Boston Red Sox (84-78)
I figured I’d write these in order of their standings in 2019, so that means the Boston Red Sox are up next.
As I previously mentioned, the 2019 season was a major disappointment in Bean town, and I don’t think you’d find anyone who would argue with me on that statement. There were major individual wins like the progression of Rafael Devers into a star, further improvement from Xander Bogaerts, and steady production from J.D. Martinez, but there were a lot of disappointments.
Chief among them was from the pitching staff, which was supposed to be lead by the freshly extended Chris Sale. Instead, the southpaw bounced on and off of the Injured List and finished the year with a disappointing 4.40 ERA and a 1.086 WHIP in 25 starts and 147.1 innings. It wasn’t horrific, but it was far from the ace-level performance that the Red Sox had grown accustomed to.
Rick Porcello was downright bad, David Price was okay but only threw 107.1 innings, and Nathan Eovaldi couldn’t stay on the mound for long. Thankfully (for them) Eduardo Rodriguez took a major step forward, but otherwise the entire pitching staff was a disappointment.
The Red Sox still have a very solid core in place right now, but they’re faced with a big decision when it comes to Mookie Betts‘ impending free agency (he’ll hit the market after the 2020 season). There have been rumours that they’ll consider trading him this winter for the right price, and that’s mostly because fitting him into their payroll with a major pay raise is going to be nearly impossible, at least if they want to avoid paying the luxury tax.
Throw in a weak farm system, a front office that will be manned by a new group, and some questions about Betts and even the future of J.D. Martinez (who has an opt-out), and things are very much up in the air at the moment. There’s little doubt that they’ll be competitive in 2020, especially because a core built around guys like Bogaerts, Devers, and more is still plenty dangerous, but whomever is next in line in the front office is going to have a tough job ahead of them.
You can poke all kinds of holes in the long-term outlook for the Blue Jays, but in my biased opinion, I prefer theirs to what the Red Sox are dealing with, at least as of today.