Courtesy of Tom Werner/ Photo Credit: MassLive
During new Chief Baseball Officer Craig Breslow’s introductory press conference back in November, Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner said that the team would be without financial limitations and would go ‘full throttle’ this offseason. Coming off last place finishes in three of the last four years, Red Sox nation was eager for an off season where they could land the front of the rotation pitchers that they needed without giving up any key organizational assets. It was go-time.
The organization entered the offseason with three main objectives: obtain two top of the rotation starting pitchers to lead the charge and mentor their young and exciting pitchers, acquire a second baseman to anchor up the middle along with all star shortstop Trevor Story, and lastly, find a right handed power bat to serve as the primary designated hitter.
However, as we turn the calendar to the new year, Red Sox Nation hasn’t seen too much throttling with only four big moves being made, primarily done through trade, since the offseason began in November. The team began the offseason by trading outfielder Alex Verdugo to the rival New York Yankees for three minor league pitchers. This helped to alleviate some of the log jam that was building up in the outfield with a surplus of left handed hitting outfielders. The trade was followed up with yet another trade, this time with the St. Louis Cardinals, for right handed outfielder Tyler O’Neil and sent two pitching prospects back to the Cardinals. While the trade did essentially replace an outfielder with another outfielder, it helped to balance out the potential lineup that will take the field on a regular basis come opening day. The Red Sox also signed pitcher Lucas Giolito to a one year contract that contains a player option for 2025. Less than 24 hours later, they traded 2018 World Series Champion Chris Sale to the Atlanta Braves in return for Vaughn Grissom, who will serve as the everyday second baseman.
Courtesy of Vaughn Grissom/ Photo Credit: MLB
So as the new year begins and the clock ticks down to spring training, let's look back at the objectives that they had going into the offseason and compare it to what they have accomplished.
Starting with the top priority of acquiring starting pitching. Things started to look like they were headed in the right direction with the acquisition of Giolito, but then they traded Sale, and are now back at square one in the sense that they still need ideally two starters in order to really improve their rotation and give them the foundation that they need to try and be a successful and competitive team. Mission not accomplished (yet).
Secondly, they acquired Vaughn Grissom to be their everyday second baseman and he seems to be a player that can anchor up the middle with Story while also providing a little bit of a spark in the lineup. Mission accomplished.
Lastly, the team needed a right handed power hitter to serve as their primary DH. While O’Neil might be that guy, his role is currently undefined, and it seems as though Breslow and his front office team are still on the hunt for another power bat. Mission (maybe) accomplished.
While it seems that very little has been checked off of the offseason to-do list, there is still plenty of offseason left with lots of free agents still on the market, as well as the ever present option of trade. Regardless of the routes that the Red Sox take, it will certainly be interesting to see how they create the opening day roster.
Edited by Giana Robertaccio
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