MLB: Ross Atkins clear head of AL East general managers

Jul 2, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; Tampa Bay Rays catcher Francisco Mejia (28) misses the tag as Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Marcus Semien (10) is safe at home plate during the second inning at Sahlen Field. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 2, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; Tampa Bay Rays catcher Francisco Mejia (28) misses the tag as Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Marcus Semien (10) is safe at home plate during the second inning at Sahlen Field. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports /
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Red Sox pitcher Josh Taylor. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Red Sox pitcher Josh Taylor. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Boston Red Sox, Brian O’Halloran, +3.5 games

O’Halloran’s most widely publicized offseason move may turn out to be his worst. He traded Andrew Benintendi (-0.2) to Kansas City in exchange for Franchy Cordero (-0.6), a short-term negative impact to the Red Sox of nearly a half game.

He more than made up for that faux pas with a succession of less widely heralded hits. They have included:

The harvesting of three arms from the farm system. Josh  Taylor (+0.6), Darwinzon Hernandez (+0.4) and Eduard Bazardo (+0.2) have allowed just 18 earned runs in 71 games amounting to 61 innings, a 2.66 ERA. Net impact: +1.2 games.

The signing of free agent Enrique Hernandez, formerly of the Dodgers. Installed as the team’s new center fielder, Hernandez hasn’t hit for average, but he’s delivered enough punch to measure in at +1.1 WAA.

The acquisition of reliever Adam Ottavino from the Yankees for basically nothing. Ottavino (+0.5) has a 2.75 ERA in 39 games.

A series of less-heralded free agent signings have sometimes helped and sometimes hurt. Those signees include Hunter Renfroe (+0.3), Martin Perez (+0.3) and – O’Halloran’s other significant dark mark thus far – Garrett Richards (-0.6). The net impact of his free agent signings other than Hernandez: -1.6 games.

The decision to let  outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. walk to free agency. Bradley landed in Milwaukee, where to date he has yielded the Brewers -1.4 WAA.