Chaim Bloom will be willing to fork over the cash to keep the lifeblood of this roster alive lest the Red Sox enter a rebuild and wait for new talent to appear period.
Speaking of Bloom many in the baseball world were perplexed by his approach to this year’s trade deadline. Going into the deadline the Red Sox sat in last place in the AL East with plenty of high-value veterans to sell. However, they were also only three games out of a wild-card spot if Bloom wanted to add to the roster in hopes of making a playoff push. Bloom, interestingly, decided to walk the line. Longtime Red Sox catcher Christian Vasquez was dealt to the Astros for prospects, indicating that Bloom was looking to sell now and gear up for a more competitive season in 2023. However, rather than selling other veterans like JD Martinez or Nathan Eovaldi, Bloom chose to acquire some more experienced bats in Tommy Pham and Eric Hosmer to bolster an underperforming offense.
Obviously these trades did not work out. The Red Sox have since been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention and currently sit 10.5 games out of a wild card spot.
Fans are waiting with bated breath to see what will come of this offseason. The principal concern is whether or not Bogaerts and Devers will get the expensive contract extensions they’ll need to stay in Boston. Red Sox fans are not eager to watch another generational talent like Mookie Betts get swept away by a bigger buyer. If the Red Sox decide to let one or both of these players go the clear next step would be to sell off the rest of the veteran core. Martinez and Eovaldi likely have diminished in value since the trade deadline but the Red Sox could certainly score some serviceable prospects in return for them.
It’s a turbulent time for Boston’s loyal supporters but with plenty of money to spend and some brilliant young talent on the horizon in the form of Triston Casas and Cedanne Rafaela it looks like better days could be coming sooner rather than later for the Red Sox.