The Red Sox had one of the worst defenses in baseball
The Red Sox had the second most errors in baseball and the most in the AL with 101. In terms of the advanced metrics, they ranked sixth worst in DRS with -22 (defensive runs saved) and dead last in OAA with -50 (outs above average).
A few of their biggest liabilities are Devers and Kike Hernandez. Devers has 19 errors — tied for third-most in baseball — and Kike has 14 — tied for seventh most in baseball. Catcher Connor Wong was also tied for the second most errors among catchers with 11.
Finally, among the 20 players with the worst OAA in baseball, four of them were Red Sox (Kike, Casas, Devers, and Yoshida).
Chris Sale and Trevor Story made $47.5 million this season
The Sox paid Chris Sale $27.5 million and Trevor Story $20 million this season, a combined $47.5 million. They were the Red Sox's two highest-paid players, as well. Unfortunately, their salaries are not positively correlated to their performance (or their health).
Sale started 19 games and pitched just 97.2 innings, as he dealt with shoulder problems. Story played 39 games and had just 143 at-bats, as he dealt with elbow problems.
Beyond their lingering health issues, the two players did not perform well in the limited time that they did play. Sale pitched to a 4.42 ERA — the second worst in his career — and Story had a .196 AVG and .544 OPS.
Story and Sale have not only hurt the Red Sox payroll but have hurt their performance as a team. Story has a career .836 OPS and Sale has a career 3.11 ERA. At some point in their careers, they were each among the best that played at their respective positions. If they could perform at or even just close to that level again, this team could easily be looking at a playoff spot. And yet, the two former All-Stars have contributed little to nothing, despite accounting for more than 25% of the Red Sox total payroll.