2020 MLB Power Rankings: 21. Boston Red Sox


Photo via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license

Brendan Murphy

This one is going to raise some eyebrows. I have the Boston Red Sox at number 21 in my rankings.

When I initially made these rankings back in January, I had the Red Sox near the middle of the pack, but when the Mookie Betts trade became a reality, I had to move them down. Way down.

The original way the Betts trade was drawn up honestly could have been worse than when the Pirates traded for Chris Archer. Luckily for the Sox, they got smart and reworked the trade after medical issues arose with Brusdar Graterol. The main make up of the trade was Mookie Betts, David Price, Graterol and cash to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Alex Verdugo and Jeter Downs to the Red Sox and Kenta Maeda to the Minnesota Twins.

The Red Sox have been determined to get under the luxury tax threshold in order to reset it. Moving David Price was the answer and they had to trade Betts to Los Angeles to get it done.

The rest of the Red Sox lineup is really good. They can plug Verdugo into Betts’ spot in right field and it doesn’t take that much of a hit. They still have Xander Bogaerts at shortstop and Rafael Devers at third base, one of the best left sides of the infield in all of baseball. J.D. Martinez declined to opt out of his contract, locking him into the designated hitter spot for the club. This lineup won’t be the problem for the Red Sox.

Pitching will be the biggest issue for the Red Sox. Chris Sale had an MRI on his elbow yesterday and this morning the team announced that they will be getting another opinion, according to NESN. That is never a good sign and Sale could miss significant time again after missing most of the second half of last season.

The rest of the Red Sox rotation is simply not good. Eduardo Rodriguez is probably the best of that bunch. People sometimes forget that David Price is actually still a decent pitcher. Some said after the trade that he wasn’t good and his loss means nothing to the Sox. Stacked up against the rest of that rotation, Price would have been a pretty darn good option.

According to Bleacher Report, the Red Sox have the third worst farm system in baseball, but improved a bit with the acquisition of their now top prospect Jeter Downs in the Mookie Betts trade. Other than that, there really aren’t any top tier prospects for the team.

I know this was a controversial choice, but this poor pitching staff will likely be the reason the Red Sox may begin a sell off, at least of a guy like Xander Bogaerts, who is nearing free agency and may not stay with the club. This could be one team that could finish way above my ranking if they made trades to get more pitching during the season, but I just don’t see that happening.

Top Acquisition – Alex Verdugo

Biggest loss – Mookie Betts

MVP – Rafael Devers

Projected Finish – 4th in AL East


Projected Lineup:

  1. Andrew Benintendi, LF
  2. Xander Bogaerts, SS
  3. Rafael Devers, 3B
  4. J.D. Martinez, DH
  5. Alex Verdugo, RF
  6. Christian Vazquez, C
  7. Mitch Moreland, 1B
  8. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
  9. Jose Peraza, 2B

Projected Rotation:

  1. *Chris Sale
  2. Eduardo Rodriguez
  3. Nathan Eovaldi
  4. Martin Perez
  5. Hector Velazquez

* Sale will start the season on the Injured List and could miss more time if MRI results aren’t favorable

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Twitter: @B_Murphy_MU