3 things Boston Red Sox need to do now that the MLB lockout is over

Matt Barnes #32 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Matt Barnes #32 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /
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Boston Red Sox
Garrett Whitlock #72 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Boston Red Sox offseason to-do list item No. 1: Figure out the bullpen

The Red Sox bullpen, as currently constructed, is a mess to say the least. They were a makeshift unit last season, and no additions were made before the lockout took place. It’s clear some extra arms are going to be needed to fill out the bullpen, and a closer needs to be decided upon after Matt Barnes fell apart last season.

The most logical in-house option for closer would be Garrett Whitlock, who was superb last season. He gradually worked his way into some clutch late-inning situations in the postseason, and his performance in Game 4 of the ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays may have saved Boston’s season. He was a stud in every situation last season, and he showed no fear of taking on those late-inning roles deep in the postseason. Make him your closer.

There are some salvagable pieces throughout the bullpen still, but it’s not enough. Josh Taylor emerged as a dominant lefty reliever last season, and Ryan Brasier finally seemed to figure things out again after struggling ever since Boston’s 2018 World Series win. There’s always hope Barnes could find his form again after dominating during the first half of the season, but you cannot count on that to happen.

Boston desperately needs a setup man or two, but their options are slim on the market. Their best options available would probably be Ryan Tepara, who was deadly last season, or Archie Bradley, who also has experience closing. The middle part of the bullpen is OK, but it’s clear some more late-inning arms are needed.

dark. Next. The Red Sox have some big challenges ahead of them

Figuring out the bullpen is the most important piece of Boston’s offseason agenda. The bullpen was the team’s biggest liability last season, and while they ultimately fell short in the ALCS because their lineup went cold, their bullpen did them no favors. Fixing the bullpen is going to be a tough task right now, but if done correctly, it can turn the Sox into a powerhouse team this season.