If I told you at the beginning of the 2014 season that the Red Sox were going to finish the year at the rock bottom of the AL East after capturing the World Series title, you would say I’m crazy. Just two years ago, the Boston Red Sox finished in the cellar of their division with the third worst record in the American league (69-93), yet continued on to win the World Series in the following year and sharing the best record in baseball (97-65) with the St. Louis Cardinals, whom they happen to beat in the Fall classic.
Well picture this: The so-called, “best,” team in baseball has now hit rock bottom AGAIN. The Boston Red Sox are currently in last place in the AL East holding a 49-60 record, which is only better than the Minnesota Twins, Houston Astros, and Texas Rangers.
How did this happen? It is quite simple actually. Let’s begin in the off-season. The Red Sox parted ways with their lead off batting, base-stealing center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who can now be found on the opposite side of the rivalry in pinstripes. They also sent Jarrod Saltalamacchia to free agency, where he signed with the Miami Marlins. But, as a bargaining tactic, Boston waited to resign Stephen Drew until after the 2014 Draft, leaving a hole at short stop and hoping that young stud Xander Bogaerts would fill the void.
Amidst a World Series hangover, Boston’s season slipped away quickly. In 2013, Boston was the highest scoring team in all of major league baseball before the All-Star break, but before this 2014 All-Star break, Boston was among the lowest scoring teams in the league. After the utter failure of the first half of the season, do the Red Sox need to transition into a rebuilding era?
Apparently, Boston thinks so. However, transition is not the word for how they are entering that era. Boston has set a fire under their contracts and added a FOR SALE sign on most of the team.
As the trade deadline neared, Boston began moving pieces starting with pitcher Chris Capuano in a deal with the Yankees. Jake Peavy was next on the list to go as he was traded to San Francisco while John Lackey headed towards the Gateway City, also known as St. Louis. Another starting pitcher Felix Doubront, shortstop Stephen Drew, and their top lefty reliever Andrew Miller were shipped out as well. But, the highlight of the Red Sox evacuation plan was the trade of ace starting pitcher Jon Lester. After the numerous attempts to resign their ace and failing to reach an agreement, the organization made the decision to decide to trade their star pitcher. The trade involved outfielder Jonny Gomes as well as both headed to the Oakland Athletics for power hitter Yoenis Cespedes.
Despite depleting their roster, the Red Sox ensured that they received what they considered to be good enough pieces to build around in hopes for a bounce back year. We can see that the front office is telling the fans of Boston that it’s time for a rebuilding stage to begin. This team is just plain bad and things need to change if they want to recapture the magic that 2013 gave to their city, their team, and their fans.