by npatano on April 7, 2022
Julia McCoy ’22
A standout off-season for the Boston Red Sox has fans excited to see baseball coming back on April 7. After the introduction of former Tampa Bay Rays executive Chaim Bloom in 2020—a year that proved dismal for the Red Sox—fans have been looking for a big turnaround in the program. Watching as all-star players signed with other teams, like Carlos Correa to the Minnesota Twins and Freddie Freeman to the LA Dodgers, fans were worried that the team would not see a big signing in this short offseason.
On Dec. 1, right before the 99-day lockout began, Red Sox fans were excited to hear about the signing of Jackie Bradley Jr., a player who had played an integral role for the team in the 2018 World Series-winning season. The deal did not bring the star appeal they had been hoping for, but it was a sign that Bloom was ready to make some changes to the team.
The 2021 season proved rather successful, with the Red Sox making it to the American League Championship Series and falling short to the Houston Astros, losing the series in six games. It was clear that this team could make a serious run in October and would continue to be successful in 2022 if they could keep the core of their power. Luckily, they seem to have done just that.
As the shortened offseason began in mid-March 2022, teams quickly began picking up all-star free agents and making blockbuster trades. With new additions and contracts from the last few years, the American League East division is stacking up to be one of the most competitive in all of baseball this season, with four out of five teams showcasing immense power throughout their lineups. The Tampa Bay Rays have secured breakout star Wander Franco for the next 11 seasons, the Toronto Blue Jays continue to show off the power of their beloved Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and the Yankees have picked up Anthony Rizzo to work alongside their roster. With the teams slated to play each other 19 times in the 162-game season, this season will not be lacking in competitive matchups.
Red Sox fans waited with baited breath as their team was reportedly in the conversation for several of the biggest signings of the offseason. In the end, they ended up signing all-star infielder Trevor Story, who is lined up to play second base in an already-stacked infield including Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, and Bobby Dalbec.
In the outfield, fans will welcome back Jackie Bradley Jr., Enrique Hernandez, Alex Verdugo, and will likely see more time from Christian Arroyo, too. Meanwhile the pitching rotation will see the return of staple pieces like Nathan Eovaldi, Chris Sale, accompanied by newer standouts like Garrett Whitlock, Nick Pivetta, and Tanner Houck.
Looking ahead to the season, there is going to be constant competition for the AL pennant and a slate of games against other competitive opponents. With the retention of standout stars and the signing of more power, the Boston Red Sox look to repeat a successful 2021 season, with a determination to get to the World Series that they were two games away from last October.
Fenway Park is set to host its home opener on April 15, Jackie Robinson Day and One Boston Day. What a way to start a highly anticipated season.
For baseball fans across the country, excitement is rising as the league looks to complete its first “normal” season since 2019. After a shortened, fanless 2020 season and a 2021 season that started with limited capacity stadiums, 2022 will surely bring excitement and competition in the six month season that lies ahead.