The Boston Red Sox have surprised even their most optimistic fans by remaining in postseason contention despite playing in one of the toughest divisions we've seen in years. Boston might be on the outside looking in right now when it comes to a postseason spot, but are 49-44 on the season and are just 2.5 games back of the third Wild Card spot in the American League.
Winners of eight of their last 10 games, the Red Sox have played great baseball of late, and should be getting Trevor Story back sooner than later. That should help them even more.
While the team is competitive, Chaim Bloom didn't exactly have a perfect offseason. Had he not made these offseason mistakes, Boston might've been one of the teams in a postseason spot right now.
The Red Sox are paying for signing Corey Kluber instead of a different starting pitcher
After three injury-riddled seasons from 2019-2021 in which he was limited to just 24 starts for Cleveland, Texas, and the Yankees, the Rays signed two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber to a one-year deal. While he wasn't Cy Young-caliber, Kluber did give Tampa Bay 31 starts and a 4.34 ERA with a 3.57 FIP in 31 starts and 164 innings pitched last season.
Boston wasn't going to go out and sign an ace this past offseason, but they did need some rotation help. They felt that Kluber, a pitcher who finally found a way to navigate through a full season, would provide the presence they needed in the rotation. They signed him to a one-year deal worth $10 million. This felt like a decent deal at the time. It's turned out to be anything but.
Through 15 appearances (nine starts) Kluber has a 7.04 ERA in 55 innings of work. He's already walked the same amount of. hitters this season (21) as he did all of last season, with nearly as many home runs (17) as he gave up last season (20). His strikeouts are down, and everything you don't want to see shoot up has shot up.
Kluber was bumped from Boston's rotation in May after posting a 6.26 ERA, and things haven't gone much better in the bullpen as he boasts an ERA of 9.45 as a reliever. He deserves some credit for taking on whatever role Boston has given him without complaining, but things have gone just about as poorly as Chaim Bloom could've imagined with this signing.
Boston has one of the worst rotations in all of baseball. Injuries have played a role in that, but signing someone other than Kluber would've almost certainly helped.