New Year, New Season For The Red Sox.
2023 is here and most of us are excited for what the new year has in store for our favorite teams. For some teams, this offseason has already been bountiful and they already have their eyes set on opening day. But for some other teams, like the Red Sox, there is still plenty of work to do before Opening Day rolls around on March 30. This winter has already been stressful for Red Sox Nation, but there is still somewhat of a reason to be optimistic, as the offseason is far from over. So let’s go over some New Year’s Resolutions for the 2023 Boston Red Sox.
1. Extend Rafael Devers
This is the elephant in the room. Rafael Devers is now the cornerstone of this lineup and it’s not looking well for retaining him. The loss of Xander Bogaerts was a gut punch for the Red Sox, and the writing is on the wall now for Devers. According to a report from ESPN’s Joon Lee, the Red Sox and Devers are ‘galaxies apart’ in negotiation talks right now. The numbers aren’t clear on where the two parties stand, but things aren’t looking well.
Devers is reportedly the Red Sox’s top priority right now, but this was also said about Bogaerts earlier in the offseason. If this is truly the case and the front office doesn’t see him returning next season in free agency, then they should trade him. Get something in return. It’s unfortunate that this is even a discussion, but you can’t let another core player walk without getting something in return. If the Red Sox were smart, they would pony up and pay him. If the number is high, so be it. The team already lost a franchise player in Xander Bogaerts, they can’t afford to lose another one.
2. Bolster The Rotation
This Red Sox rotation looks interesting already for 2023. There have been some losses from the rotation of last year, along with an addition. Nathan Eovaldi and Rich Hill were solid pieces in this rotation in 2022. However, they have signed with other teams this offseason. The Red Sox managed to sign Corey Kluber to a 1-Year, $10M deal for this year, which is a nice pickup, but doesn’t solidify this rotation enough. Chris Sale is due to make a return and be ready for Opening Day, but as we have seen in the past, nothing is guaranteed with him.
Bryan Bello looked promising in his several starts this past year, so it will be nice to see him continue to dominate this year. However, one more key piece would be ideal to solidify this rotation. There are very few pitchers left in the free agent market, so it would most likely have to be acquired through a trade. Which would look interesting given the Red Sox’s trade pieces. But nonetheless, adding one more solid arm in this rotation should be a resolution for the 2023 Red Sox.
3. Figure Out Shortstop.
There is now a glaring hole at the shortstop due to the absence of Xander Bogaerts. This leaves a question mark on who the Red Sox’s shortstop will be on Opening Day. Most arrows are pointing towards Trevor Story, which is okay for the most part. The front office tried to make it clear that Trevor Story was not going to be a replacement for Bogaerts if he were to leave in free agency. But, here we are. If Trevor Story was the plan all along, that’s fine. But if the Red Sox weren’t expecting Xander to leave, they need to figure something out sooner than later. Story’s arm is not what it used to be, hence why he made the move to second base. There are a couple other options, whether that be signing Jose Iglesias or making a trade for a player like Ha-Seong Kim. Whatever the Red Sox end up doing, it would be nice to see a solid plan before the season comes up on us.
4. Stay Afloat in The AL East.
This is a tough one. The Red Sox are in a very confusing point in their timeline where the AL East seems stronger than ever. The Red Sox finished last in their division in 2022, so the bar is set pretty low going into 2023. However, this team still isn’t necessarily bad on paper. Sure, the production of last year wasn’t great and this lineup looks rather uncertain going into this season. But due to the new schedule, the Red Sox will be playing teams in the AL East less than ever in MLB history. The ability to contend is there. While it will be very tough, there is a chance that we see this Red Sox team put together a good season given the pieces they have.
5. Sell The Team?
This is a rather polarizing topic, but this offseason has been nothing short of confusing from the outside looking in. John Henry has made it clear that he isn’t interested in spending money like he used to. At least not spending on the Red Sox. It has been four years since Henry has made a public appearance. But within those four years, he has bolstered his portfolio by buying the Pittsburgh Penguins and selling Liverpool FC. There is also word that he is looking to buy an NBA team along with an NFL team. Which is fine, he is running a business after all. But if it’s true that he has no intent of investing in the Red Sox anymore, then he should just sell the team. It’s a cliche thing to say when your favorite sports team isn’t doing well, but John Henry’s priorities just aren’t with the Red Sox anymore.
Let’s hope that 2023 brings more joy than sorrow for the Boston Red Sox, and hope that they can live up to some of these New Year’s Resolutions.
Follow @Matt__Irish on Twitter for more Baseball News.
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