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The Official Offseason Blueprint For The Boston Red Sox To Repeat In 2019

Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox
Dave Dombrowski doesn’t have a ton of work to do in order for the Boston Red Sox to repeat in 2019 (John Wilcox/Boston Herald)

The Boston Red Sox are your 2018 World Series Champions. After spending the past few days in Boston living it up and celebrating during the duck boat parade, it’s time to look ahead to the upcoming offseason. As Bill Belichick said – NO DAYS OFF. If the Red Sox want to build upon what could be baseball’s most dominating dynasty in the 21st century, they need to capitalize on a strong offseason. The man in charge of that task is Dave Dombrowski. The last time Dombrowski won the World Series was with the Marlins and had to blow up the team because of monetary restrictions. Now Dombrowski gets to head into the offseason with the Red Sox as true defending champions with a chance to compete for a long time. Below is going to be the official blueprint for how the Boston Red Sox can repeat as champs in 2019.

Re-Sign Nathan Eovaldi

There is one impending free agent that needs to be the priority and that guy is Nathan Eovaldi. Forget everyone else for a second. Nathan Eovaldi has really popped. It’s finally come together for him. Manager Alex Cora even called him the next Charlie Morton. The stuff has always been phenomenal but now he has clicked it all together with his pitch mix and execution. The character is off the charts. Multiple players in the organization have claimed that Eovaldi is a freak in the weight room as well. 102 MPH plays in October. He never blinked for a second in the playoffs. The nuts on this guy are just flat out unreal. His advanced pitcher’s numbers go to show that he’s much better than the ERA (3.81) would suggest including a WHIP of .982. That’s almost impossible to do. By comparison, Jacob DeGrom’s WHIP was .912 and he is coming off a historic season and did so in the joke that is the National League. Eovaldi is a stud and I don’t think we have seen the best of him. He’s also the youngest starting pitcher available on the market (29 in February). Get it done Dave. Re-Signing Nathan Eovaldi needs to be priority A, B, and C. My guess is that he will likely accept a deal in the 3-4 year range worth $15 million annually.

Wait and see on Craig Kimbrel

Here’s my take on Craig Kimbrel. If he accepts the Qualifying offer then great. We have a lights-out closer on a one-year deal worth $17.9 million. That’s more than fair for a reliever. Especially coming off a horrendous postseason that made me sweat profusely every time he came into the game. I love everything about Kimbrel. The beard, the mantis windup, the nasty hook. But in my heart of hearts, I know that giving him a long-term, big money contract is a huge mistake. Kimbrel’s control has always been his downfall. He can never hit his spots. What helps is that his stuff is so disgusting is that it normally doesn’t matter.

Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox will have to wait and see on Craig Kimbrel’s price tag (Christopher Evans/Boston Herald)

The problem is that Kimbrel is 30. The minute his fastball velocity goes down, it’s going to start going downhill big time. Did you see what happened to Kenley Jansen after landing his deal? Add in the fact that Boston will receive draft pick compensation if Kimbrel departs in free agency. The Red Sox farm system has been depleted because of trades (most of them well worth it) and now Boston will select 10 spots lower in every round for exceeding the highest luxury tax threshold. Adding a compensation draft pick to that equation helps. At the end of the day, if Kimbrel takes the qualifying offer than great. If not then it’s time to say goodbye. My guess is that Kimbrel breaks the closer payday record that Aroldis Chapman holds at 5 years worth $86 million. If that’s the case then he’s probably played his last day in a Red Sox uniform.

Figure Out The Bullpen

If Craig Kimbrel departs then there is a lot of work to be done building up this Red Sox bullpen. Joe Kelly is also a free agent. It’s hard to know what his market will be considering his postseason heroics. The Carson Smith experience is also over after he elected free agency after getting booted from the 40 man roster. Right now you’re looking at Ryan Brasier and Matt Barnes as the only trusted late-inning options. Tyler Thornburg is the X-Factor for this group who excelled as a closer with the Brewers in 2016 but hasn’t played well with the Sox thus far.

My guess is that Dombrowski gives the likes of Zach Britton, Andrew Miller, Cody Allen, Kelvin Herrera, and David Robertson will get a look. Price pending of course. Boston needs to land just one of those guys. Hopefully in the 2-year, $18 million range. Bobby Poyner figures to play a role as the lefty specialist. Brian Johnson, Hector Velazquez are perfect swing starters for the bullpen. Heath Hembree and Brandon Workman are fine for the 6th and 7th inning guys.

Another route would be the trade market. Felipe Vazquez would be a perfect closer replacement. Same for Rasiel Iglesias. It’s hard to pinpoint an exact target without knowing what it would take to get a trade done. Adding two guys to the pen regardless of the status of Kimbrel and Kelly is on the to-do list.

What’s the deal with Dustin Pedroia?

I’ll keep this short because I don’t think anyone knows the answer to this. Is Dustin Pedroia going to play 2nd base on a regular basis in 2019? If so then great, problem solved. If not then I don’t think things change a whole lot. Brock Holt deserves a chance to be that guy. Eduardo Nunez is also more than capable. Michael Chavis is also a promising hitter in the minors that could get a look.

Explore First Base options

Everyone is endeared to Steve Pearce after winning World Series MVP. How can you not be? He grew up a Red Sox fan and bounced around the league as a glorified journeyman to future MVP. Pearce has played for every single AL East team. Pearce had a solid year hitting .284 and can really crush left-handed pitching. Maybe a platoon of Pearce and Mitch Moreland deserves another go around as defending champs. There’s also a chance that maybe someone goes crazy and really overpays Pearce.

There’s another chance that maybe first base is a place you want to make a splash. Paul Goldschmidt is on the trade block after Arizona claimed they would listen on him. Maybe you can land him at a discounted rate knowing that he will come with only one-year of control. The same applies to Nolan Arenado. Maybe it’s time to move Rafael Devers to first base. That move will probably have to take place at some point because he is a massive third baseman who will only get bigger considering he is only 22. This roster is loaded but there is a chance to really stick the dagger in the competition by landing a mega first baseman. Josh Bell or Kyle Schwarber would be other under the radar options who I both like. Would it be so crazy if Hanley Ramirez returns?

That’s Some Cheese – Episode 19 – 4.6.18

*Other quick notes:

Just say no to Drew Pomeranz. I hate his face. It looks like his dog just died regardless of how he’s pitching. Let him walk and let another fan base suffer.

Try to get as many extensions done as possible. Jackie Bradley, Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, and Chris Sale all need new deals. Fresh off a championship is the time they may bite on a team friendly extension.

Please retire Ian Kinsler. You’re old and washed up. You won a title. Go out on top. It’s hard to watch him play anymore.

Try to look for takers on Rusney Castillo. He was signed from Cuba in 2014 but really has no place on the roster. He hit .319 this year in AAA and really deserves another crack in the majors but he will rot in the minors because he is owed $24.5 million over the next two years and Boston wants to save as much money on the ugly contract. Find a taker, even if the team has to eat some of the cash. It will free up more money for free agency. I know that bum Pablo Sandoval’s contract is unmovable but you have to explore giving up prospects to get rid of some of the dead money on the books. The time to win is now.

Move one of the catchers. What I mean by that is trade Blake Swihart. He is worthless and a total waste of space on the roster. Christian Vazquez and Sandy Leon is the tandem that works. Handling the pitching staff is the most important thing and both of those guys do a fantastic job. Swihart can’t frame a pitch if his life depended on it. Move on from Swihart. Going into the season with three catchers again makes no sense.



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