July 16, 2024

Crimson Sox

“I do consider we’re gonna make some strikes, we’re gonna get higher, we’re gonna be deeper.”

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora walks to the dug out after conferring on the mound in the fifth inning during the second game of a baseball doubleheader against the New York Yankees in Boston, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023.
Alex Cora and the Crimson Sox are in search of stronger returns in 2024. (AP Picture/Michael Dwyer)

The writing has been on the wall for months that the Crimson Sox are poised to be big-time gamers this winter.

After ending final within the AL East for the third time in 4 seasons in 2023, new chief baseball ops officer Craig Breslow has routinely expressed a willingness to bolster Boston’s pitching workers and shift Boston’s latest standing as a cellar-dweller.

And with Boston each flush with blue-chip prospects and boasting near $50 million in accessible spending energy earlier than reaching the primary CBT threshold of $237 million, Breslow and his workers have the means to amass expertise for the big-league roster in a number of methods.

However for as a lot as this time of 12 months often revolves round free-agent feeding frenzies and commerce rumors, Crimson Sox supervisor Alex Cora nonetheless believes that Boston’s path towards rivalry in 2024 nonetheless rests on inside contributors taking a significant step ahead.

“I do consider there’s a couple of issues that we received to do higher as a baseball staff,” Alex Cora stated of Boston’s offseason plans throughout an look on MLB Community. “I do know the expectations of the fanbase and all people else is so as to add this free agent or signal this massive man, no matter. However I do consider, from my perspective, we’d like our guys to be higher — [Garrett] Whitlock, [Tanner] Houck, [Kutter] Crawford, [Brayan] Bello.” 

“We want Trevor Story to get again to the offensive power that he was in Colorado. We want Raffy Devers to be higher at third base. Triston Casas — the way in which he completed the season final 12 months. So I do consider we’re gonna make some strikes, we’re gonna get higher, we’re gonna be deeper. However I believe the core of the group – Jarren Duran, Alex Verdugo, Triston Casas, Raffy Devers – they should be higher.”

A lot of the offseason discourse surrounding the Crimson Sox has revolved round beginning pitching — particularly free-agent targets corresponding to Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Blake Snell, or Jordan Montgomery. 

However Cora careworn that the Crimson Sox’ beginning rotation nonetheless wants returning contributors to proper the ship after a 2023 season the place Boston ranked twenty first in MLB with a 4.52 staff ERA.

“I believe these guys may also help any staff within the massive leagues, proper,” Cora stated of pitchers like Yamamoto, Snell and Montgomery. “However like I stated earlier than, a very powerful factor is for Chris Sale to be wholesome. Brayan Bello to take the following step. Garrett Whitlock and Tanner Houck, to bounce again from a troublesome 12 months. You bought to recollect three of these guys final 12 months within the offseason, they have been getting back from surgical procedure.

“Their offseason was minimize brief and I don’t assume they hit their stride in the course of the season. So all these names are excellent. I do know lots of people are enthusiastic about them — the 30 groups on the big-league degree. However from our finish, we’d like our guys to be higher to enhance and hopefully we will accomplish that.”

Cora didn’t dispel the notion that the Crimson Sox might be within the hunt for a free agent at second base like Whit Merrifield. 

However Cora additionally believes that the Crimson Sox have sufficient inside choices to step into that infield emptiness if Breslow focuses his offseason efforts elsewhere on the roster.

“It’s crucial for us to create steadiness, and that’s one thing Craig and I’ve talked all through the method the final three weeks,” Cora stated. “We simply gotta be affected person. We’ve received some guys within the system, they’re actually good. Enmanuel Valdez, he was a very good offensive participant. Defensively? He had his hiccups the place he’s working arduous at it. And Pablo Reyes was one other man that got here in and he really swung the bat nice. … We’re very comfy with these guys.

“David Hamilton is one other man that had thumb surgical procedure in the course of the season — this man is an elite defender, an elite runner. He was hitting the ball arduous final 12 months. So proper now we’re comfy with the group that now we have, however as , each GM, each president of baseball operations is making an attempt to enhance.