After a 24-36 campaign in 2020, the Boston Red Sox are striving for more in 2021.
Per ESPN's Buster Olney, Boston's quiet offseason is not an indication of how things will go between now and when the 40-man roster is due. Instead, the Red Sox "are preparing for a series of moves before the start of spring training ... in an effort to upgrade the '21 team."
After dealing homegrown superstar Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, the Red Sox watched from the bottom of the league as he won a World Series for the second time in three years.
2020 was the second consecutive season that saw the Red Sox fall short of the playoffs.
The most glaring hole for Boston is its pitching.
The starting rotation posted a 5.34 ERA last season—third-worst in the American League. Things aren't certain to immediately improve when Boston returns to the field in 2021. Chris Sale is still recovering from Tommy John surgery, while Eduardo Rodriguez was diagnosed with myocarditis. In the bullpen, it was even worse. The squad posted the second-highest bullpen ERA in the AL (5.79).
Behind the mound, there's no clear answer at second base, as longtime second baseman Dustin Pedroia is the only rostered No. 4 on the team, but he missed 2020 and appeared in just nine games through 2018 and 2019.
Boston signed outfielder Hunter Renfroe to a one-year, $3.1 million deal in December, and he could factor in as the replacement for Andrew Benintendi, who is rumored to be on the move, or Jackie Bradley Jr., who was not extended a qualifying offer and thus hit free agency.