What Will The 2018 Boston Red Sox Look Like?

by Will Hyland | Posted on Monday, May 22nd, 2017
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Red Sox ace Chris Sale delivers a pitch in March 2017, while in Spring Training.

As the month of May begins to wane, and I return from my writing hiatus, the Boston Red Sox are struggling to stay above .500 and healthy. Steven Wright is done for the season, Brock Holt is still dealing with vertigo, and David Price and Pablo Sandoval have made very little impact this year due to injury. Similarly, Tyler Thornburg and Carson Smith, Dave Dombrowski’s supposed premier bullpen acquisitions, have yet to pitch this season.

Am I writing off 2017? Absolutely not. But looking ahead to 2018 is always fun, especially considering the potential for roster changes in the offseason.

It’s pretty safe to say that Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, Dustin Pedroia, and Hanley Ramirez will be back in 2018 as key starting players. This will subsequently fill the positional roles of shortstop, right field, left field, second base, and designated hitter respectively.

However, third base, center field, first base, and catcher remain up for question.

At third,  Sandoval will still be in the fourth season of his five-year contract, so it’s likely that he will start. But considering the rise in the minors of top prospect Rafael Devers, he may even get a shot in 2018. Beyond that, someone like Deven Marrero or Marco Hernandez will remain in a utility bench role.

In center field, Jackie Bradley Jr. is more than likely going to be the everyday player. Although he has been rumored in trade talks ever since he’s played in the organization. Since Chris Young is going to be a free agent, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Red Sox go with a prospect like Aneury Tavarez or Rusney Castillo (finally) to be the fourth outfielder.

Over at first, Mitch Moreland is set to be a free agent at the end of this season. Like Young, I really don’t see the Red Sox re-signing him unless prospect Sam Travis isn’t ready – mainly because Moreland may want a long deal. The Red Sox don’t have a ton of free-agent leverage considering Betts, Bogaerts, and Chris Sale is set to be FA’s by 2020.

Behind the plate, it’ll most likely be a battery of Christian Vazquez and Sandy Leon again. That is, however, if the Red Sox reach an extension with Leon, who is arbitration eligible after the season. If they part ways, the job will then belong to Blake Swihart, who will be 26 and in his last year of team control at that time.

The pitching staff shouldn’t have too many changes either. After two consecutive offseasons and a trade deadline in which they acquired a left-handed starter, I project the hot stove to be cool on that front. But you never know. Besides Price, Sale, Drew Pomeranz, and Rick Porcello, the fifth starter position will probably belong to Eduardo Rodriguez. Especially if Steven Wright is still rehabbing.

Hopefully, Smith and Thornburg will be mainstays in the bullpen along with Craig Kimbrel, Matt Barnes, and Robbie Ross. Beyond them, Robby Scott and maybe Heath Hembree will round out the projected bullpen.

2018 Red Sox Lineup:

Mookie Betts – RF.

Dustin Pedroia – 2B.

Xander Bogaerts – SS.

Andrew Benintendi – LF.

Hanley Ramirez – DH.

Pablo Sandoval then Rafael Devers – 3B.

Sam Travis – 1B.

Christian Vazquez – C.

Jackie Bradley Jr. – CF.


Aneury Tavarez – OF

Brock Holt – Util.

Blake Swihart – C

Marco Hernandez – INF

Starting Rotation:

Chris Sale – LHP

David Price – LHP

Rick Porcello – RHP

Eduardo Rodriguez – LHP

Drew Pomeranz – LHP


Craig Kimbrel

Tyler Thornburg

Carson Smith

Robbie Ross Jr. (L)

Matt Barnes

Joe Kelly/Heath Hembree

Robby Scott (L)

Follow @WillHyland on Twitter for more Red Sox news and notes this season. 

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Will Hyland
About the Author

Will Hyland is a proud Mainer with a strong passion for the game of baseball. He is a sophomore at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire, where he does play-by-play for the Chargers baseball and hockey teams. Other work can be found at Boston's TitleTownTalk and the Bangor Daily News. Follow him on twitter @willhyland.

  • Randy Downes

    How exciting ( not) does that sound??

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