The Red Sox made plenty of offseason moves to bolster the roster that finished last in the AL East last year. One things for sure, Dave Dombrowski did exactly what he told us he would do: acquire an ace starter, bolster the bullpen, and add a fourth outfielder. A few more minor moves have put the Red Sox right back into the division mix.
David Price: Red Sox got the best pitcher available in the free agent market this offseason. They signed their former foe to a seven-year, $217 million contract with an opt-out after the 2018 season. Price immediately becomes the Red Sox number one and pushed the rest of the starters into roles they should be more comfortable with. The former Cy Young winner should be a fixture at the top of the rotation for many years to come.
Carson Smith: The main piece of the trade that sent Wade Miley to Seattle and slides into a key role in the Red Sox bullpen. Smith will be part of the bridge from the Red Sox rotation to Craig Kimbrel and Koji Uehara. Smith brings a mid 90's fastball and a makeup that should add some grit that the bullpen was lacking last year.
Roenis Elias: The secondary piece of the Wade Miley trade, Elias tried to carve his niche out as a starter last season. After bouncing back and forth between starting and relieving, it looks more like he will become the swing man out of the Red Sox bullpen. While he has a few people to beat out to earn a spot in the pen, he could become a valuable lefty if Tommy Layne or Robbie Ross fail. Elias was overlooked as part of that trade, but could be a key member of the Red Sox 2016 season.
Chris Young: Young signed on as a fourth outfielder and according to John Farrell will play against every left handed pitcher. While this may not be best for Jackie Bradley Jr., he could end up stealing more playing time from Rusney Castillo if he fails to live up to his potential again. Young is a solid bench piece that signed early and did not create much fodder among the media, but he could become a more valuable member of the Red Sox if someone in their young outfield struggles.
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Wade Miley: Miley got traded to the Seattle Mariners and will probably not be missed. Not saying Miley is not a valuable starting pitcher, but technically his replacement is David Price. Miley provided the Red Sox with some sort of consistency last season but did not really stick out enough for Dombrowski to keep him around.
Craig Breslow: After being a member of the Red Sox bullpen for four seasons, Breslow signed with the Marlins this offseason. While at times he was lights out, hello 2013 playoffs, he was ineffective last year, like much of the Red Sox bullpen. The loss of Breslow will not be significant to the 2016 season.
Rich Hill: Hill parlayed a dominant end of the year into a Major League deal with the Oakland Athletics this offseason. While Hill was a great story, after he signed out of independent ball last year, he will not be missed as the Red Sox hope the new rotation slots help ease the burden of everyone trying to be an ace for this team.
One thing is for sure, the Red Sox improved their club this offseason and suffered no real losses that should set them back. Bounce back years from some of their veteran players will determine how much success they have this season, but the moves they made show they are going to compete for the AL East crown after missing the mark the last two seasons.