Leandre: Red Sox Need to Address Bullpen

Leandre: Red Sox Need to Address Bullpen

by January 17, 2019 0 comments

The New York Yankees are still wheeling and dealing as we approach the final homestretch before pitchers and catchers report to spring training, signing Adam Ottavino to a three-year, $27 million contract on Thursday afternoon.

The Red Sox were linked to Ottavino earlier in the offseason, but recently the likelihood of the two coming to an agreement grew dim. Evidently, he decided to don pinstripes for the next few years. But the problem isn’t that the Red Sox failed to sign Ottavino, or even that the 33-year-old from Northeastern signed with the Yankees. The issue is that, here on Jan. 17, the Red Sox still don’t have a clear-cut closer.

Now, they can always bite the bullet and agree to a contract with Craig Kimbrel to return to Boston; but there isn’t even a guarantee that it’ll be as simple as offering him a contract. The Philadelphia Phillies are also incredibly interested in the All-Star closer.

If the season started now, the Red Sox are constructed to defend their World Series title with a closer by committee; and with the way the bullpen is designed, they don’t have one real candidate that knocks your socks off. Carson Smith has the most closing experience, and he is on a minor league deal coming off of three injury-plagued years in Boston.

Other than Smith, you’re looking at a committee consisting of Matt Barnes, Ryan Brasier, and maybe even Steven Wright. This coming off a year where you had an All-Star closer and still had the ninth-best bullpen in baseball with a 3.72 ERA.

There was certainly a debate to be had about whether or not the Red Sox should even consider a reunion with Kimbrel, who spent his last three years closing out games in Boston. But with the likes of Andrew Miller, David Robertson, and more recently Adam Ottavino off of the market, it has become so much more important that the Red Sox address the glaring issues in the bullpen.


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