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Red Sox 2024 Spring Paining Preview

Wilyer Abreu reacts after striking out against the New York Yankees.

As the Red Sox prep in Fort Myers, here is a cheat sheet to get you caught up on what lies ahead for the 2024 season.

The Boston Red Sox finished the 2023 season 78-84. That was good for last in the AL East. Again. For the third time in four years. Rest assured, ownership will not let this indignity continue any longer, right? A new Chief of Baseball Operations (Craig Breslow) but the same penny-pinching policies from ownership means the Sox are unlikely to advance out of their familiar spot at the bottom of the AL East. It may soon need to be called Boston’s Basement. Hope rests on some new additions returning to the way they were in career years of the past, and with younger players taking more steps forward. Holes in the starting rotation will need to be filled as well. Everyone is 0-0 right now so be optimistic, for better or worse.


SP Lucas Giolito

OF Tyler O’Neill

RP Liam Hendriks

2B Vaughn Grissom

RP Cooper Criswell

RP Greg Weissert

1B C.J. Cron (minors)

RP Isaiah Campbell

RP Justin Slaten

UTIL Romy Gonzalez

C Roberto Perez (minors)

RP Lucas Luetge (minors)


DH Justin Turner

OF Adam Duvall

SP James Paxton

OF Alex Verdugo

SP Chris Sale

INF Luis Urias

RP John Schreiber

SP Corey Kluber

Offseason Grade: D

A casual baseball fan should recognize at least three of the five departures, and maybe one of the arrivals. The trade of Sale for Grissom was a good move for the Sox. Sale was beyond repair in Boston. The witches in Salem must’ve gotten to him. The Red Sox minimally addressed their problems from last season: starting pitching, defense, and power hitting. Letting Duvall and Turner walk leaves 3B Rafael Devers and 1B Triston Casas as the only power threats. For the rotation, Giolito eats innings to save the bullpen, but with what quality of pitching remains to be seen. Sadly, Grissom and Giolito are both expected to start the season in the IL. Giolito will remain there after surgery on his elbow, along with Liam Hendriks.

Alas, it’s difficult to look at this roster versus the one from last year and think it will perform any better in a division that has gotten stronger. One good offseason move was the extension of SP Brayan Bello on a six-year, $55 million deal. If Bello becomes the second coming of Pedro Martinez, the Sox pulled off a wicked smaht signing. Here’s to hoping the Peace of Mind helps him thrive even though he’ll be livin’ in competition for the duration of his stay in pro ball.

Baby Boomers

Rafael Devers still has a baby face, but he is not a part of this list. The Sox have invested in their farm system the last few seasons with mixed results. Potential youngsters that can help turn the team around include Vaughn Grissom, OF Ceddanne Rafaela, and OF Wilyer Abreu. Brayan Bello’s value is known, but he needs to maintain his dominance across an entire season this year. As for the others, Rafaela and Abreu may have chances in the outfield since no one there should feel safe with a starting spot. Tyler O’Neill, OF Jarren Duran, and DH Masataka Yoshida are not yet proven stars to be beyond benching. Abreu could take the spot in LF and slot Yoshida as the DH. However, Rafaela’s strong spring and defensive versatility has pushed him ahead of Abreu in the pecking order.

Once healthy, Grissom can lock up the daily second base or shortstop position, depending on what the Sox do with SS Trevor Story. Story should go to 2B to stay healthier, but Cora has the final say. 2B Enmanuel Valdez will be pushing for time at second, so a rotation of the three would let the two youngsters avoid burning out and prevents Story from the day-to-day wear that could lead to a long-term injury.

Comeback Player of the Year Candidates

Three players have the chance to bounce back this year, and if they do so, the Sox will certainly improve. Trevor Story has been plagued by the injury bug. This is possibly due to the Curse of the Betts since he was signed as a replacement for the beloved Xander Bogaerts. Story has been healthy this offseason and a strong season from him would be the Story of the season for the Sox. Lucas Giolito and Tyler O’Neill are also multiple seasons removed from their glory days. Giolito’s candidacy will be for the 2025 season, where he could face stiff competition from Hendriks, too.

O’Neill has not been healthy since 2021 when he hit .286 with 34 home runs. Calf issues this spring are not encouraging. Health will be the key for him, so time at DH may pay dividends. The catch here is that O’Neill’s glove is his best asset, so the Sox will want to keep him in the field. Losing Alex Verdugo made a poor defensive outfield from a season ago even worse. O’Neill’s priority should be to keep runs off the board with his glove while providing consistent at bats this year. A healthy Jarren Duran will pay dividends as well. He was having a breakout season before being sidelined in August and undergoing turf toe surgery.

Red Sox Projected Opening Day Roster

Starting Lineup

1. LF Jarren Duran

2. 3B Rafael Devers

3. 1B Triston Casas

4. SS Trevor Story

5. DH Masataka Yoshida

6.RF Tyler O’Neill

7. CF Ceddanne Rafaela

8. 2B Emmanuel Valdez

9. C Connor Wong

Bench: Romy Gonzalez, Reese McGuire, C.J. Cron, Pablo Reyes

Starting Rotation

1.  Brayan Bello

2. Kutter Crawford

3. Tanner Houck

4. Nick Pivetta

5. Garrett Whitlock


1. Kenley Jansen

2. Chris Martin

3. Josh Winckowski

4. Lucas Luetge

5. Joely Rodríguez

6. Justin Slaten

7. Isaiah Campbell

8. Greg Weissert

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