Highest-paid Red Sox players skipping Winter Weekend feels brutal

More foreshadowing for a disappointing 2024 season.

Aug 19, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA;  Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers (11) celebrates with
Aug 19, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers (11) celebrates with / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox's owner John Henry isn't the only highly-paid member of the organization who won't be present at their Winter Weekend fan festival.

He isn't even close to the only absentee.

A fair few Red Sox players will also be missing the Fan Fest, and most of them make up the high end of Boston's payroll.

According to Chris Cotillo of MassLive, Rafael Devers, Lucas Giolito, Kenley Jansen, Masataka Yoshida, Chris Martin, Kutter Crawford and John Schreiber will be missing from the Red Sox's biggest fan event of the offseason.

Cotillo is correct to suggest that it's unfair to speculate about players' absences from Winter Weekend. But the absence of so many of the team's more notable players is disappointing for fans who paid to attend a Red Sox experience — many fans' favorite players won't be in attendance.

A lot of fans are especially let down by Devers' nonattendance. Sure, he lives in a different country and trains there all winter, but as the highest-paid player and far-and-away fan favorite, Red Sox Nation expects more of a leadership role from Devers, which he has yet to deliver on.

Many of the most popular Red Sox will not be at Winter Weekend

Giolito's absence is also particularly disappointing. The veteran hurler spent the beginning of the offseason discussing how happy he was to be playing in Boston and his plans to turn his career around with the Red Sox. He also expressed that not many other teams were interested in his services for the 2024 season.

Some players' lack of attendance appears reasonable from an outside perspective. Again, players' true reasons for missing the fan festival are unconfirmed, and, frankly, none of anyone else's business. But with trade rumors spinning about Jansen and Yoshida, especially after they both had successful seasons, fans can't help but wonder what could have been if ownership had any interest in improving the team without making trades.

Winter Weekend is foreshadowing another less-than-impressive season on the horizon for Boston. Henry's nonattendance alongside many of the team's highest-paid players doesn't suggest a lot of excitement from the club. If the organization doesn't appear to be looking forward to the campaign ahead, it's unrealistic to expect fans to be engaged.

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