The Boston Red Sox exceeded expectations in 2021 by nabbing a playoff bid and making a run to the ALCS.
Although the team’s quest for a title fell short, it was still a productive season.
The Red Sox are now looking to take another step forward.
Boston would love to challenge for a World Series title in 2022, and according to a recent report by The Athletic, it sounds like the organization has some goals in place for the upcoming offseason.
From The Athletic;
– The Red Sox will try to re-sign Eduardo Rodríguez and Kyle Schwarber
– Bullpen is a main focus
– They will be involved in the SS market, either that player moves to 2B or Bogaerts does.
— Boston Strong (@BostonStrong_34) November 4, 2021
Here are some takeaways from the report.
What Should We Make Of The Team’s Desire To Re-Sign Eduardo Rodriguez And Kyle Schwarber?
Let’s start with Eduardo Rodriguez.
The Red Sox will reportedly try to retain the southpaw.
“The Red Sox will try to re-sign left-handed starter Eduardo Rodriguez and left-handed hitter Kyle Schwarber,” wrote Jim Bowden of The Athletic. “If they can’t, look for Boston to replace them with similar players.”
Rodriguez had a frustrating 2021 season.
He finished the year with an ugly ERA of 4.74, but some of his predictive stats imply that his ERA isn’t a good indication of how effective he actually was.
For example, he posted a 3.32 FIP, and that’s actually the lowest mark of his career so far.
The lefty has had an up-and-down MLB career, but it certainly seems like the Red Sox like what they have in him.
As for Schwarber, he, too, is clearly a guy that Boston wants to keep around.
Schwarber wound up being a fantastic addition for the Red Sox after he was traded to Boston at the deadline.
He slashed .291/.435/.522 over 41 regular-season games with the Red Sox, and he also made a big impact in the playoffs.
Schwarber is an elite power hitter, and there will likely be a competitive market for him this offseason.
Assuming he declines his side of the mutual option included in his contract for 2022, he’ll soon become a free agent, and Boston will have to compete with other teams for his services.
It Sounds Like The Team Is Well Aware Of Its Bullpen Woes
The Red Sox desperately need to address their relief situation, and it sounds like that’s going to be in the cards this winter.
“The Red Sox will focus on improving their bullpen,” Bowden wrote.
Boston’s bullpen took a huge hit when Matt Barnes turned into an unserviceable arm in the latter stages of the 2021 season.
After Barnes’ season took a turn for the worst, the team simply didn’t have enough reliable options to work with in the late innings of games.
The righty didn’t even make the ALCS roster due to his struggles.
Matt Barnes is left off the LCS roster.
— Red Sox Fan (@RedSoxFan991) October 15, 2021
With Boston possibly losing some key bullpen arms to free agency this offseason, adding some relievers needs to be a priority for the team.
The Sox might not contend in 2022 if they don’t address this issue.
The Red Sox Need To Be Careful With Their Involvement In The Shortstop Market
The upcoming free-agent class is loaded with superstar shortstops.
With Xander Bogaerts manning the position for Boston, one would assume that the team is all set in that department.
But surprisingly, the team could reportedly get involved in the shortstop market this winter.
“They also could be a sleeper in the shortstop market, according to my sources,” Bowden wrote. “Don’t get me wrong, they love Xander Bogaerts. The thinking is they could sign a shortstop and move him to second base, or perhaps even consider moving Bogaerts there.”
This is a very interesting development.
If the Red Sox do add a shortstop, it’ll be fascinating to see whether the newcomer or Bogaerts ends up switching positions.
Boston needs to be cautious here, as it needs to be sure not to make its young superstar (Bogaerts) unhappy.
This will be worth monitoring.