There wasn’t a Zack Greinke or Josh Hamilton coming the way of the Sox, but the team did make itself significantly better than 2012. In lieu of high-priced shocker, the Red Sox made a litany of cost-effective moves which shored up key positions that were lacking at the end of last season.
First and foremost, the team shored up its outfield around Jacoby Ellsbury by adding Jonny Gomes and Shane Victorino. While Victorino is a full-effort player with a great clubhouse reputation, Gomes provides some serious power from the right side of the plate — especially against left-handed pitching.
The Sox also addressed their pitching woes on both ends of the game, adding starter Ryan Dempster and closer Joel Hanrahan. Dempster provides a reliable innings easter who, when he’s one his game, is nearly an ace-quality pitcher. Hanrahan, meanwhile, hopes to team with former closer Andrew Bailey to form a nasty back end of the bullpen.
Boston also felt it needed an upgrade at shortstop over Pedro Ciriaco and Jose Iglesias, adding former Diamondback Stephen Drew. Though Drew was still recovering from a serious ankle injury for most of last season, if he’s healthy he’s a plus defender and one of the best bats at shortstop in baseball.
And, of course, the Red Sox also brought in a new manager. Though John Farrell might be new to Fenway’s manager’s office, he’s certainly not new to Fenway, as the former pitching coach not only knows Boston baseball, but he gained some invaluable experience leading a ballclub the past couple seasons in Toronto.