If you had to describe the 2022 Boston Red Sox in a single word, many come to mind. Many fans would say “disappointing,” “aggravating,” “inadequate,” and “discouraging” are at the top of their list. The best one, though, is probably “frustrating.” No matter who Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom traded for over the past months, no matter how manager Alex Cora shuffled the lineup, or who he pulled from the bullpen, the Red Sox could not get it right.
With the departure of players who called Fenway home for years like Christian Vazquez, and what feels like a plague of injuries for the pitching staff, it seems nothing has gone the Red Sox’ way this season. An endless cycle of optioning players to Triple A, along with a whole slew of rookies new to playing at the highest level has left the Sox struggling to make it to game 162.
Chris Sale’s stress fracture to his rib cage may have been a sign for the troubles that were in store for Boston over the coming months. Couple the amount of injuries for starters with the steady decline in performance of some veterans like J.D. Martinez, it’s no wonder the Red Sox have labored to finish out the season.
It’s clear where everyone’s mind has been this season, as well. There has been no shortage of distraction in the clubhouse for fans and management alike to be preoccupied with. A couple narrative’s have stuck out among the rest, with all eyes on the future of some key members in the clubhouse like Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers.
The All-Star shortstop will be able to opt out of his contract and become a free agent this offseason. Bogaerts has been such an integral presence in the locker room, and is undeniably a team leader. He has been one of the faces of the Red Sox for years, and everyone, including Bogaerts himself, would like to work out a long-term deal. It will all come down to whether or not the Red Sox are willing to offer up the hefty sum of cash that the veteran is worth.
Devers is in a similar boat. The two are a dynamic duo on the left side of the infield, and are close friends off the field. Devers has made it clear that he would be happy if “Bogey” re-signs, and the team and Devers are able to agree on an extension to keep the pair at Fenway. Devers has one more season until free agency, but would be open to working out a deal this offseason.
It has been a long 162 games, and finishing last in the division leaves a sour taste in everyone’s mouth. With a losing record of 78-84, this off season will be critical for Chaim Bloom and Alex Cora. The duo has their work cut out for them as they figure out the future of the club, iron out the kinks of this season, and plan how to bounce back in 2023.