Boston Red Sox 2024 Season Preview

After yet another tumultuous offseason, it is time to cut through the noise and take a look at what this season has in store for the Red Sox.

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Rafael Devers #11 of the Boston Red Sox plays third base against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 29, 2023 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

The Boston Red Sox have made a habit of creating controversy and angering their fanbase during the offseason. Last year at this time I wrote that the offseason had “been one of the most eventful, and controversial, in recent memory,” and the same cold be said for this past offseason.

Red Sox chairman Tom Werner promised fans that the team would go “full throttle” this offseason, giving Red Sox fans hopes of landing multiple big-name free agents (Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Jordan Montgomery, Jorge Soler, Shota Imanaga, Sonny Gray, or Blake Snell), or of a blockbuster trade for Corbin Burnes or Dylan Cease.

Instead, the only significant free agent signed was Lucas Giolito, who gave up the most home runs in baseball in the American League last year. They traded for Vaughn Grissom, a good player but certainly not one with a resume that justifies a comment about going “full throttle”.

When fans began to express their outrage, team president Sam Kennedy called anyone who questioned the organization’s desire to win “liars”. The “town hall” with ownership at winter weekend was canceled, and face of the franchise Rafael Devers and closer Kenley Jansen both called out leadership for not doing enough to help the team this offseason.

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With all of these off the field issues, it is easy to get caught up in the media whirlwind and feel as though the season is over before it even starts.

However, when looked at objectively, this is not a team devoid of talent, and one that would likely finish in the middle of the pack in any division other than the AL East.

With all of the necessary context for the season established, it is time to dive in and look at the units that make up the 2024 Boston Red Sox.


The Red Sox bullpen is the team’s strongest unit, with two of the league’s best relievers, Kenley Jansen and Chris Martin, anchoring the back end. Josh Wincowski had a breakout year last year in the pen, and Brennan Bernardino proved to be effective as well.

Additionally, many Red Sox fans hope that Garrett Whitlock will be a full-time reliever this season, and in so doing, return to his 2021 form, a season in which he boasted a 1.96 ERA. The question for this team will be whether or not they will be able to get leads to this elite unit.


The Red Sox infield got a major boost when the team traded Chris Sale for Vaughn Grissom, a highly-touted 23-year-old, who actually hit his first major league home run at Fenway Park as a member of the Atlanta Braves.

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Grissom has been effective in limited Major League innings, posting a .287/.339/.407, over 216 at-bats across two seasons. Unfortunately, Grissom injured his groin in spring training, and will likely miss Opening Day.

The corners for the Red Sox also look to be areas of strength, as Rafael Devers is one of the top hitters in the league year in and year out.

Across the diamond is Triston Casas, who after struggling in April last year went on to be one of the team’s few bright spots, slashing .263/.367/.490 with an OPS+ of 129. He finished third in Rookie of the Year voting, and if he continues to improve could be one of the best all-around hitters in baseball thanks to his patient approach and power stroke.

The biggest problem for the Red Sox is the shortstop position, where Trevor Story has simply failed to live up to his massive six-year, $140 million contract. He hit .203/.250/.316 last season and had 23 more strikeouts than total hits. He struck out a whopping 33% of his plate appearances.

Story has yet to have an on base percentage over .305 in Boston. After a fully healthy offseason, all of the excuses of having an abbreviated spring training his first year and dealing with an injury his second year are out the window, and if this team hopes to compete, they need Story to produce.

In terms of bench pieces, both Enmanuel Valdez and Pablo Reyes impressed during various stretches last season, as both hit over .260. They will be valuable depth pieces for the Red Sox this year.

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Starting Rotation

The starting rotation was the biggest area of need for the Red Sox at the end of last season, as the team’s starters were in the bottom 10 of the league in terms of innings pitched.

To address the issue, the team signed Lucas Giolito, who figured to at least be an innings eater with a high upside. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, he went down with an elbow injury early in spring training, and has undergone season ending Tommy John surgery. 

The other big story of the offseason for the Red Sox pitching staff is Brayan Bello, who signed a six-year, $55 million contract extension, with a $21 million club option for a seventh year. Bello burst onto the scene last season, but after a blistering start struggled down the stretch, posting a pedestrian 4.24 ERA, 4.54 FIP, and a 1.338 WHIP.

Bello, though, is still young, and will be a fixture in the rotation for a long time, even if he is not the ace that many believed he could be after his torrid start last season.

Nick Pivetta will be another mid-rotation arm for the Red Sox this season. He struggled to start the year last year, and was actually sent to the bullpen. During this time, he developed a sweeper, and dominated the rest of the season both as a long man following an opener and as a starter. If he is able to build off of this success he could provide the Red Sox with a major boost.

Kutter Crawford earned a spot in the 2024 rotation thanks to a breakout 2023 performance in which he posted a 1.11 WHIP and a 3.83 FIP. He has very good underlying numbers, and many analytically-inclined Red Sox fans are incredibly high on the 27-year-old, believing that he can continue to develop into a very good major league starter.

