After taking a few days to gather my thoughts following an unexpected first round exit, I decided to take a look back at how we got here. Now, I am not speaking about the Sale and Quintana trades, but in the last 365 days how did Hahn and Co do? In my opinion, not great....
Look back at the 2020-2021 Offseason:
· Hired Tony La Russa as manager
o I hated this move when it was made. My frustration stemmed primarily from the other quality candidates available, but specifically AJ Hinch. Hinch significantly outperformed for the division rival Tigers and will be a thorn in our side for years to come with a plethora young talent at his fingertips. The La Russa experiment was as expected – see Yermin Mercedes Wikipedia for all you need to know. His playoff decisions were actually shockingly bad, I expected he would have handled the pitching staff better than he did. At the end of the day, even with Hinch at the helm this year I am not sure how much farther they make it in the playoffs.
o Lucas Giolito – Ended up being a 4.4 WAR player, ranked as the 25th most valuable pitcher per contract dollars by Sportrac. No brainer and the type of player and contract combination that you need to win championships.
o Reynaldo Lopez – One of the most inspiring comeback stories this year for our roster. I would like to see Reynaldo in the bullpen full time moving forward on the major league roster.
o Evan Marshall – Last pitched in the end of July, would have been left off the postseason roster even if healthy. Could have saved $2 million with a non-tender here.
o Adam Engel – Battled injuries most of the year and was available for less than 40 games. Could see Engel being a fourth outfielder or being moved this offseason with two more years of arbitration.
o Jace Fry – Had a rough year, probably doesn’t belong in a championship level bullpen.
o Nomar Mazara – Was essentially a replacement level player, good move to cut ties.
o Carlos Rodon – Re-signed below
· Acquired Lance Lynn from Texas Rangers for Dane Dunning and Avery Weems
o This move compound with resigning Lynn for an additional 2 years/$38M was Hahn’s best work of the season. Lynn was tremendous and in the Cy Young race for a majority of the year. Unfortunately, the Astros matched up extremely well against Lynn. Will be an anchor in the rotation for the next two years.
o Grade: B+
· Signed Adam Eaton for one year, $8M with a club option for 2022
o This move severely crippled this team. With Kyle Schwarber available this offseason at the same price of Adam Eaton + Evan Marshall (1 year/$10 million) Hahn and Co decided to outsmart themselves and sign a declining Eaton. We ended up paying Eaton $8 million to go away, meanwhile Schwarber hit 32 bombs and was traded at the deadline from the Nats to the Red Sox and will be playing in the ALCS.
o Grade: F
· Signed Liam Hendriks for 4 years/$54 million
o Another great signing. Hendriks was dominate out of the pen for most of the season. Unfortunately, he was never really given a chance in the playoffs. Thankful he will be our closer for the next 3 seasons.
o Grade: B+
· Signed Carlos Rodon for 1 year/$3 million
o Another move I criticized when it was made, but ended up being another huge piece. Rodon could have won the Cy Young had he stayed healthy. He ended as the 4th most valuable pitcher per contract dollars according to Sportrac. Will be interesting to see how the Sox handle him this offseason.
o Grade: A+
Moves we didn’t make in the 2020-2021 offseason…
· Trade for Corbin Burnes from Milwaukee Brewers for Michael Kopech and Andrew Vaughn
o The Sox were rumored to be in on Burnes during the offseason and the rumored package was Kopech and Vaughn. In retrospect, this is the type of deal that would have been perfect for the Sox as Burnes is the front runner for the NL Cy Young.
· Trade for Robbie Ray from Arizona Diamondbacks for Mid-Level Prospect (Jimmy Lambert) Ended up being traded for LHP Travis Bergen from Toronto Blue Jays
o Robbie Ray ended up with the highest WAR for any pitcher this year. Good scouting by the Sox to be rumored interested in him, similar to Wheeler in the Machado offseason. Ray will be a free agent this offseason and I expect the Sox will have interest if the bidding is not unreasonable.
· Acquired Ryan Tepera from Chicago Cubs for Bailey Horn
o Tepera ended up being a reliable bullpen piece and one of the only pitchers in the playoffs to contribute in a meaningful way. Hope he is back next year.
o Grade: A
· Acquired Cesar Hernandez from Cleveland Indians for Konner Pilkington
o On paper this move was rock solid, especially complimented with the departure of Madrigal. Hernandez had hit 20+ homeruns in our division, unfortunately the power did not translate and Hernandez was essentially a dud on the Sox in the regular season and playoffs. In retrospect, Eduardo Escobar probably would have been the better choice as he hit 6 home runs after being moved at the deadline. Will be back next season for $6M (most likely).
o Grade: C-
· Acquired Craig Kimbrel for Nick Madrigal and Codi Heuer
o Ugh. I hated this move at the time, but understood it. Kimbrel was awful for the Sox, extremely home run prone. He needs to figure it out next year or this is a move that can potentially be a major reason why the Sox never end up winning a championship with this core.
o Grade: F