The Red Sox Are Still Bad And Now All The Major Free Agents Are Gone
Saturday was quite the day for the Red Sox. First, the last top shelf free agent left on the market in Dansby Swanson signed with the Cubs and then Chaim Bloom managed to be the runner-up for what feels like the 263rd time this off-season when J.D. Martinez signed with the Dodgers.
The Red Sox are completely fucked. There is no one left that is a difference maker for a team that was already in last place last year and has lost major contributors like Xander Bogaerts and Martinez. Here are the top five free agents left according to MLB Trade Rumors:
1. Nathan Eovaldi, SP
2. Taylor Rogers, RP
3. Jurickson Profar, OF
4. Brandon Drury, INF/OF
5. Andrew Chafin, RP
Those are all nice players for a good team looking to get better. Those aren't the kind of players that make a team competitive and to make matters worse, the best player listed played on the Red Sox last year! It's shocking how bad this roster is especially considering what they paid for it. Look at this lineup as it sits at this very moment:
1. Matasaka Yoshida, LF
2. Alex Verdugo, RF
3. Rafael Devers, 3B
4. Trevor Story, SS
5. Triston Casas, 1B
6. Christian Arroyo, 2B
7. Bobby Dalbec, DH
8. Enrique Hernandez, CF
9. Reese McGuire, C
That's a bad lineup. It's even worse when you see how little depth they have. They obviously still have time to go and get someone like Drury or Jean Segura but they also have huge pitching issues as well. This was a pitching staff that was second to last in the AL in ERA last year and their three best starting pitchers (Michael Wacha, Rich Hill and Eovaldi) are all still free agents.
To be fair, they have made improvements to the bullpen signing Kenley Jensen, Chris Martin and Joely Rodriguez but with the starting rotation in such shambles, it's hard to see how a solid backend of a bullpen will make a difference if they don't have a lead to preserve.
Here are the top free agent starting pitchers left (with their stats from last year):
1. Nathan Eovaldi (6-3, 3.87, 20 Games Started)
2. Michael Wacha (11-2, 3.32, 23 GS)
3. Corey Kluber (10-10, 4.32, 31 GS)
4. Johnny Cueto (8-10, 3.35, 24 GS)
5. Zack Greinke (4-9 ,3.68, 26 GS)
No one on that list can fix this. Sign the top two guys and you still aren't any better than last year. You could sign every player on that list and you still aren't making the playoffs. Chaim Bloom managed to inherit Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez, Andrew Benintendi and Eduardo Rodriguez and all he has to show for it now is Alex Verdugo, Connor Wong and Josh Winckowski. It's almost hard to believe. A great foundation of young, great hitters is gone. The only one left is Devers and he could be out the door a year from now.
This isn't the first time a wildly talented core of homegrown Red Sox hitters was stripped down. The 1970's Red Sox had Jim Rice, Dwight Evans, Carlton Fisk, Fred Lynn and Cecil Cooper. But Fisk, Lynn and Cooper all left the team over the next few years because it was the early days of free agency and the team completely miscalculated what players would be worth. They made the World Series in 1975 and wouldn't go back for 11 seasons.
I can't predict the next 11 seasons but I do know that 2023 will be an absolutely horrible year for the Red Sox. Rico wrote this blog about Saved The Bell but the Red Sox are looking more like Saved By The Bell: The New Class. That show kept Mr. Belding and Screech around from the original show but otherwise filled the cast up with sad knock-offs of the characters we knew and loved. Here is the first team photo of the 2023 Boston Red Sox: