Boston Red Sox: A holiday wish list for 2021 season

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 30: Banners are displayed on the Jersey Street facade as snow falls on October 30, 2020 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 30: Banners are displayed on the Jersey Street facade as snow falls on October 30, 2020 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

Negotiations for how and when the 2021 MLB season will play out are underway. Meaning it’s not too early to wish for happy things for the Boston Red Sox.

They’re making a list and checking it twice. At least that’s what fans are hoping Boston Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and general manager Brian O’Halloran are doing in these chilly winter months.

‘Twas the holiday month and Fenway Park is covered in snow. The winter market is underway, with players already on the move. One is outfielder Hunter Renfroe, who will don the Red Sox red, navy blue, and white come 2021.

Managerial moves have already been wrapped, with former manager Alex Cora set to make his return, waiting to occupy the Red Sox dugout once again.

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Finding the players, those both in plain view and hidden as gems among the tree, top the wish list for a spectacular 2021. A solid second baseman would be nice and starting pitching is a must.

Will a George Springer, Jake Odorizzi, or an Eddie Rosario make the Red Sox a boom or a bust?

There is a lot to improve upon from a disappointing — and very different — 2020 season. There were certainly flashes of excellence, but not enough to sustain. Wishing for another World Series title in 2021 is a standard Boston refrain.

Pieces will fall, as they always do, but the Red Sox may not be as far away from contending in 2021 as we may dread.

Wish for starting rotation back to form

The starting rotation in 2021 will again look different, with a couple of familiar faces likely returning to the lineup.

Health for all players is desired, but it is a healthy return of Eduardo Rodriguez and Chris Sale will go a long way in 2021. Rodriguez is on track to becoming a top-shelf pitcher year-in and year-out and hopes are that Sale can once again be king of the strikeout(s).

Gone is Martín Pérez, but Nathan Eovaldi returns. And Tanner Houck might be a star in the making, ready to shine even brighter after his 2020 debut.

The fifth slot still has options, with Nick Pivetta among them. Pivetta arrived in Boston back in August and had eight strikeouts in his only appearance in a Red Sox uniform. There’s plenty to like about Pivetta and if Boston fails to land Odorizzi or other prize pitchers of the offseason — Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer — then the Red would still be in good hands.

Truth be told, any of those three free agents would be a perfect fit. And if they do arrive — gift wrapped or not — then Eovaldi or Pivetta would be valuable in the bullpen unit.

Offense builds on solid 2020

Wishing for the return of powerhouse lineups from only a few years past might be a big one to try and to fulfill for Boston.

Renfroe could bring some added pop to the lineup that returns the majority of last year’s players. Offense mostly wasn’t the problem for the Red Sox in 2020, even as players like Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers, and J.D. Martinez weren’t quite up to par.

A bounce-back year from those three would definitely be nice, as would regular production from the player who locks down second base. This has been mostly a problem since the fearless Dustin Pedroia was felled by injuries and it would good to again have stability at the position.

Still, the Red Sox have plenty of talent to go-around, waving a mighty stick. These belong to Alex Verdugo, Xander Bogaerts, and Christian Vazquez, too, and we all are wishing to see more moonshots from the great Bobby Dalbec.

The American League East continues to be one of the toughest divisions to play in. It will be again ultra-competitive, but the Boston Red Sox should get back to contending ways. The wishes for a top-line starting pitcher added via free agency will help solidify Boston as a top-tier team once again.

Next. Boston Red Sox: 3 most dynamic free agent prizes for 2021. dark

A World Series dream is the best gift all. Wishing is one thing, this we all know to be true. So, let’s hope for the best this upcoming year, and not have to push aside aspirations until 2022.