MLB Season Preview: Boston Red Sox

Xander Bogaerts is the most heralded Sox prospect since Hanley Ramirez


The Boston Red Sox were crowned World Series champions in 2013, beating the St. Louis Cardinals in 6 games in the Fall Classic. The Sox were coming off a season in which they came in last place, winning only 69 games. A big trade sent Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford to the Dodgers, freeing up space to sign guys that ended up being key pieces in the postseason run – Mike Napoli, Stephen Drew, and Shane Victorino. The Red Sox are favorites to win the division in 2014, but Vegas thinks it’s the Tigers that are the best team in the American League.

Off-season transactions:

11/22 – Traded for RHP Burke Badenhop

12/4 – Signed C A.J. Pierzynski

12/12 – Re-signed 1B Mike Napoli

1/22 – Signed OF Grady Sizemore

2/22 – Signed LHP Chris Capuano

(The Red Sox did not re-sign Jacoby Ellsbury, Stephen Drew or Jarrod Saltalamachhia and Ryan Dempster will not play this season)

Losing Jacoby Ellsbury, an all-star centerfielder that has been with the club since 2007, is tough. Losing him to the Yankees is even tougher. GM Ben Cherington made a tough decision to not fork over the money, instead opting to sign Grady Sizemore to compete with Jackie Bradley Jr. for the starting CF spot. Xander Bogaerts will take over full time at shortstop after impressing last season, while Will Middlebrooks will get another chance to get the 3B job.  The Red Sox will get Jake Peavy for a full season and if Lackey and Lester can stay healthy, this will be one of the best pitching staffs in baseball.

Projected 2014 Lineup:

  • A.J. Pierzynski, C
  • Mike Napoli, 1B
  • Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  • Will Middlebrooks, 3B
  • Xander Bogaerts, SS
  • Shane Victorino, RF
  • Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
  • Daniel Nava, LF
  • David Ortiz, DH


  1. Jon Lester
  2. John Lackey
  3. Jake Peavy
  4. Clay Buccholz
  5. Felix Doubront

Closer: Koji Uehara

The Red Sox will win 90+ games in 2014, but will the Yankees or Blue Jays rebound to content for the division crown? The Orioles also got better in the offseason, and the Rays are always in contention. While I’d be willing to wager on a spot in the new five-team AL playoffs, the division title is wide open with all five teams in contention.