Boston Red Sox free agency strategy hurt by new universal DH rule

Boston Red Sox left fielder Kyle Schwarber (18) Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Boston Red Sox left fielder Kyle Schwarber (18) Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Boston Red Sox
Nathan Eovaldi #17 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

The Boston Red Sox inactivity before the Major League Baseball lockout could have big consequences for the team with the adoption of the new universal designated hitter rule.

Baseball finally came to its collective senses and has now mandated that the designated hitter (DH) be utilized in both the American League and the National League. It’s high time. The dual standard was obtuse.

One team’s offseason (among many others) that will be impacted is the Boston Red Sox. Let’s explore just how much this may negatively impact the Bosox.

The Boston Red Sox fiddled around and lost a golden opportunity

The Boston Red Sox were perfectly situated before the lockout to take a major step to keep their team strong heading into the 2022 season. They blew it.

Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom neglected to make the first move he should have made by signing Kyle Schwarber, a trade deadline acquisition who was an impactful player for Boston down the stretch of the season, to a long-term extension.

Schwarber fits the team and the city perfectly, showing both power and average as he contributed to the Red Sox march to within two games of a World Series berth.

He hit .291 and smashed seven home runs in 41 games with Boston and rewarded Bloom’s confidence in trading for him for Aldo Ramirez, a low A pitcher at Salem.

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This gaffe by Bloom will at best cost the Sox more money if they do sign Schwarber but realistically, that opportunity was lost by procrastination, if they ever actually had thought of re-signing him in the first place.

That move would have made perfect sense to lock up the power-hitting lefty to a long-term deal and solidify the offense both now and for the future.

The asking price now has certainly risen (more on that later) as the rule change will boost costs to sign weaker fielders who can knock the cover off a baseball as a DH.

They say timing is everything. It probably is. If so, then Mr. Bloom mistimed the Schwarber situation to a fare-the-well and the club will be worse as a result.