The MLB trade deadline came and went, leaving Red Sox fans looking for answers. Despite being well within the American League Wild Card race, Boston did nothing to bolster its playoff odds.
It’s safe to say the fanbase isn’t exactly thrilled about the future.
Unless the Red Sox overperform and go on a tear down the stretch, there’s a decent chance they’ll miss the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons. Unsurprisingly, this uncertain future has those in Boston already looking ahead to the offseason.
A storied franchise like the Red Sox can’t afford to be a middling club forever. Chaim Bloom has to decide who stays and who goes this offseason if he wants his team to return to prominence.
Here are three Red Sox who’ll likely be gone following the 2023 season.
Red Sox Who Won’t Be Back in 2024
1. James Paxton
Veteran left-handed pitcher James Paxton headed into the 2023 MLB campaign with a chip on his shoulder. After all, he had only started in six games between 2020 and 2022 due to a slew of injuries.
While some doubted the Canadian’s bounce-back ability, he’s been proving his detractors wrong. As of Aug. 2, Paxton has started 13 games for the Red Sox, pitching to a 6-2 record and 3.34 ERA while averaging 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings.
Boston would love to have this version of Paxton back on the mound next season, but that isn’t a guarantee.
The 34-year-old veteran will become a free agent this offseason and his resurgence will likely attract many suitors. Reliable left-handed pitching can also be hard to come by, increasing the likelihood of him getting paid.
Even though the Red Sox can go head-to-head in a bidding war with any franchise, that doesn’t guarantee Paxton’s return. Perhaps they don’t think that he can replicate this season’s results or maybe he doesn’t like the direction that Boston is heading.
Either way, don’t pencil Paxton into the club’s 2024 starting rotation just yet.