The 2022 Boston Red Sox were not good. Beyond their mediocre play on the field, there were various reports late in the season that the clubhouse had become dysfunctional. Several players were reportedly upset the team wasn’t buyers at the deadline, veterans didn’t take to the behaviors of rookies, and things like that. Because of how 2022 went on and off the field, the Red Sox elected to go through quite a bit of roster turnover. Only 5 players from 2022’s Opening Day roster made it to the 2023 Opening Day roster. Let’s check in on some of those 21 that didn’t!
Xander Bogaerts, SS
In what was certainly the most high-profile move of the Red Sox this off-season, long-time SS Xander Bogaerts departed the team in free agency and headed to sunny San Diego. In his first ~quarter-season in SD, Xander is performing pretty much exactly as expected. His OPS of .813 is right in line with his career OPS of .814. His BA is a touch down at .273, but he’s walking a bit more to make up for it. As for his defense, I’m really not smart enough to get into that, but it seems like he’s been fine. But let’s be honest, letting Bogaerts walk was never about these first few years of that 11-year deal though, was it?
JD Martinez, DH
The other long-term Red Sox bat that took his talents to the West Coast, Martinez signed a 1-year deal with the Dodgers to be their DH (I know, sometimes I forget the NL has those now, too). Martinez’s stats so far have fallen in line with what he has become the last 2 seasons. That being a good, but not great DH. Truthfully, I didn’t see many Sox fans up in arms over this move. Whatever value Martinez’s bat has over new DH Justin Turner’s ends up evening out with Turner’s ability to play some defense. Thanks for the good times, JD.
Kevin Plawecki, C
Just tossing this one in here because several Red Sox players were beside themselves when Plawecki was DFA’d late last season. Plawecki is currently slashing .203/.321/.275 for the Rochester Red Wings in the International League. I’ll leave it at that.
Nathan Eovaldi, SP
Eovaldi is off to perhaps the best start of all these players. Down in Arlington, Nate is pitching to the tune of a 3.22 ERA and a WHIP of 1.097 through 7 starts. He’s actually even gotten a little bit unlucky, with his FIP sitting at 2.18. After a real down year in ‘22, Eovaldi seems to have settled into Texas quite well. Good for him!
Michael Wacha, SP
While Wacha was a nice story last year with his 11 wins and 3.32 ERA, pretty much everybody could see that his peripherals didn’t back up those numbers. This year, Wacha currently holds a 4.82 ERA with the Padres, which is much more in line with those peripherals we saw last year. It was probably a good move to stay away.
Rich Hill, SP
Rich Hill, who is somehow still going, signed a 1-year deal with the Pirates for the 2023 season. Hill was one of those vets who was none-to-pleased at the way things went in the second half of last season. In my humble opinion, it was a good move to let Hill go regardless of his pitching performance (which has continued to be unremarkable).
Matt Barnes, RP
Barnes, who had been in the organization since the 2011 draft, was traded in late January to the Marlins for fellow reliever Richard Bleier. Barnes’ 2022 season was the second worst of his career. That, coupled with several seasons of trying to stick at closer and it never holding, it just seemed like his time with the Red Sox had run out. Even though Bleier, quite frankly, stinks, I still don’t mind the trade. Barnes has been slightly above average for the fish, but nothing crazy. Occasionally it’s just time to move on, and that’s what seems to have been the case here.
It’s a bit of a mixed bag when you look at 2022 Red Sox who are no longer with the team. If I could have one back with us right now, it would probably be Nathan Eovaldi. But I don’t find moving on from any of these players a mistake, at least definitively. We’ll have to see what the future holds.