With the recent trade of Mookie Betts and David Price, a lot of people are doubting the Red Sox and see no chance of them making a World Series run this year. Do I blame them? No. As a Red Sox fan, I understand where they are coming from. They gave up arguably the best player in baseball for prospects that we will not know about for a couple of years. I don’t think the prospects we got are what we need.
Looking at our lineup, I do not think we have much to worry about. Vazquez has been improving every season and I have always liked him. We have arguably the best shortstop in the league, Bogearts, who is also a huge weapon at the plate. Additionally, Chavis has been learning second to fill that hole for the time being. Moreland might go back to playing first a lot more until we know if Jeter Downs can actually play 2nd. As long as Devers has the same numbers as last year at the plate and works on his fielding, this infield has no worries offensively or defensively.
The outfield is a little more worrisome. We have Benny who is my favorite player, but I’m not worried about him. He is a stud at the plate and in the field. However, I have been saying we need to trade JBJ for a while. Yes, arguably the best defensive player in the league, but he cannot hit. We have seen moments of him being clutch at the plate, but more often than not, we have seen him do nothing. Recently-signed Kevin Pillar is no Mookie Betts, but he is a decent replacement for the time being. He hit fairly well last year in San Fran and showed he is still a great defensive player. He is a great piece defensively for the Sox and can fill the Mookie hole until we see if Verdugo is healthy and everything he is made out to be.
Now to the part of the roster that has always needed more work than the rest, which I have been saying for years now. The Sox needed to get pitching prospects. I get why they had concerns about Graterol Brusdar. They wanted a starter, and he was more of a reliever, but they need anything they can get at this point. Sale has not been as consistent since his injury. E-Rod, when healthy, is a good 3-4 guy in your rotation. Nasty Nate… yeah… he was not worth the money. Again, like E-Rod, he’s a 3-4 guy. Hector Velazquez is not a solid starter. As of now, they only have 4 starters in their rotation. I’m not saying Price was the guy, but he was someone who could get the job done. However, he was also someone who you never wanted to take the mound.
Do not even get me started on their bullpen. It is barely mediocre at best. Looking at what we have — Workman, Walden, Hembree, Brasier, and Barnes — are okay for the time being, but we have had this bullpen for sometime now. We do not have a trusted closer, someone who we can send out in the 9th and say, “okay, this game is over.” We have Barnes and Brasier as set-up, but again, no one we can count on to not give up 1-2 runs. This bullpen has never been the answer. As a Sox fan, I always stress when one of them enters the game.
Since Henry released his statement about the Mookie trade, I have a better understanding of why they did it. Yes, I am upset, but I will get over it. However, the prospects we got are not what we needed! We needed pitching prospects, not another outfielder, a middle infielder, and a catcher. I think the Sox go 80-82 this season and batting will not be their problem. They lose 82 games because of their pitching and lack of late inning relievers. I hope I am wrong BOTA, but I think this is not the year to expect a Sox championship.