Setting Realistic Expectations for the Red Sox in 2024

Before the excitement of baseball takes over, let's take a second to understand what this Red Sox team is really capable of.
Mar 17, 2024; Fort Myers, Florida, USA;  Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers (11) hits a two
Mar 17, 2024; Fort Myers, Florida, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers (11) hits a two / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox started their offseason with their ownership vowing to fans they'd be all-in on competing in 2024. After that, it got really quiet in Boston. Their only significant transactions were trading Alex Verdugo to the rival New York Yankees and signing starting pitcher Lucas Giolito to a two-year deal. But Giolito immediately needed elbow surgery and is now out for the season.

On a positive note, the Sox agreed with Liam Hendricks on a deal to bring him into their bullpen. They also signed young pitcher Brayan Bello to an extension, keeping him in Boston through at least the 2029 season. The Red Sox value Bello immensely and feel he is a big part of their future plans.

Some believe there is no reason to write the Red Sox off in 2024. Any given team can get hot at the right time. Take the 2023 Arizona Diamondbacks as an example. They peaked at the right time and found themselves playing for a World Series title. But it's also important to realize the mountain ahead of the Sox they will need to climb.

Red Sox Should Keep Expectations Tempered

In their initial MLB rankings, ESPN has the Boston Red Sox ranked 19th in a tier called "We're Saying There's A Chance." They predict the Sox will have a 79-83 record with a 21% chance of making the playoffs. They say the Sox will need impressive seasons from youngsters Triston Casas and Ceddanne Rafela to make the playoffs.

Remember, this will be one of baseball's best divisions. The Baltimore Orioles are one of the youngest teams in baseball, but they're also considered one of the best in the American League. The New York Yankees also loaded up by adding Juan Soto to their slugging outfield. Plus, the Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays will not just roll over.

It's very possible that two, maybe even three, teams from this division make the playoffs. That's how good it is. Realistically, the Red Sox need more firepower to keep up with the top contenders. They are still in the hunt for free-agent pitcher Jordan Montgomery. But that will only take them so far.

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