Most positions on the 2017 Boston Red Sox roster are set, but that doesn’t mean that some players don’t have anything to play for.
With the full squad in Fort Myers to participate in Spring Training, there isn’t much left to be decided on the Red Sox major league roster. Led by the best trio of starting pitchers in baseball (Porcello, Price, Sale) and a lineup that scored 33 more runs than any other MLB team, the Sox are early favorites to hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy come October.
None of that means that every position is set in stone, or that the roster we see when the Red Sox host the Pirates at Fenway on April 3rd will be the same one that takes the field if the team makes it to October. No, there are still players that are susceptible to movement and roster spots that will be decided during Spring Training.
Third base could turn into a black hole for the Sox in 2016. Pablo Sandoval is penciled in as the starter, but he remains surrounded by uncertainty. Following Porcello, Price, and Sale, there are two rotation spots left for three competent starters, who’s the odd one out? Then there’s the potential that Sandy Leon’s 2016 was a fluke and we’re left to wonder whether Christian Vazquez or Blake Swihart can finally make the jump and solidify himself as a major league catcher.
For some of these questions, answers won’t come until midway through the season. Other’s will likely have a solution by mid-March. Nevertheless, these are the players that stand to win or lose the most in 2017.