5 Red Sox who survived trade deadline but won’t be on 2023 roster
Which struggling Red Sox players won’t make the 2023 roster?
When the Boston Red Sox weren’t all-in sellers at the 2022 trade deadline, many people were surprised.
Even though they were 52-52 on the morning of the August 2 deadline, they were also 17 games out of first and decimated by injuries. Realistically, no trades could have saved the season, but the world was quite puzzled by how the Sox proceeded. Rather than unload the obvious impending free agents (JD Martinez, Nathan Eovaldi) to get under the luxury tax threshold, they sent Christian Vázquez to the Houston Astros, unloaded Jake Diekman to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for the club-controlled Reese McGuire, grabbed Tommy Pham from the Cincinnati Reds, and acquired Eric Hosmer from the San Diego Padres.
In retrospect, it’s clear the front office was taking more of a long view at the deadline than attempting to plug the numerous leaks in the roster. McGuire is under club control until 2026, Pham has a mutual option for 2023, and the Padres are paying the remainder of Hosmer’s contract while he continues to mentor Triston Casas, whom he’s known for years. All of these moves could prove to be difference-makers next year, but let’s reserve judgment on that for now.
For the first time in several years, the Sox are in a position to build a formidable roster. With immense financial flexibility and a blooming farm system (no pun intended), the Sox can bounce back from the disappointments and mistakes of 2022 by next spring.
Unfortunately, making some tough decisions about the roster will be key to ensuring a better year in 2023. Several players are reaching free agency, and only a handful have a chance of being brought back. A few former top prospects could be traded, and some players just aren’t good enough to make the cut.
Let’s look at five players who weren’t traded this season (for various reasons), but might not be on the 2023 roster, and why they probably shouldn’t be…
Ryan Brasier has so many lives, he may as well be a cat.
His 5.92 ERA far outpaces his previous career-worst, 4.85 in 2019 (both numbers accumulated over seasons of 55+ innings). Over a career-high 65 appearances, including 11 games finished, he’s allowed 39 earned runs on 67 hits. In five save opportunities, he’s earned one and blown four.
Brasier is entering his final year of arbitration, and with his struggles on the mound this season, could very well be getting a pay cut from his $1.4M salary. But is affordability a good enough reason to keep him around when he’s been such a liability?
If the Sox are truly serious about building a better team for next year, low-cost options like Brasier don’t cut it. The Sox have more than enough financial flexibility to upgrade their bullpen and considering they blew 27 saves this year, tied for fourth-most in the game, they need to do better than Brasier.