The Boston Red Sox have a lot of work to do this offseason.
One of the most storied franchises in MLB history, the Red Sox have only made the playoffs once in the last five years. Something has to change over the winter months, putting pressure on new Chief Baseball Officer Craig Breslow to trim the fat and do what he can to foster the best possible roster in 2024.
With that in mind, here are five Red Sox players who are skating on thin ice this offseason.
5 Red Sox on Thin Ice
1. Tanner Houck
Tanner Houck's first season as a full-time starting pitcher in 2023 didn't even come close to going as planned.
Making a personal-high 21 starts, Houck only went 6-10 with a 5.01 ERA and 1.37 WHIP — both the worst marks of his career. On top of also surrendering a career-worst 3.5 walks per nine innings, the 27-year-old's .742 OPS allowed was also noticeably above his career average (.657).
There's no dancing around it: Houck's 2023 campaign was a disappointment. After all, this is the same hurler who was the organization's No. 3-ranked prospect in 2018, so the fact that he appears to be a bottom-of-the-rotation arm at best stings a lot.
Nevertheless, Houck is still under team control through 2027, meaning Boston doesn't need to get rid of him just yet. On the flip side, he's also been rumored to be a potential trade chip if the Red Sox want to trade for a legitimate starting pitcher this offseason.
With next season marking his seventh year with the organization, Houck is running out of time to prove his worth.