When the MLB lockout concludes, the Boston Red Sox are going to have some work to do.
It has been an interesting offseason for the organization.
The Red Sox have lost Eduardo Rodriguez, added a few back-of-the-rotation arms, and re-acquired Jackie Bradley Jr. in a stunning trade on Wednesday night, losing star outfielder Hunter Renfroe in the process.
Brewers acquire Hunter Renfroe for Jackie Bradley Jr. and 2 prospects, teams announce. So JBJ back in Boston!
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 2, 2021
All things considered, it’s tough to say if the team has improved.
But once the lockdown ends, Boston will have a chance to make some key deals.
Here are some guys that the club should consider targeting.
3. Ryan Tepera
The Red Sox still need relief help.
They have done very little — if anything — to address their bullpen situation this offseason.
Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom is aware of the fact that the team needs to get better in that department.
He recently spoke about it.
“We still would like to add more pitching,” Bloom said Wednesday. “We’ve got some guys who can fill multiple roles. But as far as short relievers, that is something we have yet to address in meaningful fashion. And we’re going to continue to look at doing that.”
Ryan Tepera is a quality relief option who’s still a free agent.
He’s 34, but he seems to have plenty of gas left in the tank.
In the 2021 season, he posted a 2.79 ERA, 155 ERA+, 2.73 FIP, and 0.88 WHIP.
It wasn’t a small sample size, either — he did all of that across 65 appearances.
Last year, Ryan Tepera got an accidental MVP vote
This year, he was the MVR – "Most Valuable Reliever" for May (MLB's Reliever of the Month)
Opponents went …
2-for-23 against his cutter
1-for-17 against his fastball
0-for-10 against his splitter pic.twitter.com/NehQXo4m8w
— SIS_Baseball (@sis_baseball) June 2, 2021
Tepera has a very strong track record, including a career 3.48 ERA and 3.99 FIP.
He’d be a nice addition for Boston.
2. Joe Kelly
The Red Sox made it clear in the Renfroe/Bradley trade that they’re not opposed to reuniting with former members of the team.
So how about a Joe Kelly reunion with Boston?
The righty has spent the last three seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and he has proven that he’s still an effective reliever.
He could provide a fantastic jolt for this Red Sox bullpen.
Over 48 outings in 2021, he maintained a 2.86 ERA.
He complemented that mark with a 144 ERA+, 3.08 FIP, and 0.98 WHIP.
The 33-year-old has a 2.67 ERA since the start of the 2020 season.
He has already won one World Series title with Boston.
Perhaps he would be open to the idea of getting another with the club.
1. Kyle Schwarber (Re-Sign)
There has been a lot of buzz about the Red Sox potentially re-signing Kyle Schwarber.
Marlins are also in on Kyle Schwarber. But he has huge market. Red Sox, Phillies, Rockies, more. Had 145 wRC+ last year in DC and Boston.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 29, 2021
It seems like Bloom and the entire Red Sox organization would love to have Schwarber back.
That makes sense, as it became perfectly clear in 2021 that the 28-year-old is a great fit with the club.
He quickly became a fan favorite after coming over to Boston around the deadline, and the results he produced were phenomenal.
He batted .291 with a .957 OPS and 154 OPS+ over 41 games in the regular season, and he made a huge impact in the playoffs.
Time will tell if he finds himself wearing a Red Sox uniform when the 2022 season comes around.
Tons of fans are certainly hoping so.