A quick look at the data for the 2022 season reveals that in the following How much work is left for the Red Sox in the coming months.
Passing last place in the AL East — that’s ugly enough. Boston has flaws at nearly every position on its roster. Its two real areas of strength — shortstop and third base — come with significant contract issues. . The Red Sox have progressed on their farm system but have regressed in major league talent and attendance at Fenway Park. Drafting, signing and developing are part of any successful baseball business, but a major market like Boston needs to be accompanied by contention and championships.
How can the Red Sox get back to a decent 2023? Salary flexibility offers them multiple paths. Boston could spend money in free agency, increase salary through trades, and expand some of its stars. They have plenty of cash to operate on every front—more than $100 million is available under the final threshold of a competitive balance tax.
More: Good talk, but the Red Sox need to act to avoid repeating another terrible season
Sign a star shortstop
This is probably the deepest position group in free agency this winter. Xander Bogaerts, Dansby Swanson, Trea Turner and Carlos Correa are all expected to enter the market — Bogaerts and Correa can opt out of their respective contracts.
The Red Sox are fourth in wins, according to Baseball Reference, an above-average position — their highest mark at any position last season. Bloom said at a news conference on Thursday that retaining Bogart is a priority. Boston has the exclusive right to talk to him until he leaves, possibly five days after the World Series.
Correa had a lonely season with Red Sox manager Alex Cora through their mutual Puerto Rican roots in the Astros in 2017. He’s a champion and playoff killer — OPS, 18 home runs and 16 doubles in 79 games. He’s made $35.1 million with the Twins this season — Bogart only has $20 million on his Boston account.
Extension Rafael Devers
Frankly, this should be done before the start of the 2022 season. It took Devers six months to push his price up, and now the Red Sox may have to pay to keep him.
There’s nothing Devers doesn’t like. Turning 26 later this month, he’s on the field with an elite bat, smashing opponent pitches in the playoffs, and exuding a certain contagion in the clubhouse. Devers has vastly improved his major weakness — his defensive ability — in 2022, suggesting he may have experience going forward at third base.
This is a cornerstone player. After trading Mookie Betts in 2020 and keeping Bogaerts on the brink of a contract throughout last season, the Red Sox simply can’t get another guy out of the way.
Committed to Triston Casas
trading Eric Hosmer at the deadline was a placeholder move. Boston stepped in after seeing the Padres in a desperate situation trying to land a huge deal for Juan Soto. San Diego pays everything but veteran Hosmer’s minimum wage through 2025.
Now the Red Sox should use Hosmer as a trade chip right now. Casas is the future of first base, impressed with his defensive prowess and plate discipline. Of course, you’d like to see him play more, but that’s thanks to his patience.
Strengthen elsewhere by moving Hosmer and some potential clients’ combinations. There could be a mid-market team looking for affordable veterans lined up with right-handed hitters. This is a great opportunity to get creative.
John Henry has known this since he was coaching European football – for Liverpool to have such a thing ‘good enough’. A player who wears a red shirt must be of a certain standard. Those who didn’t fit it were sold to different clubs instead of being bought or released in the first place.
Boston needs to be more picky. Even handing secondary roles to the likes of Francy Cordero, Austin Davis, Hansel Robles, and Kaleb Ort raises questions about overall talent assessments. Bloom couldn’t have imagined that Jeurys Familia — who averaged 6.09 before being released by the Phillies — would be worth it, right?
What’s more, there are some veterans in this market and roster, which reduces credibility. They can’t fully trust a teammate they know is unqualified. In a long season, it will be different.
is pushing Special: @BillKoch25
This article originally appeared in Providence Magazine: Red Sox Analysis: What to do this winter to prepare for 2023