Tha Sports Junkies 101

Boston Red Sox: New Year, New Team

Boston Red Sox: New Year, New Team Image via SportsGraphics36


Boston Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox made some bold moves heading into the 2016 season, such as trading for Craig Kimbrel and Carson Smith, as well as signing David Price to give the team a true ace. With all their moves to strengthen what many thought was more than a capable team, they quickly became one of the favorites to contend for the World Series title in David Ortiz’s last season.

With David Price signed to a massive seven-year, $217 million contract, the Red Sox signaled that they were not afraid to spend on free agents in order to bring the post season back to Boston. Price would struggle early in the season, much like the rest of the Red Sox posting a 9-6 record with a 4.34 ERA pre-all-star break. This was not what the Red Sox had expected from Price as they hoped he would be in the Cy Young talk.

Instead it was fellow starters Rick Porcello, and knuckleballer Steven Wright who helped fix the rotational woes. Wright would go on to post a 13-6 record with a 3.33 ERA in 24 starts in 2016, with a knuckle ball more elusive than that of R.A. Dickey’s. Porcello emerged as a Cy Young candidate by leading the AL in wins with a 22-4 record, Porcello would also go on to capture AL Comeback Player of the Year.

But how can you forget what David Ortiz did in his miraculous final season in the big leagues? Big Papi, as he is so affectionately known by sports fans around the world, would go on to post a slash line of .315/.401/.620 in what became a season for the ages. Ortiz would be supported by the emergence of players like Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, and Hanley Ramirez.

Although the Red Sox would go on to capture the AL East in 2016, they would fall to Cleveland in the ALDS, falling short of their goal. The Red Sox had trouble staying healthy this past year, and saw 17 different players make trips to the DL. Most notable of these injuries was Pablo Sandoval, Carson Smith, and Blake Swihart. All would go on to miss the rest of the season after injuries in April, May and June.

Off-Season Moves:

The biggest move this off-season for the Boston Red Sox was the loss of legend and Icon David Ortiz to retirement, tasked with filling the hole left behind at the DH position will be a platoon of Hanley Ramirez, Mitch Moreland and a healthy Pablo Sandoval. While it will be hard to fill the void left by Ortiz, having the flexibility to give players days off by having them be the DH will be a great benefit to a team that has struggled to stay healthy the past few seasons. Although they were rumored to be in on names such as Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista, nothing ever materialized for Boston.

Now the biggest acquisition of the Red Sox off-season would be landing lefty All-star pitcher Chris Sale for a package of top prospects. Sale was on thin ice in Chicago after cutting up throw back jerseys and creating a rift with management. Sale is expected to help put the rotation over the top, and gives them quite a formidable 1-2 punch of lefties with David Price moving into the two spot in the rotation. This trade signals that the Red Sox are in a win now mode before they lose some of the older veterans as well as young guns.

They would also pick up Tyler Thornburg, a reliever from the Milwaukee Brewers, in exchange for a package centered around third baseman Travis Shaw. This move helped clear up any fight over who the starting third baseman will be going into the 2017 season for Boston.

The Red Sox would also go on to trade Clay Bucholz to the Philadelphia Phillies, and sign Mitch Moreland to round out their off-season moves.

Expectations for 2017:

The Boston Red Sox should go on to repeat as AL East Champions in a weakened division that has seen some of its top sluggers move on for greener pastures. With Chris Sale leading the charge on the mound, and a young core of players as well as veterans with post season experience, the Red Sox should be World Series contenders again in 2017.

Chris Sale will be expected to be a top Cy Young candidate next season. With Pablo Sandoval healthy, look for him to have a resurgent year and possibly capture the AL Comeback Player of the Year in 2017.


While Boston did lose franchise icon David Ortiz after being dominated by Cleveland in the playoffs, they went out and revamped their line-up with another injection of strong youth. While they look to remain healthy this season, Boston could be better than most expect.