The Boston Red Sox did not have a successful 2022 season, and will now be looking to make the proper upgrades during the offseason in an effort to reemerge as a championship team. This is an extremely important offseason for the Sox, and the moves they end up making (or not making) could determine the direction of this franchise for the next few years.
Among the most important items on Boston’s to-do list involve extending Rafael Devers to a long-term extensionand re signing Xander Bogaerts in free agency. Both those deals would require a lot of money, but if the Red Sox want to remain competitive in the American League East over the next few seasons, they are going to need their two best players to be on their roster.
Even beyond that, the Red Sox have a lot of work to do this offseason, and while that could lead them to be busy in free agency, Boston also has some assets that could allow them to pull off a big trade. Let’s take a look at a trade that would be the perfect deal for the Sox to make, and see why it could help them bounce back in a big way in 2023.
Red Sox Perfect Offseason Trade
Acquire Bryan Reynolds from the Pirates
As previously mentioned, the Red Sox have a lot of holes on their roster right now, which necessitates a big offseason. One of their most glaring holes is in the outfield, where Boston was piecing things together for the majority of the 2022 season. If they want to win in 2023, they cannot afford to do that again.
There aren’t many big names on the trade market right now, but one such player is Bryan Reynolds of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates are continuing to rebuild their roster, and that could lead them to part ways with their best hitter in Reynolds. Reynolds is a steady presence at the plate who can play strong defense at each spot in the outfield, making him the perfect fit for Boston.
Reynolds entered the 2022 season coming off a wildly successful 2021 campaign that saw him finish in 11th place in the National League MVP race. He had another strong season with the Pirates in 2022 (.262 BA, 27 HR, 62 RBI, .807 OPS) and was easily the best hitter on their desolate roster.
Right now, the Red Sox outfield is in flux. They rolled with Kiké Hernandez, Alex Verdugo, and Rob Refsnyder for most of the season, but nobody in that trio was particularly great. Boston’s 2021 outfield was much better, but they strangely decided to trade away Hunter Renfroe last offseason and replace him with Jackie Bradley Jr., which didn’t work out at all.
Ideally, Refsnyder would be played off the bench as a fourth outfielder, but you can also make a case that he was Boston’s best outfielder last season. Hernandez has positional flexibility, and Verdugo has been mentioned as a potential trade candidate for the Sox despite being seemingly locked into their left field spot.
Acquiring another outfielder is going to be crucial this offseason, and Reynolds seems like the perfect fit. He can hit for contact, power, and play in each spot in the outfield. He’s only going to be 28 years old next season, and is under team control through the 2025 season. If the Red Sox want to get themselves back into the playoffs, it would make a lot of sense to swing a deal for Reynolds.
Making a run at Reynolds would likely cost the Red Sox a pretty penny, but they have the assets needed to make a package that would entice the Pirates. Boston’s once desolate farm system has been rebuilt by Chaim Bloom, and while he may be penny pinching in free agency, you have to give him credit for getting the farm system back to a spot where it can be an asset for Boston.
Boston’s roster is in a bit of a messy spot right now, but if they make the right moves this offseason, they can find themselves in the playoffs again as soon as next season. Regardless of what happens with Devers and Bogaerts, making a deal with the Pirates for Reynolds feels like good business.
The Pirates don’t have a ton of players worth trading for, but Reynolds is one such guy who is. He’s shown that he’s a consistent hitter, and he fills a position of need for Boston, which would allow them to strengthen their lineup and beef up their outfield. The Sox may be more likely to spend big in free agency, but swinging a trade for Reynolds wouldn’t hurt either, and could immediately help Boston make a playoff push next season.