After finishing off a dismal 69-93 season last year, it’s time for the Red Sox to prepare for the upcoming season; but is this season going to be better than the last?
The American League East is much tougher than it has been in years past. The division has done a complete 180: the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays continue to get better and younger, while the New York Yankees and Red Sox fall victim to injuries and ever growing age.
This offseason the Red Sox signed aging catcher and first baseman Mike Napoli; mediocre shortstop Stephen Drew; overpaid for an ex-speedy outfielder Shane Victorino; unproven relief pitcher Koji Uehara; signed veteran Ryan Dempster; and traded for closer Joel Hanrahan.
If I were to give a grade for these offseason signings it would be a C-. The only reason I scored them so high is because of the signing of Hanrahan—who has tallied 76 saves in the past two seasons. Other than that, this offseason should not give Red Sox Nation too much hope for this upcoming season.
The Red Sox play a third of their regular season games against other AL East opponents, something that will prove to be detrimental for Boston.
The Toronto Blue Jays have completely revamped their team with the acquisitions of shortstop Jose Reyes, outfielder Melky Cabrera, and starting pitchers Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey. The Jays are positioned to be the best in the East, contending with the Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays.
Red Sox Nation had to endure an 86-year drought before they saw Boston hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy again. Could history be repeating itself?
With the way the division is shaping up—the Jays, Rays and Orioles getting younger and better each offseason— Red Sox nation could be in store for a long drought. Now, I don’t foresee it going another eight and a half decades, but it is something that may last for quite a while.
I say this for a couple of reasons; first off, the Red Sox are an old team, much older than a lot of other teams in the AL. To top that off, there’s no prospects within their organization that would make anyone excited about the future—something that has made the Rays and Orioles the dominant force in the division now.
Secondly, owner John Henry and the rest of the Red Sox organization have fallen into such a one-on-one battle with the Yankees that they forgot about the rest of the division; allowing the other three teams to leap frog them to the top.
My projected AL East Division outcome:
- Baltimore Orioles
- Toronto Blue Jays
- Tampa Bay Rays
- New York Yankees
- BOSTON RED SOX
Sorry Red Sox Nation, it is looking like another down year in Boston. At least you aren’t a Chicago Cubs fan and still waiting for the drought to end.
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