Ex-MLB GM Grades Red Sox Offseason As 2022 Opening Day Nears

Boston made a late splash by signing Trevor Story


March 29

The Boston Red Sox faced an interesting offseason after exceeding expectations in 2021.

On one hand, it felt like the perfect opportunity to build off an enthralling run to the American League Championship Series, where the Red Sox lost in six games to the Houston Astros. On the other, Boston is building toward sustained success, so any knee-jerk reactions could prove counterproductive.

Ultimately, the Red Sox did a nice job of threading the needle, augmenting their roster for 2022 without compromising their potential for 2023 and beyond. Signing Trevor Story after the Major League Baseball lockout obviously was the most notable move, but Boston also swapped Hunter Renfroe for Jackie Bradley Jr. and signed pitchers Michael Wacha, Rich Hill, James Paxton, Jake Diekman and Matt Strahm.

Jim Bowden, a former MLB general manager, graded each club’s offseason in a piece published Monday on The Athletic. He gave Boston a solid “B” for its pre- and post-lockout maneuvering.

Here’s an excerpt from Bowden’s breakdown:

The Red Sox made a late splash in free agency to land Trevor Story, beating out the Astros and Giants for the two-time All-Star. They plan to keep Xander Bogaerts at shortstop and move Story to second base, where he probably will experience some defensive growing pains for at least the first six weeks of this season. It will be interesting to see how Story fares when he’s not playing half of his games at Coors Field. His career slash line at Coors is .303/.369/.603, but away from Denver he’s hit just .241/.310/.442. Based on those splits, I’d guess he ends up hitting around .270/.339/.500 going forward. Story also gives the Red Sox insurance at shortstop if they can’t re-sign Bogaerts, as they wait for Marcelo Mayer, the No. 4 pick in last year’s MLB Draft, to develop.

Bowden also pointed out that he “really liked” the Renfroe-Bradley trade, which sent the former to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for the latter plus prospects Alex Binelas and David Hamilton.

Of course, it’s possible the Red Sox, among others, make more moves before Opening Day. They still could use a right-handed-hitting outfielder, and one never can have enough pitching, especially with Chris Sale sidelined to begin the season.

But overall, the Red Sox are positioned to be competitive again in 2022, perhaps with a boost from a few of the newcomers they added amid an eventful offseason across MLB.

The Red Sox are scheduled to open their season against the New York Yankees on April 7.

Thumbnail photo via Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports Images
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