Boston Red Sox: Team needs to re-evaluate roster to avoid more disappointment

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 08: David Price
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 08: David Price /

After a second straight year of a quick playoff exit, it’s time for the Boston Red Sox to address their team problems.

The Boston Red Sox need to re-evaluate their roster. Following another disappointing loss in the divisional round of the playoffs to the Houston Astros back in October, questions about the state of the team have started to arise.  Sure, their roster is filled with talented guys, but how far can a banged up pitching staff and an inconsistent lineup really take a team nowadays?

The Sox definitely missed David Ortiz in 2017.  Their runs per game average dropped from 5.36 a game in 2016, to 4.84 this past season according to Team Rankings.  His void was felt from top to bottom in the lineup.  Younger guys like Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, and Xander Bogaerts were tasked with starting a new age for the squad.

For the most part they did a decent job. The young core lead the Sox to a division title and the third seed in the playoffs.  According to ESPN, however, Bogaerts’ batting average went from a formidable .273 in the regular season, to a horrible .059 in the ALDS against Houston.

With two straight playoff series under his belt, Bogaerts should take the next step in his progression.  Sure, he’s struggled, but we forget that he’s only 25 years old.  This could be the year that he breaks out in the playoffs.

The Sox problem this offseason is figuring out what to do with their massive payroll of over $200 million.  I happen to agree with Ben Porter’s take on paying Betts however much money he wants.  It’s surprising to see Dombrowski hesitate on giving him what he desires.  He’s been a fan favorite for three years now, and also the leader in a lot of team categories.  It doesn’t make a lot of sense to refuse to give him the $10 million he’s asking for.

There were talks from the Boston Herald about the Sox going after J.D. Martinez.  According to this reports, the team offered him a five-year offer worth $125 million.  This would add the veteran power bat that was missing from last year’s squad.  His presence could do wonders for a team that is desperately searching for that star bat in the middle of the lineup.

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The biggest problem is the pitching staff.  David Price pitched really well in the bullpen last October, but the Sox paid him $30 million a year to be a second starter.  He needs to figure out his ups and downs, especially since he’s approaching his mid-30s.

The other issue with the staff is Rick Porcello’s $20 million salary this upcoming season.  There were many instances last year that made me believe that his Cy Young campaign from 2016 was a fluke.  He’s just way too inconsistent to have that type of money.

Figuring out the three, four and five pitchers is a whole other beast for new manager Alex Cora.  It’s alarming to see Dombrowski’s conservative effort in finding younger, more consistent pitchers.

Once again, the dilemma here is the fact that the Sox are constricted for years to come with the big contracts of Chris Sale and Price.  It’ll be tough to try and acquire one of the many free agent options out there.

Next: Boston Red Sox should pay Mookie Betts whatever he asks for

Boston is still young and developing. However, if they don’t do something this offseason, then it’ll be a hard task keeping up with their division rival New York Yankees.  They already signed the biggest bat of them all in Giancarlo Stanton.  Hopefully, the  Boston Red Sox can counter that move with a big acquisition of their own.