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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Red Sox Offseason

Deservingly so, the Boston Red Sox are still celebrating from winning their fourth World Series Championship in the last 14 years. They are the winningest team in Red Sox history, and one can argue that they are coming off of the most dominant runs of all time. By no means is it time to move on and forget about all the great things that were accomplished this year, but spring training comes around quicker than you think. Although they may be the reigning champs, there are a lot of tough decisions that need to be made right around the corner.
The two most proven pitchers on the staff are clearly Chris Sale and David Price. The Red Sox picked up Sale’s team option for $13.5 million for the 2019 season, while Price has exercised his player option by opting in for the next four seasons at $32 million a year. While these are two positive things, it opens the door for a bundle of other questions. Nathan Eovaldi had a better postseason than Sale did, while Joe Kelly had the best postseason of any reliever in the entire game. Steve Pearce won World Series MVP, and contributed to the team in big ways since the day he was brought in. All three of these guys (Eovaldi, Kelly, and Pearce) are now free agents and have the ability to sign wherever they please. Who does Boston keep? Who do they let go?
A key factor in making these decisions are the guys who do not have expiring contracts yet. Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, and Jackie Bradley Jr. are all going to be free agents in the coming years. If the Red Sox were to overpay for Kelly and Eovaldi, that could prevent them from giving Betts or Bogaerts the money that they desire. Therefore, the best way for Dave Dombrowski to make these tough choices is simply by asking himself who is really essential for winning championships.
As good as Joe Kelly was, there are plenty of relievers out there who can throw hard and can get on a hot streak for a month or two. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have Kelly back on the 2019 roster, but it would not be the end of the world if he decided to go elsewhere. On the other hand, Nathan Eovaldi is a versatile guy who seems like he could be the perfect fit on the Red Sox. He has only been here for a short period of time, but it was clear that his postseason was not a fluke. He could make a start on short rest, yet also could pitch multiple innings out of the bullpen, no matter what the situation was. He was terrific against the Yankees in the regular season, and, most importantly, never showed any signs of a situation being too much for him. Even if it takes overpaying him a little bit, it should be the number one priority to re-sign Nathan Eovaldi this offseason.
Steve Pearce is a guy that will not be too expensive, even though he played great in the playoffs. He should be relatively easy to re-sign, especially since he loves Boston. Keeping Pearce would definitely be the right call for the team; however, it’s not necessarily essential to get him back. If a team wants to overpay for him, the Red Sox should, sad as it may be, let him go. His main strength is that he hits well against left-handed pitching, and that is something that is easy to find in players around the league. With all of that said, again, hopefully the two are able to come to an agreement on a deal.
Craig Kimbrel is a free agent who the Red Sox should not even hold a meeting with. During his entire stint here, he would crumble when the moment got too big for him. Unless it was a bad team or a comfortable lead, he rarely was able to cleanly save the game. Of course, he has put up good numbers and his stats show that he is one of the best closers in the MLB, but after this postseason, it should be evident as ever that the Red Sox need someone else. He will absolutely make a lot of money, but it is most likely not going to be here in Boston.