Boston Red Sox: Re-evaluating the Trevor Story deal

Trevor Story #10 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
Trevor Story #10 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

With the Fourth of July in the rearview mirror, and the All-Star Game approaching, the 2022 season has officially reached the halfway mark for the Boston Red Sox. After the team’s up and down first half, this milestone gives us a great chance to look back at the Sox biggest offseason move: the mega-contract given to infielder Trevor Story.

Trevor Story not living up to expectations for Boston Red Sox

Underwhelming. That’s the word that comes to mind to describe Story’s first half-season with the Sox. And while it would be best to not overreact to just 75 games and a little more than 300 at-bats, there is too much at stake here to convince ourselves that everything is fine and just move on.

First, I feel obligated to state the obvious: there is a ton of time left for things to turn around. Story has the whole second half of this year, and then at least three full years until he has the ability to opt out in 2025. That’s a lot of baseball.

But it’s impossible to not feel a little disappointed in this moment. The former Colorado Rockies slugger is batting a career low .224, and although he has racked up 54 RBI’s already, that has come from being gifted a ton of at-bats with runners in scoring position by the top of the Sox lineup.

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Even Story’s 14 home runs have been a case study in streaky hitting. Through May 10, he had hit exactly zero homers. Over the next two weeks, though, he hit nine, including a hat trick on May 19th against the Seattle Mariners.

After that streak, he went quiet for another three weeks, before homering twice in three days in mid-June against the St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers. And finally, he homered in back-to-back games against the Tampa Bay Rays over the Fourth of July weekend.

With Story, it’s feast or famine. It always feels like he’s either going to hit four homers in a series, or strike out six times in three games. That level of inconsistency can’t have been what Chaim Bloom thought he was signing up for.

Boston Red Sox may have made a critical mistake

When you’re replacing a franchise legend, one of the most adored players by a fanbase of this century, you better get it right. And so far, this is far from a slam dunk.

Of course, the minute the Trevor Story signing became official, the writing was on the wall. Chaim Bloom was paving a path to let Xander Bogaerts leave at the end of the season, and Story even seemed to confirm that when asked about playing second base by media during spring training.

"“It was something me and my family and my team had to talk about a lot. I’ve been saying my whole career it’s about winning. This was a really good fit for me this year playing second on this team, with the Red Sox… Playing second is something I’m comfortable with.”"

The key words there, of course, are ‘this year’. Now, maybe I’m reading too much into it, but doesn’t that sound like a guy who from the very start was promised the shortstop position next season? That would mean that Xander Bogaerts would no longer be in Boston, which would be a true disaster.

As I said earlier, if you’re going to let a cornerstone like Bogaerts walk, you have to nail his replacement, and Story has been anything but a sure thing. He’s struggled to keep any sort of offensive groove, is on track to strike out more than 200 times if he stays healthy, and while he has played very good defense, $140 million is a lot of money for what Story has provided.

Boston Red Sox need more from Trevor Story

Again, there is plenty of time for this to turn around. But it’s not as if the Sox are getting younger by replacing Bogaerts with Story, if that is what ends up happening after the year. The two are separated in age by only a little more than a month. This is purely an economic decision for Bloom and Sox ownership, and it’s not off to a great start.

dark. Next. The 5 Greatest Boston Red Sox Shortstops of All-Time

While Story hasn’t been terrible, he has been nothing near what Boston was expecting, and if things don’t change soon, the fanbase may really start to turn against him. Especially if his mediocre play ends up driving Xander Bogaerts out of town.