By: Allen Cavagnaro
(BOSTON - MA) - With the Red Sox winning the World Series this year, it should be no surprise that the team doesn’t have the hardest roster to work with next year, but with the offseason upon us, there have been rumors among several players and even some players not returning. So here are some offseason topics that have been brewing.
Yes the Red Sox do have 3 stellar catchers that play their position well, that being Blake Swihart, Christian Vazquez, and Sandy Leon, however rumors have gone out today that the Red Sox are willing to trade all 3 of their catchers for players to be named later, but not only that but Boston has also shown interest in Yasmani Grandal, who has hit the second most home runs by a catcher since 2015, and a solid OBP which for a catcher is harder to come by. The Dodgers have not shown much interest in trying to resign.
Starters and Relievers
It was announced a couple weeks ago that Craig Kimbrel turned down the qualifying offer made by the Boston Red Sox that exceeded $17M/year, so Kimbrel's presence has been made clear that he is a free agent this offseason. Following that news, it is known that Kelly and Eovaldi have not been signed yet by the team, and with the Sox already having a 39 man roster out of 40, it either seems to be Boston plans on signing one of the two, trading players to have more roster space, or not signing either of them and picking up a free agent. Nathan Eovaldi has definitely increased his stock value this offseason by his postseason heroics, which also saw the interest of teams such as the Phillies, Angels, Reds, and even the Giants, however they see his role as a reliever working out of the bullpen. For Eovaldi this is recommended for his health but he still wants to remain a starting pitcher in the rotation, unless money points him in the direction of being a closer i.e if Eovaldi receives a similar contract to Aroldis Chapman. And a bittersweet story from Boston's very own fight club member, Joe Kelly. He’s made it known that he would do anything it takes to stay in Boston for the rest of his career, so we know he wants to resign with the Sox, but we don’t know if the Sox would like for him to return, posting a 4.39 ERA this year but a fantastic ERA in the postseason that stands below 1. For Kelly he is known by the Red Sox to have some of the nastiest pitches on the team, furthermore putting up a 2.79 ERA last year just shows that he is inconsistent but has the possibility to shine in 2019.
Prospects and Trades
The Red Sox have promoted a few players from Pawtucket and also traded for a prospect from San Diego. Colten Brewer has been acquired in a trade from the Padres in return for infielder Esteban Quiroz from Triple-A. The prospects that would be added to the 40-Man are infielder Michael Chavis, pitchers Travis Lakins, Darwinzon Hernandez, Josh Taylor, and Denyi Reyes. This would add up the 40-man roster for 2019 upto 39/40 players that are not up for grabs in the Rule 5 Draft. Essentially, like stated before, Boston has one spot left and either needs to sign a player or make a trade to open up roster space. Overall, for Dombrowski, the bigger picture is not that he can potentially lose 2 relievers and a starter, but the fact that he is promoting 4 pitchers from Pawtucket and trading for another prospect that can pitch. In the long run, these moves may pay big dividends as some may be able to break into stars in 2019.