Coming off of a 2018 season that saw the Red Sox win the World Series, fans and players alike expect the team to make another run at defending their title in 2019. In this post however, we are going to take a look at not only 2019, but what the team will look like in the years ahead after next season. It could look quite a lot different.
The 2019 season will see most of Boston’s roster returning except for a few players, most notably closer Craig Kimbrel(well, potentially). It’s still not out of the picture that the Red Sox could bring back their star closer as Kimbrel’s market still isn’t all that great and his contract demands are still too rich for teams to consider adding him. If his market continues to fall, it’s still possible the Red Sox could sign him for a discounted price.
Nonetheless, the focus will be on going for a repeat performance this year in Boston as the team begins to gear up to defend their World Series title(as mentioned above). After the 2019 season things could completely change for the Red Sox, as the team could potentially say goodbye to players like Chris Sale, J.D. Martinez(if he opts out), Rick Porcello, and Xander Bogaerts, among others. And with the team payroll still very high despite those players’ contracts off the books after 2019, it could become very difficult for the Boston front office to bring back the bunch.
The year after doesn’t get much better either. Mookie Betts, the team’s top player, will become a free agent the following year and could leave as well. The Boston farm system at the moment doesn’t look too good as the team has shipped out most of the farm in recent years to get top talent through trades.
We clearly wouldn’t expect the team to trade anyone to add to the farm system due to the fact that the team is a World Series contender for at least the next couple of seasons. But what happens by the time Mookie Betts becomes a free agent?
The team could very well strike an extension with their star outfielder by then, but as free agency gets closer and closer in the next couple of years, Betts may want to see what he could get from other teams as he would surely command a mega type of contract by that point. It would take a ton for the Red Sox to retain the MVP, especially before he ends up a free agent. This is definitely something Red Sox fans don’t want to think about right now.
In looking at the farm system, third baseman Michael Chavis is the teams top prospect and is a well regarded top 100 prospect in multiple outlets. He is somewhat blocked by Rafael Devers right now, but a position change for one of the two could be in order once Chavis is ready to make the big leagues, whether that be next year or the year after.
There’s also Jay Groome, the teams No. 2 prospect per MLB.com. Tommy John surgery has wiped out a year of development for the left-hander, but once he gets back to pitching again, he’ll continue his journey to one day making it to the big leagues as potentially a front-line starter if things break right for the 2016 No. 12 overall pick. Behind him is 2018 first round pick Triston Casas, he is years away from big league readiness. Beyond those two, while there are a few interesting arms, there’s not much in the way of prospects who could help the team anytime soon or at all.
It will be interesting to see how the future in Boston goes in the years ahead, but for right now, Red Sox fans should enjoy the team that won them a World Series title and could potentially win another in 2019.