The Yankees finally, actually did it: they got Juan Soto. After months of speculating about a blockbuster trade that would land Soto in New York, he's really, truly headed to the Bronx, and Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman are doing their best approximation of evil cartoon character cackling. The Red Sox need to use this as incentive to get going, sign some much needed players, and be more aggressive overall if they are going to compete against the Yankees next year.
The Red Sox have been mired in "interest in" a lot of players this offseason but they haven't landed any of them yet; it doesn't seem like they've even been in advanced stages of negotiations with any of them yet. There are a lot of cards still on the table, to be fair — Soto is one of the first major pieces to actually move. However, this should ignite a fire in the Red Sox front office. They have to do something.
3 moves Red Sox must make to punch back at Yankees’ Juan Soto trade
This year's free agencies and the trade market have been especially shrouded in secrecy, seemingly motivated by the top secret nature of Shohei Ohtani's search for a new home next year. Could it be that the Red Sox have more going on than we think, but they're just keeping it quiet? Maybe, but that seems just a tad bit too optimistic, and sitting back and trusting that the front office will make something big happen feels a tad bit complacent. Let's yell at Craig Breslow! Make something happen, Craig!
Now that it looks like the Red Sox have no hope of signing Shohei Ohtani, they can and should focus all of their attention and money on Yoshinobu Yamamoto, especially now that the Yankees' talks with him have gotten deeper. The two parties are expected to meet in New York on Monday, and this after Steve Cohen and David Stearns showed Yamamoto how serious they are about him coming to the Mets by flying all the way to Japan for what has been described as a "quick" meeting. Steve Cohen money is Steve Cohen money, and the Red Sox might not be able or willing to fly reps all the way to Japan for a meeting, but that's not the only option. Convince Yamamoto to make a quick stop up in Boston following his conversation with the Yankees, perhaps?
The same Athletic article that laid out the details of the Cohen/Stearns/Yamamoto meeting explicitly named the Yankees, Giants, Dodgers, Blue Jays, and Mets. Author Will Sammon also mentioned two more unidentified clubs, which shouldn't exactly invoke warm, reassured feelings from Red Sox fans that their team is in on the hunt, but it still leaves a door open. The last thing the Red Sox can do is let Yamamoto follow Soto to New York without a real fight. There are clearly a lot of other parts to this equation, and it's highly possible that the other Yamamoto suitors (particularly their fellow division rivals in Toronto) have a similar motivation not to let him go to the Yankees. But this should still be priority No. 1 for the Red Sox.