Red Sox cannot afford to wait until 2018 offseason

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 24: Xander Bogaerts
CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 24: Xander Bogaerts /

With the championship window closing quickly on this Boston Red Sox team, management has no time to waste this year.

When the Houston Astros recorded the last out in Game 4 against the Boston Red Sox, a feeling came over most fans. Disappointment, relief, and fury were just a few of them, but none of those were the most important.

The most important feeling was a sense of urgency that should drive the Red Sox to be better.

Two years ago, when the Red Sox acquired Craig Kimbrel and David Price, among others, it opened up a championship window. It appeared to be a four-year window at first, one that included David Ortiz. That window quickly shut after a first round sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Indians.

One offseason later, the Red Sox acquired Chris Sale in a massive deal, and it officially gave Boston a three-year window to win a title. But once again, another year was wasted, giving the Red Sox two years to win a championship.

That brings us to today.

Of course, the Red Sox have missed on a couple of impact bats, which leaves them behind in what seems to be the beginning of an arms race in major league baseball.

Forget that the Red Sox finished last in the AL last season in home runs. Their arch rival, who had the most in the AL, added the player who hit the most in the majors!

With Boston’s window already down to two years, there is no time to waste. This roster is built to win now, and not any time after that. The farm system is barren, none of the young players have been signed to extensions, and the Red Sox have some albatrosses on their payroll.

There seems to be no plan in place to win in the future.

Are the pieces to win in the future there? Absolutely. Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, Rafael Devers, and Xander Bogaerts are all 25 or under. That is the core for the future, but nobody has been locked up for the long-term.

Kimbrel, Joe Kelly, Drew Pomeranz, Hanley Ramirez, and Price could all be free agents after next year. A year after that, Sale, Rick Porcello, and Bogaerts are free agents.

If the Red Sox have any plan to win, it has to be done now.

The Red Sox cannot afford to wait until next offseason to make a splash.

The free agent class of 2019 is impressive. Just a few of the names are Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Andrew McCutchen, and Dallas Keuchel.

But this offseason is crucial for the Red Sox. They have to get JD Martinez. The Red Sox need to be competing for a World Series title this year, because that is what they are built to do. Anything short of competing for a championship is a failure by management.

Dave Dombrowski has been great every step of the way for Boston. But now, it is time for him to pull of another Houdini act, and give a long-term plan.

When the Dombrowski era is over in Boston, people will look back on this off-season as the barometer. This is not about answering the Yankees trade for Giancarlo Stanton, this is about fulfilling a promise that was made to fans two years ago when they decided to go all in for a title.

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The window is quickly closing, and there is not enough time to wait till next year. It’s time for the Red Sox to join the arms race.