The Boston Red Sox have a lot of work to do this offseason.
The club didn’t get much done before the lockout went into effect, and the Red Sox will have to get busy once things pick up again.
Boston’s bullpen remains an area of concern.
The team’s relief staff imploded in the 2021 playoffs, and unless the Red Sox want a similar issue to continue in 2022, they’re going to have to make some moves this winter.
The future of Adam Ottavino is one major question mark as it pertains to the team’s bullpen.
The righty served as Boston’s setup man in 2021, and he did a decent job.
Adam Ottavino, Nasty 95mph Two Seamer…and Sword. ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/m72T2FBnOn
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 29, 2021
But he’s now a free agent, and it remains to be seen if he’s going to return to the Red Sox in 2022.
Is his time with the organization over?
It Certainly Seems Like Ottavino Wants To Return
After the Red Sox were eliminated from the 2021 playoffs, Ottavino spoke with WEEI and offered some insight into his feelings on Boston.
“It was always a place I wanted to play,” he said of the Red Sox. “I really love the coaching staff and support staff. I told my wife in May, ‘I’m falling in love again. I don’t know if this is good for my heart.’ It’s been great. I’m really glad it went this way.”
Ottavino added that he would “love” to come back to the Red Sox in 2022.
“At this point in my life, I’m open to everything,” he said. “Of course, I would love to come back, but I don’t want to get emotionally caught one way or the other.”
Ottavino’s 2021 season was an interesting one.
He was pretty solid for a good chunk of the year, but some second-half struggles inflated his overall numbers.
He wound up finishing the season with a 4.21 ERA, 3.96 FIP, and 113 ERA+.
At this stage of his career, perhaps the veteran would be better suited as a mid-innings reliever as opposed to a setup man.
Time will tell if the Red Sox are interested in re-signing him and using him in either of those roles.
Red Sox Reportedly Are Considering Other Options
The Red Sox haven’t been linked to tons of relievers this offseason, but at least one name has emerged as a potential target for the club: Jeurys Familia.
“According to a major league source, one name the Sox have expressed interest in is Jeurys Familia,” wrote Rob Bradford of WEEI.
Familia would be an interesting addition for Boston.
The righty was one of the best relievers in baseball during his prime, but those years are behind him.
However, he’s still a relatively effective arm.
He posted a 3.94 ERA over 65 appearances in the 2021 season to go along with a 4.40 FIP.
Not elite, but serviceable.
Jeurys Familia, Wicked 90mph Back Foot Slider…and Sword. ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/pClpWlSLfW
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 9, 2021
Of course, it’s not unrealistic to think that the Red Sox could sign a guy like Familia and also bring back Ottavino.
Signing both of those guys to deals would provide Boston’s bullpen with some quality depth, which is always a valuable thing.