In the words of Aaron Rodgers, Red Sox fans need to R-E-L-A-X this offseason.
There’s so much anxiety and nervousness and just general insanity surrounding the Boston Red Sox, and we’re only in early December. It seems like just yesterday that the Houston Astros were capping a fantastic World Series run – that started by defeating our beloved Sox – but people are straight up freaking out that Boston has yet to make a splash in free agency and/or with a trade.
Now today is the one year anniversary of fireworks going off at Yawkey Way, as the Sox dealt for Chris Sale and Tyler Thornburg in two separate deals on December 6, 2016 which invigorated the already rabid fan base.
So of course Sox fans came into this offseason thinking that the team would just replicate those deals and quickly bring in reinforcements to improve a roster that, according to many fans, is in desperate need of help.
How in the world a roster that won 93 games and claimed yet another AL East crown is in desperate need of substantial help boggles my mind.
Fans are making the Sox sound like they are closer to the bottom feeders of the league than the upper echelon even though they’ve made the postseason in two consecutive years and dealt with a multitude of injuries, ineptness, and clubhouse drama that rivals any terrible reality show we may binge on (I love Vanderpump Rules personally).
They didn’t hit home runs; they didn’t have a grand slam all season long; they don’t have a hitter that puts fear into pitchers like the All Rise Sit Down guy in New York; they don’t have a solid middle of the order hitter… damn do you fans even like your own team?
Now that we apparently missed out on the trainwreck that is the Giancarlo Stanton trade (hey Sox fans, if you want to root for a terrible franchise I’m sure there’s plenty of seats available in Miami after this disaster), and Shohei Ohtani decided he doesn’t want to play on the East Coast and in a big market even though he’s okay with the Dodgers and Cubs, all hell has broke loose. Sox fans are losing their minds thinking that they may get stuck watching a subpar roster… THAT WON 93 GAMES LAST SEASON AND ISN’T LOSING ANYONE. Sorry Mitch you hit .246.
Now they want the team to throw a bunch of money at a guy that will likely miss a bunch of games, and got cut by the Astros while they were bottoming out and losing 100+ games a few years ago. Funny how everyone forgot about that.
I must be the only one that doesn’t understand why we need to make a reckless move like trying to sign an outfielder (when we already have three and a DH), who by the way wants $200 million. I mean have we not learned from Hanley and Pablo just a couple years ago? We didn’t really need either one of those guys, and had to play Hanley in the outfield and then at first base because we failed to realize we didn’t have an opening for a guy that we gave $88 million to (which is still WAY less than $200 million). And don’t get me started on the Panda.
Yes I left out someone else on the “recklessly signing” list because I still like him and still see value in him. And this squad is going to need him to pitch well to succeed next season. He’s still here so deal with it.
Other than the lack of power, which is being blown WAY out of proportion, where is the glaring weakness on this team?
The Sox were 10th in the majors in runs scored without hitting a ton of homers, and several key players suffered career-worst seasons. Do we really think that Mookie is hitting .264, Pedey is hitting seven homers, and Xander is going to regress to a 10 HR, 60 RBI hitter? Well that last one I can believe. If they add a solid option at first base – which everyone is forgetting that they need instead of an outfielder or a coward that wants to pitch and hit – then where’s the hole in the lineup? You also have two players on the left side of the field in Devers and Benny that will be growing into their bodies and getting stronger, which will undoubtedly boost their already impressive offensive numbers. Just because this team didn’t hit many homers last season doesn’t mean they’re not built to hit them next season and beyond. Removing one Large Father from the lineup didn’t make this team an inept offensive squad. That’s a fact.
They were missing a former Cy Young pitcher for most of the season, another Cy Young winner had a rough season, and they were missing another starter for the entire season. They were also missing two key members of a revamped bullpen for almost the entire season, and still had one of the lowest ERA’s in the majors. If you get healthy and get some quality starts from your rotation (which I think needs another starter), then this pitching staff could carry the Sox through any rough offensive stretches.
And the Sox already made their biggest and best move by removing John Farrell from the team at the start of their offseason. Whether you think he was a good manager or not (I’m definitely in the latter), you can’t deny that he let his clubhouse get out of control last season, and his on-the-field decisions were suspect and puzzling throughout his tenure in Boston. Alex Cora should be immediately respected, and his experiences both playing and on the bench in Houston should bring a level of professionalism back to the Sox.
Also, I have no issue with his little spat with a reporter last season in Houston. I like passionate coaches. Hell, the only time Farrell got excited around the clubhouse was when Jess Moran was still covering the Red Sox.
So everyone just needs to take a deep breath and enjoy the MLB offseason. The Sox will make a couple moves, maybe a major one, and they’ll put a title contending team on the field when the 2018 season kicks off. They are a lot closer to the Astros than the Giants right now, and an offseason without fireworks isn’t going to change that.