Red Sox 2020 season was something to be thankful for

FT. MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 15: Alex Verdugo #99 of the Boston Red Sox speaks to the media during a press conference during a team workout on February 15, 2020 at jetBlue Park at Fenway South in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
FT. MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 15: Alex Verdugo #99 of the Boston Red Sox speaks to the media during a press conference during a team workout on February 15, 2020 at jetBlue Park at Fenway South in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

Why fans should be thankful for the 2020 Boston Red Sox

Red Sox Nation did not really have much to be thankful for when it came to the 2020 season. We lost our manager Alex Cora, traded Mookie Betts to the Dodgers, lost Chris Sale to Tommy John surgery and Eduardo Rodriguez sat out for the season due to myocarditis. I would like to talk about the things that we should be thankful for in the 2020 season. You will see a trend after the first reason why I was thankful for this season.

Xander Bogaerts has been the unassigned captain of this team in recent years. He’s taken that role very seriously. After signing the team-friendly extension before the 2019 season, he has emerged as a key player for the Red Sox. That says a lot about a player who fans had doubts about when he made his debut in 2013.

In the 2020 season, Bogaerts hit  .300 with 61 hits,11 home runs  and 28 RBI in 203 at-bats. His .974 fielding percentage was right around where it was in previous years. I am thankful for the fact that Boston is trying to build around him still.

Even though he was traded by the deadline, I am thankful for Mitch Moreland. Why would I put Moreland in this list of things I am thankful for in the 2020 season? The answer to that is simple. The return we got for a two-month rental.

Moreland had been one of the biggest contributors in the Red Sox lineup, often leading to a double or a home run. He even begun being known as Mitchy Two Bags for his doubles and Mitchy Four bags for his home runs. I loved what he had done for the team, especially in the 2018 season and in the World Series.

Bloom brought Moreland back for the 2020 season to man first base. When the trade deadline came up and the Padres were interested in taking Moreland’s bat for a trade of prospects, Bloom jumped on it. The Sox were out of contention and the focus needed to be on trading chips to build the farm. Moreland ended up getting the Sox outfield prospect Jeisson Rosario and infield prospect Hudson Potts. This isn’t the only trade that could end up bringing a player back to Boston. Moreland had a team option that went along with him to San Diego and they declined it. Thus putting him on the market as a free agent. Should Bloom want to pursue the reunion, he could end up bringing Moreland back.

Kevin Pillar, at least in my eyes, has always been one of those players that I wanted on the Sox. When he played in Toronto, I remember him taking leaps similar to Jackie Bradley Jr. In fact, he was very similar to JBJ in the outfield. He had those good jumps on the ball and was good defensively. Now, he didn’t have the cannon that Bradley had, but he still had leaps and bounds.

I am thankful for Pillar’s contribution to the 2020 Red Sox though. He came in and was taking on the role as a leader to some of the younger guys. Pillar ended up signing a contract with the Sox for 1 year and $4.25 million.

In 30 games with the Red Sox, Pillar hit .274 with 4 HR, 13 RBI and a .795 OPS. It would be revealed about 20 days later that the Rockies sent 22-year-old right-handed relief pitcher Jacob Wallace to the Sox to finish the trade. On top of all of that, guess who’s a free agent and the Sox could actually go after this offseason? That’s right, Kevin Pillar. I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but if Jackie Bradley does not end up returning, he could end up being back in Boston.

I know the above tweet mentions both pieces that ended up being traded to the Phillies, but let’s be real, the trade was basically to get Workman. With that said, I am thankful for what Brandon Workman was able to contribute to the Red Sox organization.

In 2020, Workman was the only Red Sox pitcher to actually appear in the 2013 World Series. It’s hard to believe that he had been on this team for the past 7 years.

In 2019, when the Red Sox were looking to establish a closer, they decided to give Workman most of the chances. He ended up with 16 saves in 37 opportunities with a 1.88 ERA. Workman ended up being traded to the Phillies on August 22nd with Heath Hembree. The Red Sox got Nick Pivetta and Connor Seabold in return.

Workman did not work out for the Phillies as they had hoped and is now a free agent. Nick Pivetta made two starts for the Red Sox in 2020, going a total of 10 innings and giving up 2 runs. Pivetta is under team control for four years starting in 2021. Seabold has yet to make his Major League debut, so he is under control for six years. Thanks Workman and Hembree for getting the Red Sox two pitchers who will hopefully make an impact in the future.

I could go on with pretty much everybody that played on the 2020 team, but I have saved the best for last. I am thankful for Alex Verdugo. I have made it no secret that I was extremely happy that the Red Sox got Verdugo in the Mookie/Price trade. Jeter Downs and Connor Wong are also good pieces for our future.

Verdugo excited me as soon as he showed up to Jet Blue Park and had his introduction with the media. He put it down that he isn’t in Boston to replace Mookie Betts in right field and that he is going to play the game the way he plays.

He mentioned that he grew up a Red Sox fan and his favorite players were Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz. In fact, the reason why he chose the number 99 as his jersey number has to do with paying tribute to Manny. It was announced that Alex would be assigned number 12 as his number, he quickly asked to have a different number. Brock Holt was the most recent player to wear the number 12 and he was a fan favorite, Verdugo didn’t want to try to upset fans wearing that number. Manny Ramirez played for the Dodgers and his number was 99, so Alex decided to pay tribute to him.

Next. Red Sox should make offer for Snell. dark

Verdugo was probably the most exciting piece for the Red Sox this year, but everyone brought a piece to this team for the future. Every player that ended up being traded by the Red Sox in 2020 are now free agents and there is a chance they could get interest from Bloom once again. I know the season was pretty bad with no fans and a last place finish, but even in some bad, you can find some good.