The Red Sox landed Trevor Story over the weekend, and they are looking for him to make an immediate impact.
After a successful but disappointing end to their 2021 campaign, the Boston Red Sox had a very quiet offseason. They lost Starting Pitchers Eduardo Rodriguez, Martin Perez and Outfield power bat Kyle Schwarber, while adding Starter Rich Hill who recently turned 42 as well as Reliever Jake Diekman.
The Bo Sox finally made their big splash on Sunday morning as it was announced that they had signed the last remaining major free agent, All-Star Shortstop Trevor Story to a six year, $140 million deal.
Story was supposed to be dealt away from the Colorado Rockies at the trade deadline last season, but it never came to fruition which caused confusion, frustration and a continued disillusionment with the Rockies’ organization from his end.
Story will now find himself on a Boston club who look to have another playoff season in 2022. Story’s bat will be added to a lineup that carried the weight for the Red Sox last season, helping to lead them to the American League Championship Series.
Story in Boston
When Story burst on the scene in 2016 he did so with explosive energy, as he hit six home runs in his first four games and became the first rookie ever to hit a home run in each of his first four games. Story’s season ended early due to injury, but his rookie campaign with Colorado was very impressive as he hit .272 with 27 homers and 72 runs batted in through 97 games played.
Story has since proved that his rookie year was not a fluke, earning All-Star nods, Silver Slugger awards and even MVP votes in 2018 and 2019.
Story is coming off a decent but somewhat underwhelming 2021 as he hit .251 with 24 homers, 75 RBI but the 2nd lowest On-base plus Slugging percentage of his career at .801.
Now that Story is free from the dysfunction of the Rockies, the pressure is on for him to get back to All-Star form with Boston. Anybody who’s seen him play knows what a force Story’s bat and glove can be, and the Red Sox are understandably expecting him to create runs and contribute to wins in a big way.
Now that he’s been signed by Boston, the immediate question turns to where he’ll play on the field. Story has only ever played Shortstop at the Major League Level and stated earlier in the offseason that he did not want to change positions.
However, there seems to be indication that Story has changed his tune. J.D. Martinez owns that Designated Hitter spot and Story’s glove is too valuable not to put in the field anyway. With perennial All-Star Xander Bogaerts at the Shortstop position, it seems that the best place for Story in the field for Boston will be Second Base.
2022 Red Sox Outlook
With Story added to the depth chart, the Red Sox may very well have the best infield in baseball. It’ll very likely be Bogaerts and Story up the middle and Rafael Devers and Bobby Dalbec manning the corners for Boston this season.
The offense and position player depth is not the issue for the Red Sox, however. This is an offense that finished 3rd in team batting average, total hits, and OPS, 5th in runs scored and 10th in home runs.
Even the bullpen was decent as the Red Sox finished 5th in team saves and strikeouts and a middle of the pack bullpen earned run average.
The real question mark which should keep Red Sox fans up at night is the pitching rotation. Boston’s biggest weak spot undeniably came in this area in 2021 and they just lost two of their important starters over the offseason.
With All-Star Starting Pitcher Chris Sale’s health now up in the air yet again, it puts that much more pressure on the offense to do the heavy lifting. The Red Sox had a very successful season last year and Story is a big addition to an already strong lineup, but it’s hard to win when you don’t have good starting pitching these days.
After this move, there’s reason to be optimistic for Boston, but the lack of depth in the starting rotation is something that needs to be nipped in the bud sooner rather than later.