It’s been a quiet offseason for the Red Sox and it’s far from over. Not only do they need to fill existing roster gaps but they must also look to the future.
Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox have made some moves this offseason but not as many as fans would like. With glaring holes in the bullpen and no closer, there’s still a lot of work to do. Not only does the front office need to work on the deficiencies going into 2019 but they need to start planning for the future.
After this upcoming season, two big pieces of the Red Sox World Champion squad will be free agents, Chris Sale, and Xander Bogaerts. Both will be eligible for free agency come 2020, and that’s gonna be here faster than it seems. Sale has been the primary force of our starting rotation since his arrival in 2017. His crowning achievement in Boston being his hitman like performance in Game 5 of the World Series.
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Sale will be turning 30 at the beginning of the upcoming season so he is still in the prime of his career. With some injury woes hopefully behind him, he’ll be looking to make a statement as the Red Sox go to defend their crown. The Condor has amassed a 29-12 record during his time in Boston and has a 545-77 strikeout to walk ratio.
Personally, I would like for the Red Sox to make Sale a deal long before the 2019 season gets underway. Yes, we have more glaring issues in front of us but they’re only going to get worse if we can’t lock down the ace of our starting rotation. He’s also become a locker room leader and his outburst during game 4 of the World Series was said to be key in Boston’s comeback over the Dodgers.
The other member of the upcoming free agency dynamic duo is star shortstop Xander Bogaerts. Bogie has really come into his own over the last few seasons and has become a key part of the success of the club. Making his debut with the 2013 World Series winning team, he’s been a mainstay ever since.
X-Man just turned 26 and has a lot of his career still in front of him. Keeping him happy and in Boston will be a huge component to the Red Sox being successful for years to come. He’s part of that young core that led the team to win this past season. He’s also a constant in the Red Sox infield that may be going through some drastic changes soon.
If Dombrowski can get Xander signed and secured with the club for another handful of years, that’d be a sigh of relief for Red Sox Nation. 2018 saw Bogaerts see career highs in home runs and RBI while also seeing his strikeout tally go down. With his strengths on defense and seemingly finding his mojo at the plate, he’s an asset the Sox need to keep.
The Red Sox have gotten lucky in the fact that Xander is still working off a favorable deal to the club. With everything he’s done for the team and how he’s evolved over the years, he’ll be looking to cash in. Especially if nothing happens in the offseason and he crushes 2019.
If the Red Sox front office can build a strong enough package they may be able to get some home cooking done up and appeal to Xander’s love for the team and city. If they don’t get him the right deal, somebody else surely will.
With so much still needing to be done this offseason and what feels like no time to accomplish it, the Red Sox need to show some urgency. Not only are there concerns for 2019 but the free agency market for 2020 is right around the corner. If they want to keep bringing trophies to Fenway Park, they’ll need to open the checkbook and soon.