After a highly-publicized 2014-15 offseason which saw the addition of players such as Pablo Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez, Wade Miley, and Rick Porcello, as well as the departure of fan favorite Jon Lester, the Boston Red Sox put up a disappointing 2015 campaign, finishing 78-84, dead last in the American League East for the third time in four years. With every one of the new acquisitions falling short of expectations in some way. leading to the firing of General Manager Ben Cherington and the hiring of Mike Hazen and Dave Dombrowski (as GM and President of Baseball Operations, respectively), the Red Sox fanbase entered the 2015-16 offseason hoping – quite vocally – for some major changes.
In 2015, the pitching staff was a relative mess, with the starters racking up an ERA of 4.39 and the bullpen not far behind at 4.24, both ranking 13th in the AL. Porcello and Miley were particularly poor in their first seasons with Boston, posting ERAs for 4.92 and 4.46 respectively. Offensively, the group was not particularly bad, ranking 4th among AL teams in runs scored and batting average, as well as 3rd in on-base percentage. However, the newcomers Ramirez and Sandoval were both disappointing, producing a wRC+ mark of 89 and 75 respectively, as well as combining for a -3.8 fWAR. Both players were also exceptionally bad on defense, with Sandoval compiling a -11 defensive runs saved at third base, and Ramirez “besting” that mark at -19 in left field.
The Red Sox fans major requests for this offseason were simple – upgrade the pitching staff, and dump the two new batters at any cost.