3 free agents who won World Series with Red Sox but shouldn’t be re-signed

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Should the Red Sox try to reunite with any of their 2018 World Series champions in free agency?

In October, Pedro Martinez cautioned the Boston Red Sox that losing key players would destroy the culture he, David Ortiz, and other legends of the early aughts worked so hard to cultivate and pass down to the players who came after them.

He spoke, of course, about Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers. Bogaerts opted out, and Devers is in his final year of arbitration. Whether the Sox can get their act together and lock them both in long-term will make or break the next decade of Boston baseball.

Bogaerts and Devers are key to Boston’s future success because of their proven history of winning together. Bogaerts first helped the Sox win the championship when he was only 20 years old in 2013. In Devers’ first two years in the majors, the Sox won the American League East in back-to-back seasons and the 2018 World Series. In 2021, they bucked all expectations and took the Sox from unexpected Wild Card team to Game 6 of the ALCS. Like most rational people, Martinez wants them in Boston to keep this level of success going.

Those two aside, though, the Sox should be looking forward, not back. Chaim Bloom shouldn’t be trying to resurrect the 2018 team, but he might be able to build a new contender if ownership wises up and lets him.

Here are three former champs the Sox shouldn’t be looking at on the free-agent market this winter…

Yes, Craig Kimbrel completed over 40 saves in 2018. He was also so unreliable that year that Alex Cora famously relied upon his starting pitchers – and a miraculous catch from Andrew Benintendi – to close postseason games.

The Sox let Kimbrel walk after the World Series, and he held out for months into the 2019 season until the Chicago Cubs gave him the bloated contract he still felt he deserved after a down year by his standards. Last summer, they traded him across town to the Chicago White Sox, who promptly messed with the first good season he’d had in years, by making him the setup man to the closer they already had, Liam Hendriks.

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