Some Within Red Sox Organization Already ‘Embarrassed’ for 2024: Insider

Manager Alex Cora will guide Boston after an "embarrassing" Red Sox offseason.

Getty Manager Alex Cora will guide Boston after an "embarrassing" Red Sox offseason.

It was only a little more than three months ago that chairman Tom Werner vowed that the MLB winter of 2023-24 would be a “full-throttle” Red Sox offseason, and, indeed, there seemed to be plenty of opportunities to bolster the team, especially the moribund pitching staff. Boston had finished in last place in 2023, and Werner seemed to be vowing that it would not happen again.

Could they land Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto? How about playoff hero Jordan Montgomery? Cy Young winner Blake Snell? Maybe more than one of them?

The answers came pretty quickly: No, no, no and definitely not.

And so the Red Sox enter 2024 in a depressing situation, with a team that clearly does not stack up against the Orioles, Rays, Blue Jays and Yankees. That, despite a “full throttle” offseason that produced precious little. According to NBC Sports Boston insider John Tomase, folks around the team are more than a little sheepish about the state of the roster.

“I have been trying to think of the word I would use to describe just the general attitude of Red Sox people, not so much the players but certainly everybody else associated with the team as you walk around the field and talk to people. The word I keep coming to is embarrassed,” Tomase said.

“I think there are people in this organization who are genuinely embarrassed by the way the offseason unfolded, by the product that they’re going to be putting on the field this year, by the fact that we go into a season kind of knowing they’re going to finish last.”

Red Sox Offseason Produces Little

Indeed, the Red Sox accomplished little this offseason. They did add a starting pitcher, Lucas Giolito, who led all of baseball by allowing 41 home runs last season. Unless they swoop in and sign Montgomery, Giolito is likely to be the Red Sox’s ace. Ahem.

They did get a good young second baseman, Vaughn Grissom, to fill an infield hole, and they added a power bat in outfielder Tyler O’Neill, but that is essentially the sum total of the Red Sox offseason. Apparently, Giolito, Grissom and O’Neill qualify as a “full-throttle” winter.

The Red Sox did make a move in the front office, of course, hiring a new baseball operations chief, Craig Breslow, to replace Chaim Bloom. But Breslow was not given much rein to do anything with the roster, making it difficult to see how the Red Sox will be any better than the 78-84 teams they trotted out in the past two seasons.

‘100%’ on Owner John Henry

Unfortunately for Breslow, he is likely to take the blame if the Red Sox flop again. But as Tomase noted, the blame belongs in the owner’s box, not with Breslow. That’s John Henry, who has kept his focus firmly on cutting payroll, not on winning.

“My sense for a while now is that if you left this up to Sam Kennedy and Tom Werner, the Red Sox would have done more this winter. John Henry, however, is the principal owner of this team for a reason. To me, this is all coming down on him,” Tomase said.

Again, it could be Breslow taking the blowback if this team finishes where it’s expected to finish. But he doesn’t deserve it.

Said Tomase: “We talk about reconsidering things—Chaim Bloom’s tenure here obviously wasn’t great and I can understand why they let him go. However, when Craig Breslow comes in and the exact same thing happens, you have to say, ‘Maybe it is not about the guy in that chair, but the guy who sits above him.’ That’s John Henry. I think this is all 100% on the owner of the Red Sox.”

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