The Red Sox are lacking behind their AL East rival Blue Jays
The wrong American League East team has taken over the headlines on social media in the past 24 hours. As the Toronto Blue Jays, not the Red Sox, have announced that they are signing star outfielder George Springer and relief pitcher Kirby Yates. Springer will leave a veteran team in Houston and will elect to play a vital role in a young and exciting Toronto lineup. Yates will be a much-needed arm for the back-end of their bullpen.
The Blue Jays started their Tuesday by announcing that they will be signing Kirby Yates to a one-year deal worth $5 million, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
Yates had a lost season in 2020, going 0-1 with an alarming 12.46 ERA and just two saves with the San Diego Padres. After appearing in six games, the Padres then discovered he had bone chips in his elbow which required surgery that would hold him out for the remainder of the year.
It was obvious the injury reflected on the poor play, as just a year before in 2019 he was one of the best relief pitchers in the game when he appeared in 60 games and supported an insane 1.19 ERA along with 40 saves, and was named a National League All-Star.
The 33-year-old Yates will be fresh off surgery and healthy and will be a terrific addition as the Jays get him for an absolute bargain. Did the Red Sox really not have $5 million to give?
Just hours later, Toronto would continue to wheel and deal. MLB Network insider Jon Heyman broke the news that Springer had agreed to a 6-year deal that is worth $150 million with the Blue Jays.
The three-time All-Star and World Series champion will carry an impressive resume to Canada while still being in his prime at 31-years-old. Throughout his career with the Astros, he batted a respectable .270 with 174 home runs and 458 RBI. He is a prolific lead-off hitter who provides above-average power, and not to mention is a versatile right fielder who can also man center field when needed.
So what does this all mean for the Red Sox? Well, nothing good. The Sox have already been on the hot seat with their fan base for the lack of moves this offseason. Now seeing their division rival make two valuable moves makes us think that Boston might suddenly be the fourth-best team in the division.
The expectation was never to win the division, but we are at the point that it is going to be difficult to even crack a Wildcard spot. The pressure is now on as they look up at the Yankees, Rays, and Blue Jays who all made the postseason a year ago and could very well be back in the thick of things in 2021.
Now more than ever, it’s time for them to pull the trigger and show the fan base that they are still ready to compete regardless of the recent in-division moves. The organization not wanting to deal their prospects via trade like in the past is something we can all respect. But to be silent during almost the entirety of free agency as a huge Boston market makes little to no sense. It could be another underwhelming season of Red Sox baseball if they do not respond quickly and start improving their roster. On the bright side, the Red Sox are still interested in Kiké Hernández!