Alex Cora

Three positions the Red Sox must strengthen during the 2021-22 offseason

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After getting knocked out of the playoffs, the Red Sox offseason for 2021 and 2022 is now the top priority for the club. There are several Red Sox who are upcoming free agents and several needs that will need to be addressed this winter. While Boston made a great run to the ALCS, their loss to the Astros did expose some shortcomings that should be addressed.

It’s worth keeping in mind that the Red Sox went from last in the AL East in 2020 to the ALCS in 2021.

They made great progress over the past year but still have some work to do if they want to win another championship. If the Red Sox offseason needs are met, who knows what can happen in 2022.

Red Sox offseason needs 2021

The Red Sox offseason in 2021 and 2022 figures to be a combination of addressing weaknesses while trying to keep their team together.

As mentioned, the Red Sox have some players approaching free agency, adding to their to-do list. With that in mind, let’s look at the Red Sox offseason needs ahead of the 2022 season.


First base

Kyle Schwarber was playing first base for the Red Sox during the postseason, which isn’t an ideal situation over the course of 162 games.

Schwarber would also have to exercise his mutual option to spend 2022 in Boston.

Even if he decides to stay with the Red Sox, the team could explore other options at first base since they could rearrange things to move Schwarber to the outfield. Bobby Dalbec is an internal option at first base, although he’s not yet a proven commodity. With or without Schwarber, the Red Sox need to explore their outside options at first base this winter.


Like most teams with championship aspirations, solidifying the bullpen should be a priority for the Red Sox.


Boston’s bullpen already has some nice pieces, although it’s not quite at a championship level. On top of that, Adam Ottavino and Hansel Robles are both free agents this winter, creating two big holes in the bullpen.

Also, Matt Barnes may be better suited as a setup man rather than a closer, so the Red Sox might need to go shopping at the top of the bullpen market during the offseason.

Starting pitcher

While this doesn’t look like a major offseason need for the Red Sox this winter, the club needs to think about its rotation.

After all, Eduardo Rodriguez is a free agent this winter and Nathan Eovaldi will hit the open market next year.

Of course, Chris Sale is back from Tommy John while Nick Pivetta and Tanner Houck will help provide some stability. But there’s also no such thing as having too much starting pitching.

The Red Sox need to think about how they’ll replace Rodriguez, who won 13 games and pitched 157.2 innings in 2021. They should also start preparing for potentially losing Eovaldi after 2022. That means the Red Sox might need to acquire a mid-rotation starter, or even a frontline starter, who will be under contract beyond the 2022 season.

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