Here’s every Red Sox player who just became a free agent

BOSTON, MA - MAY 6: Nathan Eovaldi #17 of the Boston Red Sox walks off the mound during the fourth inning of a game against the Chicago White Sox on May 6, 2022 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MAY 6: Nathan Eovaldi #17 of the Boston Red Sox walks off the mound during the fourth inning of a game against the Chicago White Sox on May 6, 2022 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

The World Series is over, which means two things:

1. No more Major League Baseball for far too long.

2. It’s officially open season on free agents.

Let’s get crazy.

In the coming days, up to 10 Boston Red Sox players can become free agents. Five have club, player, or mutual options, and the others already became unrestricted free agents on Sunday.

Here’s the breakdown:

Unrestricted Red Sox free agents

Nathan Eovaldi

One of the greatest midseason acquisitions in franchise history is officially a free agent.

Acquired at the 2018 deadline, Eovaldi immediately made an impact. He’s been a workhorse, the linchpin of a shaky starting rotation, and a postseason hero.

The Sox didn’t approach Eovaldi about an extension, but they could make him a Qualifying Offer.

Rich Hill

The Milton, MA native is a free agent after his third stint with the Sox. Now 42 years old, the 18-year MLB veteran is planning on pitching again in 2023 and would like to stay close to home.

Hill’s season was better than his 4.27 ERA indicates. His strikeout percentage dipped from 22.7% in 2021 to 20.7%, but he also lowered his walk and home run percentages.

JD Martinez

JD Martinez is a free agent after five seasons with the Sox, and it’s unclear what the future holds for him. The 34-year-old had a significantly lower-power season than usual, only hitting 16 home runs, his lowest season total in a 162-game campaign since 2013. He did hit a career-high 43 doubles in only 139 games, surpassing the career-high he set last year when he led MLB with 42 doubles in 148 games.

Had Martinez opted out last offseason, he would’ve easily found a lucrative multi-year deal. This winter, he’ll have to convince teams that he can bounce back in 2023.

Matt Strahm

Matt Strahm was excellent for the Sox in 2022 in that he was one of the only watchable bullpen arms on the team. Over a career-high 50 appearances, he posted a 3.83 ERA and only allowed five home runs all year. His strikeout percentage was the highest it’s been since 2018, and his walk percentage was higher than usual, but still below league-average.

Michael Wacha

Michael Wacha was a pleasant surprise for the Sox, however, some of the advanced metrics suggest he could regress in coming years. Don’t be surprised if the Sox make him a QO or offer him a two or three-year deal laden with incentives, though.

Red Sox 2023 club options

James Paxton

James Paxton hasn’t pitched since April 2019, so the Sox would be taking a huge risk if they picked up his 2-year, $26M option. Then again, it could happen. This organization loves making reckless spending decisions, such as overpaying for free agents and lowballing their proven homegrown stars.

Red Sox player options*

*Chris Sale has already opted in

Xander Bogaerts

At this point, it’s too painful to even think about what’s going on with Xander Bogaerts. The Sox have insulted him with lowball offers and contracts to free agents, so at this point, it’s all but guaranteed that the beloved shortstop will opt out of the remaining four years and $80M on his contract.

Various projections have him commanding somewhere in the 7-8-year, $200M range this offseason. The Sox should just pay him, but since they’re cheap and foolish, Bogaerts should go get his bag and make them regret losing him for the next half-decade or so.

Eric Hosmer

It’s hard to see Eric Hosmer opting out of nearly $40M over the next three seasons when he won’t command anything close to it on the open market. The Padres agreed to pay the remainder of his salary when they traded him to Boston, so the Sox are only on the hook for the major-league minimum each year.

Hosmer brings Gold Glove defense, but it’s hard to know how much he can contribute offensively, as he barely played a dozen games for the Sox before going on the Injured List until the final series of the season. That said, he had excellent career numbers at Fenway before the trade, so splitting duties with Triston Casas – who considers him a role model and mentor – could be a very good setup for the Sox.

The only wrench in this whole plan is that by trading him to Boston, the Padres triggered a full no-trade clause in Hosmer’s deal. If he opts in, the Sox will need his approval if they want to trade him, and he’s made it clear that he only wants to play for a contender.

James Paxton

Paxton’s contract is quite a sticky wicket. The Sox have the aforementioned two-year club option on him which they’re almost certain to decline, as he hasn’t pitched since April 2021. However, if/when they decline his option, he then has a one-year, $4M option of his own. After missing so much time due to injuries, it’s hard to see him turning that down and finding something better on the open market. You never know, though; he’s a Scott Boras client, after all.

Red Sox mutual options

Tommy Pham

Tommy Pham’s mutual option was originally reported to be $6M, which felt like a reasonable number for the Sox to pick up on their end. It turns out, the dollar amount is actually twice that, which feels like an overpay for the veteran outfielder.