It’s that time of the year again. The Red Sox are coming off their worst season in decades. It’s time to look towards next year, even though this upcoming season still has many unanswered questions. A lot can change between now and opening day 2018. With two years left until the new season begins. Here are some Mohegan Sun casino thoughts on what might happen with our beloved team.
The Red Sox may need another starter besides David Price going into next season. That would leave them with Rick Porcello and Eduardo Rodriguez as their only locks behind Price so far, which is not good news given their inconsistencies last year. The team has two options between Steven Wright, Drew Pomeranz, and Henry Owens. I see Steven Wright coming back next year with a solid season to solidify the backend of this rotation. Drew Pomeranz might end up leaving after having another inconsistent year. This is where they could find their replacement for Price if they decide he’s not the guy anymore.
The issues don’t stop after Price, however. Craig Kimbrel was abysmal last season after being well worth his contract for four straight years. But it’s likely too soon to tell if this is a sign of age and regression or just a terrible season. If Kimbrel doesn’t find that form that earned him the saves over the years, there’s always the trade market they can look at from now on. Therefore, they won’t have to deal with a potentially expensive relief pitcher who isn’t getting the job done.
For most of last year, the outfield was an issue because of injuries and inconsistency from almost everyone on the roster, but not Mookie Betts or Andrew Benintendi. Jackie Bradley Jr. is still good defensively but doesn’t hit anywhere near enough to make up for it at the plate. They also have Bryce Brentz, who is like JBJ but much younger but hasn’t shown many signs of improvement or consistency since he started playing professional baseball. It means they should look into finding another outfielder this offseason.
Adam Jones would be an excellent option as someone who could fit in well with JBJ. He would provide a veteran presence for what will still be a junior team next year. He hits the ball well time after time, so he wouldn’t need too long to adjust to Fenway Park. It would give him plenty of opportunities to produce runs offensively. Also, there are always runners on base for him, thanks to Mookie Betts leading off and Andrew Benintendi batting second.
As long as the Sox make some key moves this offseason, they should be contenders in 2022. Their lineup has plenty of talent at every position, and young players like Rafael Devers will only become better with time and experience. The pitching staff is a little trickier because there aren’t any veterans behind Price and Kimbrel that one can rely on to close out games in their absence. With another piece or two added to bolster their rotation further, they should be more than capable of making a deep postseason run if everyone performs up to expectations. I’m not saying they’ll win it all next season, but 2022 might be the year we finally see Boston lift the Commissioner’s Trophy again.