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Tanner Houck seems to be in a position to start the season in the rotation as he looks once again to prove that he is a true starter.

In terms of pure “stuff,” he has the best on the team. The issue for Houck has always been working deep into games, as he struggles mightily the second and third times through the order, leading some to want to move him to the bullpen. However, if he is able to avoid giving up the big inning as he works deeper into his starts, he will certainly be an asset to this rotation.

The fifth spot in the rotation will likely go to Garrett Whitlock, who, like Houck, has bounced between the rotation and bullpen. He has been an extraordinarily effective reliever, but struggled as a starter, and has also had injury concerns.

Still, given the Giolito injury, Whitlock is in line to get one more crack at proving he is a starter unless the Red Sox sign or trade for another starter. For Whitlock, it has never been a question of if the stuff is good enough, but whether or not he is durable enough to be a Major League starter.

This season will be a make-or-break for him in that regard.


The Red Sox outfield is one of the bigger question marks on the team.

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The organization has made it clear that they hope to use Masataka Yoshida more as a DH this year, and the departure of Alex Verdugo and Adam Duvall means that it will likely be three new faces in the outfield on Opening Day.

The team brought in Tyler O’Neill, who will likely be in one of the corners for the majority of his starts. He has proven to be a productive major leaguer when he has been able to stay healthy, winning a Gold Glove and finishing eighth in MVP voting in 2021.

However, 2021 is the only year he played more than 100 games. If he is able to replicate that success in Boston it will be a huge win for the Red Sox.

Jarren Duran projects to be the Opening Day starter in center field after having the best season of his career in 2023. He used his speed to create havoc on the basepaths, constantly stretching singles into doubles and beating out infield hits.

He actually led the American League in doubles in the middle of the season last year, and likely would have had a 40+ double and a 30+ steal season had his year not been cut short due to injury. The Red Sox hope that Duran can build off of this breakout and prove that he is an everyday caliber player.

Wilyer Abreu, who was acquired from Houston with Enmanuel Valdez for Christian Vazquez in 2022, will likely be the third starting outfielder for Boston. He hit .310 with a .388 OBP last season in limited time, but is another player that the Red Sox hope develops into a consistent contributor.

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Like Crawford, Abreu is another guy with a lot of red on his baseball savant page. If he is able to tap into these underlying numbers, he could be a valuable piece for Boston.

Ceddanne Rafaela is another player who may not break camp with the team but could contend for playing time this season in the outfield. The 23-year-old prospect was called up in September last year and was impressive in his limited innings. He is a guy that Red Sox fans have had their eye on for a long time, and his arrival this season will generate a lot of excitement.

The Red Sox also have Rob Refsnyder, who has been a lefty-masher during his career and provides a veteran presence on the bench for a relatively young team.


The Red Sox will roll out the same catching tandem of Connor Wong and Reese McGuire this season. Both proved to be serviceable at the plate, and are above average defenders at the position. Wong, the only remaining asset from the Mookie Betts trade, has a high upside offensively that the team will hope to tap into this year.


It is no secret that the Red Sox are building for the future, and there is a lot of excitement around what is believed to be a top-five farm system in baseball.

While the young core may not make an impact this season, the youth movement should take full effect in 2025 and 2026, ushering in a new era of Red Sox baseball. Some of these prospects include:

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Marcelo Meyer, a shortstop who was drafted fourth overall in 2021. He skyrocketed through the lower minors and is a consensus top-100 prospect. He suffered a shoulder injury last season and struggled in his return, but still figures to be a key piece of the organization for years to come.

Kyle Teel, a catcher drafted in the first round in 2023, is already in Double-A and figures to be the everyday catcher for the Red Sox in a year or two. He has impressed mightily at the plate, and his defense continues to improve. Like Meyer, Teel is a top-100 prospect.

The Red Sox third top-100 prospect is Roman Anthony, who will start the season in Double-A with Teel and Meyer. The 19-year-old outfielder has impressed with both the glove and the bat, and rivals Meyer for the most highly-touted prospect in the organization. 

Outfielder Miguel Blais and second baseman Nick Yorke round out the rest of the Red Sox top five prospects. Blais is a plus defender in the outfield, which is incredibly valuable for the Red Sox given the amount of ground that needs to be covered in both center and right field. Yorke struggled in 2022 but bounced back in 2023, and projects to be a solid major league bat.

Final Thoughts

This has, undoubtedly, been another disappointing offseason in Boston, and another last place finish in the American League East is all but assured.

With Alex Cora in the final year of his contract and players already expressing their frustrations with ownership, the wheels could very easily fall off the proverbial bus early in the season.

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However, this team is a step above some of the other teams across the league in terms of talent, and if everything goes their way they could find themselves in the 80-win range.