The Boston Red Sox have some big challenges ahead of them

Xander Bogaerts #2 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Xander Bogaerts #2 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

There are big challenges ahead for the Boston Red Sox when it comes to finishing their offseason work. Whenever the MLB lockout ends (assuming it does actually end), there won’t be much time for the team to fill in their many remaining holes.

The MLB will be looking to maximize its earning potential. Thus, an abbreviated free agency period and makeshift Spring Training will certainly be afoot. Fortunately, the Red Sox have a very capable Director of Baseball Operations in Chaim Bloom. That’s a big plus.

Boston Red Sox roster building challenges in 2022

Once the lockout ends, Bloom is going to have a limited amount of time to address to positions of need that currently exist on Boston’s roster. If he wants the Red Sox to come anywhere near the level of success they achieved last season, he will need to act fast.

Few observers, if any, had predicted that the Red Sox would end their season two wins away from a World Series appearence. The credit for that surprising turnaround goes directly to Bloom. Keen additions like Kike Hernandez, Hunter Renfroe, Garrett Whitlock (an amazing pick up in the Rule 5 draft) and Trade Deadline acquisition Kyle Schwarber made a huge difference.

These moves and many others helped Boston earn a Wild Card spot after unexpectedly leading for the AL East for most of the season. Of course, they would be two divisional foes in the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays in the Wild Card and Divisional Series rounds before coming up short in the ALCS against the Houston Astros.

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Even though they lost, that’s a good season in pretty much any angle you look at it from, and the credit goes to Bloom for building an overachieving team that was built on a fairly limited budget. Bloom got creative in signing productive players to short term deals that ended up working brilliantly for both parties. Kudos to Bloom for that.

Since the end of the season though, the team has traded the aforementioned Renfroe and seems set to lose Schwarber in free agency as well. While both were defensively challenged at times, they played a big part in one of the most dangerous lineups in the league last season.

In light of these developments, it will be interesting to how Bloom and the front office will look to replace this offensive production. Rumors have been floating that suggested that Seiya Suzuki, who is set to make the jump to the MLB from the Japanese Professional Baseball League’s Hiroshima Toyo Carp, might become an international signing for Boston.

While there is always risk in signing a player from another league, all indications are that he’d be a great addition, especially for what might be a reasonable contract and required fees paid to his prior club.

In addition, Schwarber may still be added, and it could be on a four or five-year deal, as has been speculated. Yet, the introduction of the designated hitter in the National League will very likely increase his value, making it tougher for the Sox to bring him back.

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Additionally, Bloom has to solidify his bullpen, including sorting out the closer situation after the inconsistent performance of Matt Barnes in 2021. He also has to determine who will play second base and prepare for the potential opt-out of star shortstop Xander Bogaerts after this season.

It’s going to be a daunting task but unquestionably, Bloom has the baseball acumen, foresight, and track record to get the job done. In light of these challenges, that’s a good place to be for the Boston Red Sox organization no matter what its budget ultimately is.