Red Sox farm system is more successful than during Betts negotiations
You might be wondering what prospects have to do with Betts or Devers. A whole lot, actually.
Unless a team plans to spend every year and pay the taxes that come with that choice, an organization with a weakened farm system can only contend for so long. 2018 was proof of that. The Sox miraculously avoided injuries for almost the entire season, but when injuries began to pile up in 2019, they had no one on the farm equipped to fill in. By 2020, they were an unwatchable mess.
This year, injuries piled up once again, but several Triple-A guys were waiting in the wings, including Brayan Bello and Triston Casas. And while there weren’t enough prospects to save the season, it was a sign of serious improvement that any prospects were able to debut, perform, and actually stick at the big-league level.
Suddenly, the Sox are faced with the pleasant problem of having too much talent, which affords them the ability to make trades, rather than relying solely on spending for free agents. The front office can combine the burgeoning farm system with smarter roster construction for next year, and put a vastly improved team on the field.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case in Betts’ final season in Boston. In 2019, Baseball America ranked the Sox farm system 30th, an utterly blighted organization, two years after they’d ranked 14th. It’s improved every year since, and this year, jumped from 21st all the way to 11th. With the emergence of players such as Ceddanne Rafael, they could be a top-10 farm system next year.
With Devers, the Sox have the financial flexibility to build around him at the big-league level this offseason as they continue to develop talent to fortify the club or be used for trades.