3 pending free agents the Red Sox need to let walk, 2 they need to try to keep

The Boston Red Sox have some tough choices coming up when it comes to some pending free agents.
Aug 21, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches against
Aug 21, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches against / Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
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Boston needs to say farewell to Adalberto Mondesi

This is sad one as Adalberto Mondesi had all the makings of a guy that could really help the Red Sox's offense cause some havoc in 2023. Mondesi's speed, when he is healthy, can change games in dramatic ways. While he was never an amazing hitter, the hope for Boston was that he would be able to recover from a torn ACL and be a valuable role player for the Red Sox at some point this season.

Sadly, Mondesi's recovery from that knee injury has gone far worse than expected. Progress was slow for a while and eventually it was revealed that Mondesi had another setback and isn't doing any baseball activities whatsoever right now. Hopefully he can find a way to get healthy and get his career back on track, but unfortunately he will probably have to do so with another organization.

The Red Sox need to decline Corey Kluber's option for 2024

Including Kluber here feels a bit like cheating because TECHNICALLY Kluber isn't a pending free agent as Boston does have an $11 million club option for 2024. However, the Red Sox should absolutely not exercise that option given where Kluber and his health stand in 2023.

After a dominant stretch from 2014-2018 with Cleveland, Kluber has looked like a shadow of his former self in recent years. Boston signed Kluber to a one year deal with a club option hoping that he could provide some decent innings for the team even if he is past his prime. Unfortunately, he has only made 15 appearances for the Red Sox this year, posted a 7.04 ERA in those appearances, and has been on the shelf with shoulder troubles for quite a while. It would nice to see Kluber bounce back at some point before he retires, but Boston shouldn't pay to find out if he can do it.

Joely Rodriguez needs to find a new team next season

Relievers are the most volatile asset in baseball and Joely Rodriguez is a prime example. When he is right, Joely misses bats and is a very useful middle relief option even if he has always walked too many batters. He isn't a guy you want trying to lock things down in high leverage situations, but he has the stuff to be a valuable bullpen arm.

The problem, like with many relievers, is injuries and Rodriguez is no stranger to them in 2023. Just this season, Joely has dealt with oblique, shoulder, and hip ailments with the latter keep him out since late July. The one thing that any player has to be is available and Joely hasn't been able to demonstrate the ability to stay on the field. A minor league deal to see if he can perform and remain healthy wouldn't be crazy, but anything beyond that is a deal Boston should stay away from here.