Even Red Sox Legends Are Fed Up With the Front Office

Apr 16, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Former Red Sox player Dustin Pedroia walks onto the field
Apr 16, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Former Red Sox player Dustin Pedroia walks onto the field / Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

For much of his career in a Red Sox uniform, Dustin Pedroia endeared himself to the fanbase with his blue collar and dirt dog style of play. Well, with a sizable contingent of Red Sox Nation fed up over the offseason inaction of ownership and the front office, Pedroia continues to endear himself to the fanbase even in retirement.

On Monday, Boston president and CEO Sam Kennedy told reporters that Pedroia had FaceTimed several key Red Sox decision-makers at last night's dinner to remind them of free agents still available and "make his feelings known about what the Red Sox should do". Pedroia's pitch to the front office mirrors many of the feelings that fans of the team have held as the offseason has progressed.

Red Sox fans (and likely Pedroia himself) had high expectations for the offseason after the chairman vowed a "full throttle" approach to the offseason in early November, only to have him eventually walk back the comments to "pressing all levers to improve the team" in January.

Of MLB.com's free agent rankings at the onset of the offseason, five of the top 10 ranked free agents are still unsigned, even as Spring Training camps are underway and Opening Day is slated for five weeks away.

Of those remaining on the open market, Boston fans have been clamoring for two southpaws, Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery. A clear offseason need for the Red Sox was to acquire top of the rotation starting pitching, and although the team inked Lucas Giolito to a two-year, $38.5 million just after the new year, they still lack a clear ace.

Snell is coming off of a Cy Young-winning season, his second time winning the award. He garnered 28 of the 30 first-place Cy Young votes, and became only the seventh hurler to win the award in both the American League and the National League.

To exacerbate matters, Snell has been increasingly linked to Boston's archrival, the New York Yankees, in recent days. Per Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Yankees "still have serious interest" in acquiring Snell.

Meanwhile, Montgomery compiled a career-best ERA, starting the season with the St. Louis Cardinals before he was shipped to the eventual World Series champion Texas Rangers. Once arriving in Texas, Montgomery starred with a 2.79 ERA in 11 starts and helped push the Rangers over in-state rival Houston Astros with a 2-0 record and 1.79 ERA in three starts in the ALCS.

Hopes of the Red Sox acquiring Montgomery were also heightened when news broke that the 31-year-old was living in Boston this offseason while his wife completed a dermatology residency at a local hospital. The seven-year MLB vet was also getting his offseason workouts in at nearby Boston College.

The refusal of Boston's key decision makers to meaningfully engage with Snell or Montgomery likely is a result of the "John Henry tax" and the "parameters" that Sam Kennedy and company set for new chief baseball officer Craig Breslow to operate under. Last month, Kennedy noted that the Red Sox will "probably" have a lower payroll in 2024 than the team did in 2023. Boston's 2023 payroll amounted to just over $186 million, while the 2024 payroll is currently projected at about $169 million.

Even if future Red Sox Hall of Famers (Pedroia will be inducted in 2024) are pressuring the front office into enhancing roster talent, it still appears that John Henry, Tom Werner, and Sam Kennedy will only listen to their bank accounts.

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