The actual Boston Red Sox could be a season away
The Boston Red Sox spring training is just focusing on the attention of fans, but will it take place? The two parties, the owners and players, are in discussion over a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. On an excitement scale reading, this is somewhere between a library trustees meeting and visiting the world’s largest ball of twine.
So what to write about? I have completed my intervention on slideshow addiction and recovery means avoiding it at all costs. My choice for today is to look for direction from the Red Sox. How do you configure the team? Just what will the 2022 roster be?
The outfield situation has completed phase one, the necessary defensive upgrade. Phase two will resume as soon as the labor dispute is settled, and I expect Chaim Bloom to get the essential right-handed bat. I would take a chance with Japanese slugger Seiya Suzuki who fits in both hitting and defensively.
The drama surrounding Xander Bogaerts is certainly titillating to those enamored with TMZ and similar shows designed to euthanize a few more brain cells. The same applies to a lesser extent to slugger Rafael Devers. I have beaten both topics like an army mule and would hold for 2022.
Another drama is Kyle Schwarber, whom the management seems wary of. Schwarber, like J.D. Martinez, is a one-dimensional player, but that dimension produces a boatload of runs. I expect Boston to pass on Schwarber and wait it out on Martinez.
Baseball pitching is like quarterbacking in football – the better you are, the greater the possibility of success. Boston has no desire to pay big bucks to get a solid number one performer. Carlos Rodon has been mentioned, and Rodon is undoubtedly a comparable replacement for departed Eduardo Rodriguez.
The “Big Splash” does not appear on the horizon for the Red Sox. Boston in the past has shown no reluctance to throw money at a problem even where a problem may not exist. The simple translation is, don’t expect Carlos Correa to walk through that locker room door.
The Red Sox farm system is on the climb, with now four prospects ranked in the top 100 according to Baseball America. One prospect is Jarren Duran, who is ranked 91st, and I fully expect to be traded. Bloom will be looking for bullpen fortifications, and Duran could be the bait.
The 2022 Red Sox will be tweaked and not rebuilt. They will address the Bogaerts situation by adopting a wait-and-see regarding the talented Bogaert’s intentions. Devers’ contractual situation will linger with Boston reluctant to extend the slugger. The pitching will be similar to 2021, which could leap forward if Chris Sale returns to pre-injury form.
The Red Sox will win more games than they lose in 2022, but the question is just how many games will be played? The American League East is a relatively balanced division, with even the Orioles capable of providing the occasional surprise.
For Boston to wrap up the division, they need several players to fall into place, which means more on the plus side of their careers than the minus side. The actual Red Sox will surface in 2023 with money available, prospects matured, and free-agent issues resolved.