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Resetting the Red Sox roster

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Where does everything stand heading into the offseason?

AL wildcard game Red Sox vs Yankees Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald

The Red Sox had their season simultaneously go longer than most anyone expected while also ending earlier than it reasonably could have, and in both cases it is now time to look ahead to what’s new. We’ll of course be spending time looking back as well, but for right now we’ll focus on where things stand for the team right now as we get set for what should be an interesting offseason both for the league as a whole as well as Boston specifically.

Today, we’re going to be resetting the roster, looking at where everyone stands contract-wise ahead of the madness that is the hot stove season.

Free Agents

Ed. Note: A previous version of this story mistakenly did not include Adam Ottavino in this section.

  • Eduardo Rodriguez leads the way for the Red Sox upcoming straight free agent class (i.e. no options involved), and he’s going to be a fascinating case. The lefty is coming off a rough season by the results, and he often looked to match those results, but ultimately his peripherals and contact profile both suggested that he should have been better. And that’s without even mentioning that he was coming off a missed season due to a heart condition. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get a multi-year deal, but a one-year prove-it contract does seem to make a lot of sense here. Whether or not the Red Sox will be in on it remains to be seen.
  • Adam Ottavino was a bit of a rollercoaster this year himself, at times serving as the team’s most important non-closer on the roster, and at other times being basically unusable in any situation. Given that he’s entering his age-36 season next year, a long-term deal is not on the table and it’s reasonable that the Red Sox will be in play on a one-year deal, though not necessarily with any extreme sense of urgency.
  • Hansel Robles could very well be in play for the Red Sox to come back for next season. He was certainly not perfect in his time with Boston, but ultimately he was a successful acquisition, coming in to serve as a late-inning option for most of the second half and in the postseason. I won’t want him as a top-two guy in next year’s pen, but in more of a middle relief role on a relatively cheap deal is worth exploring.
  • José Iglesias ended up becoming a surprisingly key player down the stretch, and could be a bench option for next year as well.
  • Travis Shaw is probably less likely to be back next year with Bobby Dalbec establishing himself in the second half and Triston Casas presumably set to come up at some point in the year as well.
  • Danny Santana is not likely to sign anywhere on a major-league deal.

Options

  • J.D. Martinez is going to present one of the first big swing points of the Red Sox offseason. He can stick in Boston for one more year at $19.35 million, or opt out and hit the open market again. His case is interesting, as he’s coming off a bounce-back year finishing with a 128 wRC+, but is also about to enter his age-34 season, is DH-only with the NL’s DH status in question, and free agency in general a mystery with the upcoming CBA negotiations. My guess is he stays, but I don’t think it’s a toss-up either way.
  • Kyle Schwarber is really only in this category if we’re being technical about it. The deadline acquisition has a mutual option for 2022, and mutual options are basically never picked up by both sides. It makes sense that situations would rarely lend themselves to both sides being happy with the salary figure. He will be a free agent, and while I expect the Red Sox to be in conversation, if Martinez opts in it might be a tough fit.
  • Christian Vázquez is one of the most interesting decisions the Red Sox will have to make this winter. The catcher has a $7 million team option for 2022, and while it seemed like a no-brainer coming into this year his offense and defense both seemed to take a step back in 2021. Even so, my guess is the option is picked up as there is no internal option ready to take over next year and finding replacements externally is easier said than done.
  • Garrett Richards was a total rollercoaster this year, but did end up looking pretty solid in a relief role before injury cut his postseason short. He has a $10 million team option for next year, and it’s hard to see the Red Sox picking that up.
  • Martín Pérez has a $6 million team option for 2022 that is unlikely to be picked up.

Under Contract

  • Chris Sale: Through 2024 (vesting option for 2025); $25.6M Average Annual Value
  • Xander Bogaerts: Through 2025 (opt-out after 2022, vesting option for 2025); $20M AAV
  • Nathan Eovaldi: Through 2022; $17M AAV
  • Matt Barnes: Through 2023 (team option for 2024); $9.375M AAV
  • Enrique Hernández: Through 2022; $7M AAV
  • Hirokazu Sawamura: Through 2022 (team option for 2023); $1.5M AAV

Arbitration-Eligible

Note: Salary info for each player is 2021 salary, followed by the MLB Trade Rumors estimate for 2022 salary.

  • Rafael Devers ($4.575M; $11.1M)
  • Hunter Renfroe ($3.1M; $7.6M)
  • Alex Verdugo ($649K; $3.2M)
  • Nick Pivetta ($613K; $3.2M)
  • Kevin Plawecki ($1.6M; $2.0M)
  • Ryan Brasier ($1.25M; $1.4M)
  • Christian Arroyo ($581K; $1.1M)
  • Josh Taylor ($580K; $1.1M)

Pre-Arbitration

  • Garrett Whitlock
  • Tanner Houck
  • Bobby Dalbec
  • Connor Wong
  • Jarren Duran
  • Darwinzon Hernandez
  • Jonathan Araúz
  • Austin Davis
  • Phillips Valdez
  • Connor Seabold
  • Eduard Bazardo

Yet to debut on 40-man

  • Ronaldo Hernández
  • Hudson Potts
  • Jeisson Rosario
  • Jay Groome
  • Bryan Mata