Boston Red Sox: Five potential closer candidates next season
By Matt Clark
Five potential closer candidates for the Boston Red Sox going into next season, following a disappointing showing last year.
The Boston Red Sox struggled with closing out baseball games last season, with their relievers blowing a whopping 31 saves on the year. After failing to name a closer last season, the Red Sox struggled through the regular season with securing victories at the end of games.
As a result of their issues closing out victories, Boston found themselves out of playoff contention, only one year after a record-setting season, in which they tallied 108 victories and a World Series championship.
The Red Sox began the season using Matt Barnes and Ryan Brasier in a closer-by-committee situation. The duo struggled badly and as a result, both would be removed from the role, with Brasier ultimately being demoted to the minors. They would continue to shift different pitchers into the closer role before ultimately settling on Brandon Workman at the end of the season. While he found success, he still had his share of blown saves.
Learning from last year’s debacle, the Red Sox will look to right the ship and name a definitive closer heading into the 2020 season. They will likely look both inside the organization, as well as outside the team via free agency and trade in an effort to find their closer for the upcoming season.
While a number of key closer options have been signed off of the free-agent market, options still exist for the Red Sox to explore. Obviously, the more proven arms will result in them impacting the salary constraints of the team, which is something the team is trying to be very cognizant of.
The Red Sox will likely be limited in who they can trade for this offseason, as their minor league system has been greatly diminished from what it was a few years ago. As a result, they lack the quantity or quality prospects that would likely be required to acquire big-name closers.
With those items in mind, here are five options that they could consider for the closer role in 2020: