All off-season, the bullpen was the main topic of conversation. Realizing that Kimbrel was a big piece of the pen that was gone and Kelly would be a loss, though maybe not a huge one, it was obvious that the Red Sox should get worse compared to last year.
BUT the catcher situation struck me as the most dire. We don't have anybody on the farm. We had Vasquez and Leon, neither of which has ever done anything with the bat absent a couple of hot streaks. Swihart had mostly been off, but had injury issues and was blocked by two defensive catchers. This sums up to a bleak 3-5 years at the position barring Swihart recovering to become a star. Everyone said that was acceptable given the strength everywhere else. But since when do you get satisfied with a bad position.
Meanwhile no one was showing interest in Grandal. He ended up signing a one year $18.2. I don't know if the Sox were ever in on him, but since they are likely to blow through the top Luxury Tax threshold (AND THEY ARE RICH), they could have easily afforded Grandal a short term trial or even a longer one.
Today we are sitting here with a 4-9 record. Grandal is batting .340+ with a 160 wRC+. He's been worth 0.5 win which is tied with Boegarts who leads the Sox with 0.5 also. Not sure if he would have helped the starters, but he couldn't have been any worse. I think he could have propelled the Sox to at least a 5-8 record if not 6-7 or 7-6.