It’s time for the Boston Red Sox to get real about the 2022 season

Boston Red Sox designated hitter Kyle Schwarber (18) Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Boston Red Sox designated hitter Kyle Schwarber (18) Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The Boston Red Sox have to get real about the 2022 season after the MLB lockout hopefully ends or they’ll be back in last place like their team without Alex Cora was in 2020.

Critics contend that any criticism now prior to the 2022 season will be met with the same result, a facial egg wash as received last season.

This space stood corrected with an egg mess for certain for doubting the 2021 Red Sox crafted by Chief Baseball Officer, Chaim Bloom. It was an unforeseen and unlikely great season.

Alex Cora is the Boston Red Sox great equalizer, but he still needs good players

This space underestimated just how good Cora’s re-addition to the team would be, although it did peg him as the club’s best addition last offseason. Critics, take note.

But since Cora didn’t throw a pitch or take an at-bat, praise for Mr. Bloom is also totally in order. He did a splendid job assembling what appeared to be a mediocre team, but ended up being far more than that.

So, the clock has turned, the year is now 2022, and it’s time once again to look at the Red Sox as currently configured and comment on how things look.

Now, the lockout has put a halt to any major team-building for the foreseeable future. As has been noted before, it is a firm belief in this space, that teams create their own destiny in the offseason.

The season then just follows along the path set by the management during that period. It’s true for any team in any sport for the most part.

This space has placed the most recent Boston Red Sox actions in a somewhat negative light. These moves weren’t particularly welcomed.

One was the trade of Hunter Renfroe, who was only acquired in one of Bloom’s best offseason moves last offseason. But, he was summarily traded to bring back Jackie Bradley Jr.

Bradley wasn’t re-signed by Bloom before last season. But this offseason, he brings the same player back in trade and sends away one of his best outfielders of 2021.

That move made no sense. Renfroe was excellent for Boston. His hitting stats speak for themselves. His 31 home runs and 96 RBI’s were solid, to say the least.

Bradley, albeit a great defensive outfielder, hit only .163 with six home runs in 2021. The Red Sox picked up two prospects also in the trade, no big deal.

Bloom weakened the 2022 Red Sox to bring in a defensive replacement-type player. It’s a lousy deal any way you look at it. The front office undid one of his best moves last offseason to bring back a player they didn’t want re-sign just one offseason ago.

Sorry, that’s bad business, especially at a $9.5M salary to boot. In addition, he also laid out $10M this season for the possible re-emergence of a pitcher, James Paxton.

Again, where’s the logic? Why pay big money for a pitcher who may or may not contribute much, if anything, to a team that finished a mere two games from a World Series berth?

Add Bradley’s salary to Paxton’s and to $5M paid to Rich Hill (who this space likes by the way) and you had the wherewithal to sign Marcus Stroman, a top starting pitcher to a deal even if it may have been only for two years.

Next. Will the Sox jump up or jump back in 2022?. dark

When you can sign a top player, even if it’s for two years when you have a team ready to possibly contend for a World Series spot, and you don’t, questions have to be asked. Where’s the common sense is one of them.

The answer here is, no clue. And in addition, Kyle Schwarber, who fits the Boston Red Sox so well, is also looking for a three or four-year deal. And he’s worth everything he’s looking for in Boston, but he has yet to determine where he will be playing ball next season. Quite frankly, the Sox should have already done what they needed to lock him up.

The lockout will end and further moves will be made by Bloom. But to date, he’s struck out on three pitches. Soon it will batter up again. We’ll see how he hits.