The Boston Red Sox are coming off of a 92-win season in 2021 that came to an unfortunate end in the ALCS, losing to the eventual champion Houston Astros 4 games to 2.
The ‘Sox had six 3.0+ WAR performances from their 2021 roster as well as five players elected to the All-Star game, a number higher than any other team (tied with the Dodgers).
This is a Red Sox team that features star offensive players Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, and Alex Verdugo in their lineup not to mention the always dangerous J.D. Martinez. On the pitching side of things, Matt Barnes and Garrett Whitlock are reliable bullpen arms and Nathan Eovaldi has looked excellent in his past two seasons in Red Sox-red. The club has already upgraded their rotation three times this offseason, signing James Paxton, Rich Hill, and Michael Wacha to one-year deals.
The Red Sox are contenders every year and last season was no different. One of the better teams in the American League, there are few noticeable holes in the club’s roster but there are three things that should be on their to-do list once the Major League Baseball lockout ends in 2022.
Re-sign Kyle Schwarber
28-year old Kyle Schwarber found himself off to a hot start in 2021, making his first All Star game and slugging 25 home runs through just 72 games as a Washington National. At the trade deadline the big lefty was flipped to the Red Sox in exchange for a minor league pitcher.
Schwarber instantly became a fan favorite in Boston as his walk numbers shot up, his strikeout numbers lowered, and he continued to be above average with his OBP (.435), SLG (.522) and OPS (.957). A catcher-turned outfielder, Schwarber began to see time at first base as a member of the Red Sox, making 10 appearances at the position down the stretch to go along with outings in left field and designated hitter.
The moment that cemented Kyle Schwarber’s place in the heart of every Boston Red Sox fan out there, however, was his huge grand slam in game 3 of the ALCS this past season. See the moment below in case you missed it.
While the Red Sox may have themselves a new everyday first baseman in Bobby Dalbec and the primary designated hitter in 2022 will be J.D. Martinez, the ‘Sox traded away Hunter Renfroe and now have a spot open in their lineup for Schwarber. It’s entirely possible that Alex Verdugo ends up in right field with Schwarber in left and a combination of Jackie Bradley Jr. and Jarren Duran (if he’s ready) in center.