As the 2021 Boston Red Sox season is just a month away, most offseason moves are likely already completed. Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom was able to bring in a large number of pieces and prospects for Boston, some of which will be seen at the Major League level this season. Here are the five most impactful new acquisitions for the 2021 Boston Red Sox.
2021 Boston Red Sox: Franchy Cordero
The Red Sox acquired outfielder Franchy Cordero from the Royals in the Andrew Benintendi trade and he has a solid shot at making the starting lineup in Boston. If Cordero is able to stay healthy, he could provide much needed power at the bottom of Boston’s lineup. Despite playing four years in the MLB already, Cordero has never played more than 40 games in one season. On a Sox team that lost both Benintendi and Bradley Jr. this offseason, Cordero certainly has a place in the Boston outfield and will look to earn a starting job.
Cordero did not arrive to Spring Training on time due to positive tests for Covid-19 but he has since recovered and will be joining the team shortly.
2021 Boston Red Sox: Hunter Renfroe
The Red Sox acquisition of Hunter Renfroe seems to have gone somewhat under the radar. While the outfielder struggled in the shortened 2020 season, he posted an OPS+ of over 100 in both 2018 and 2019 with 26 and 33 homers in those seasons. Renfroe is only entering his age 29 season and should still have a good amount left in the tank. Along with Franchy Cordero, Renfroe can fill a corner outfield spot to compliment Alex Verdugo in center. Renfroe might not end up being the flashiest player for Boston but he gives depth can anchor the right field position.
2021 Boston Red Sox: Garrett Richards
The Boston Red Sox key need this offseason was pitching and signing Garrett Richards helped to diminish some of the problem. At worst, Richards will fill a spot on the back end of the starting rotation. At best, he can be an extremely valuable third starter behind Eduardo Rodriguez and Nathan Eovaldi. Excluding a 2019 campaign where Richards started only three games, he has earned an ERA+ over 100 in six seasons from 2014-2020. I expect Richards to do that once again and be viewed as an above average starting pitcher in the MLB.
2021 Boston Red Sox: Kiké Hernandez
The signing of Kiké Hernandez is personally my favorite move the Red Sox made this offseason. After such a lifeless dud of a season in 2020, Hernandez will bring energy and fun to Boston. Even if the Red Sox are bad, with Hernandez on the team, they will certainly not be boring. Hernandez will also provide Boston with both talent and depth. He is among the best utility men in baseball and has recorded a positive WAR in every season of his career, excluding 2016. Hernandez can play basically any position and in a long season, he will be crucial in giving other players on the roster days off while also potentially competing to be Boston’s starting second baseman.
2021 Boston Red Sox: Adam Ottavino
In one of the more shocking deals of the offseason, Boston completed a rare trade with the New York Yankees to bring in a star reliever in Adam Ottavino. In 2018 and 2019, Ottavino was the definition of elite with ERAs of 2.43 and 1.90. He will look to bring that success to Boston and help a bullpen that has struggled for the past two seasons. Ottavino will join newcomer Hiro Sawamura along with Matt Barnes and Darwinson Hernandez to potentially give Boston a lethal late innings combination.
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