The AL East can be a cut-throat division. The Yankees and Red Sox battled back and forth the last decade. The Orioles, Rays and Blue Jays have had competitive seasons during that span too, but Boston and New York always seem to bounce back quick if they have a bad season.
Boston has been known to make bold moves. The boldest move this offseason was when they made a Godfather offer to David Price. The rumor is their offer was much, much bigger than any other offer. I guess the Red Sox didn’t want to lose out on Price to the Yankees or another American League contender.
Will Boston trade for another starting pitcher before the trade deadline?
Here is the 2016 MLB season preview for the Boston Red Sox.
2015 Win/Loss Record: 78-84
Key Additions: SP David Price, RP Craig Kimbrel, SP Roenis Elias, RP Carson Smith, OF Chris Young, OF Brennan Boesch & OF David Murphy
Key Losses: RP Alexi Ogando, RP Craig Breslow, SP Wade Miley, RP Jean Machi & SP Rich Hill
Interleague Schedule: NL West
Projected Starters: Blake Swihart, Hanley Ramirez, Dustin Pedroia, Pablo Sandoval, Xander Bogaerts, Rusney Castillo, Jackie Bradley Jr., Mookie Betts & David Ortiz
Projected Starting Rotation: David Price, Clay Buchholz, Rick Porcello, Eduardo Rodriguez & Joe Kelly
Closer: Craig Kimbrel
Fantasy Sleeper: 3B Pablo Sandoval – Panda is only a sleeper because he hit so poorly last season for the Red Sox. The last time he had a bad season at the plate, he bounced back and had one of his best seasons. A good hitter just doesn’t all of the sudden ‘lose it’ for good. He came into came as heavy as ever, but I don’t know if that ever hindered his hitting before. Brock Holt is breathing down his neck, so I expect a solid year from Kung Fu Panda.
Prospects To Keep Your Eye On: 2B Yoan Moncada – The Cuban 20-year-old was signed to a big contract to come to Boston. He already appears to look like Giancarlo Stanton, but his bat isn’t as powerful at the moment. He has speed and people think he could turn into a power hitter as he matures. Boston’s infield is crowded at the moment with Dustin Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts and Brock Holt. Moncada may not appear in the Majors this year, but watch out for him in the near future. Boston isn’t paying him big money to sit in the minors.
Team Analysis: Boston made two huge moves this offseason. They traded for closer Craig Kimbrel and signed former Cy Young winner David Price to the biggest contract this offseason. They hope these two additions can propel them to the postseason again.
Boston didn’t make any notable position player signings. They are trotting out the same batting lineup that they finished with last season. They are hoping another year of experience will help out their young stars. Mookie Betts really seemed to come into his own in the second half of last year.
The AL East is an improved division. I feel the Yankees and Blue Jays both have a leg up on the rest. I’m not sold on Boston’s starting rotation. I believe they are one or two starting pitchers away from winning the AL East. I don’t believe Clay Buchholz and Rick Porcello can be #2 and #3 starters on a playoff team. If they do manage to somehow make it to the postseason, I don’t see them winning a series with those guys starting in a short series.
2016 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 88 (Prediction: UNDER)
2016 Projected Win/Loss Record: 84-78 (3rd in AL East)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.