Boston Red Sox: Four areas of need heading into the 2020 season

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 17: Jackie Bradley Jr. #19 of the Boston Red Sox hits a two-run home run in the sixth inning against the Houston Astros during Game Four of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on October 17, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 17: Jackie Bradley Jr. #19 of the Boston Red Sox hits a two-run home run in the sixth inning against the Houston Astros during Game Four of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on October 17, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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CLEVELAND, OH – AUGUST 14: Brandon Workman #44 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the Cleveland Indians the ninth inning at Progressive Field on August 14, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Red Sox defeated the Indians 5-1. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images) /

Bullpen

As with the starting rotation, the bullpen as currently constituted is a mess right now. It’s been the one area of the team that the Red Sox have consistently ignored for several years and while they pitched fairly well in 2019 given the circumstances, I don’t think anyone wants to go through another whole season of “closer by committee.”

Unless the Red Sox somehow pull a shutdown closer out of their hat, Brandon Workman should be named their closer based on what he did last season.

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The rest of the bullpen is a mishmash of inconsistent arms (Matt Barnes, Heath Hembree, Ryan Brasier, Colten Brewer, Darwinzon Hernandez) and guys who probably have no business being in the major leagues.

Again, the Red Sox don’t have much help on the horizon coming from the minor leagues, so this will most likely be another area where they’ll have to find some guys in the free-agent bargain basement and hope they can eat up some effective innings.

There are actually quite a lot of names that could work, starting with Collin McHugh. Other interesting possibilities include Sam Dyson, Tony Sipp, Chad Bettis, Aaron Loup, Addison Reed (remember him?), Wily Peralta, Tommy Milone, and Pat Neshek. None of these guys are particularly good, but right now the Red Sox just need warm bodies with arms that can eat innings in relief.

Next. What you should know about Connor Wong. dark

For all of these areas of need, the Red Sox will probably need to shell out a fair amount of money for any free agents, but with all of the payroll they just freed up in the Mookie/Price trade (some $20+ million under the $208 million tax threshold), the Red Sox should be able to cobble together something before finalizing the roster for Opening Day. Let’s see what Chaim Bloom has up his sleeve over the next month.