Whom ever the candidate is that agrees to accept the job offer of Manager of the Boston Red Sox, must also accept the fact that it is not HIS team. Aside from a trade or free agent signing, the team that walked off the field for the final time after losing game four against the Astros, will for the most part, be the same team that is on the field opening day 2018.
Many of the established veterans in the Red Sox clubhouse are no stranger to previous controversy. Dustin Pedroia had an explosive public confrontation with Bobby Valentine. He also threw his entire bullpen under the bus in the Barnes/Machado incident. Chris Sale had numerous clashes with Chicago’s Front Office ranging from having family members in the clubhouse, not tipping road team’s clubhouse attendants, and shredding his entire team’s jerseys, which obviously was the most notorious of all. David Price melts down like a thirteen year old girl if someone simply looks at him the wrong way, and is as thin skinned as they come. Hanley Ramirez, Rick Porcello, and Craig Kimbrel have several years and different clubhouses in which they were apart of. With a new manager comes new changes. Will this veteran clubhouse accept these changes? Of have they made their minds up that they will reject any future changes?
Whether it’s Alex Cora, Brad Ausmus, or Ron Gardenhire, they must all face the fact that there is a semi realistic possibility they could be a one year manager should Dave Dombrowski be fired at the end of 2018. Dombrowski has sold off most of the Red Sox farm. A year from now could potentially only have a single playoff win to his credit. The pressure is certainly on, and the patience from Red Sox fans are wearing thin.
Red Sox ownership has long had credibility and accountability problems. Terry Francona was accused of being a drug addict. Jon Lester was embarrassingly low balled to the point he signed with another team. Sox Ownership could’ve pursued Max Scherzer, but opted not to. Perhaps doing so would’ve been admitting they were wrong? We will never know for sure, because like I said, the front office will never take accountability for anything. Mind you, this is the same group who told you in 2015 that Pablo Sandoval’s body fat was 17%
Unless the Red Sox are willing to exceed the luxury tax threshold, they virtually have no spending flexibility to pursue free agents this off season. Price, Porcello, and Hanley all have large contracts ($20M+) which could create flexibility if they were to be traded. However, they are all bad contracts, and no teams are likely to acquire them.
Adding to Dombrowski’s pressure is the fact the Yankees could possibly enter the 2018 season as the reigning World Series Champions. Unlike the Red Sox, Brian Cashman will not have to pursue any free agents to add to the Yankees roster. His rotation, lineup, and bullpen will remain solidly intact. The Yankees will likely be a heavy favorite to win the A.L. East in 2018, which would relegate the Red Sox to the one game wild card.
The Phillies opening is the most promising of them all. Their young prospects are almost developed. They will have plenty of money to spend. The Marlins won’t compete with them for a while. The Nationals window is closing. The Mets are also looking for a manager, but their window is also closing, and they have one of the worst front offices and training staffs in all of MLB.
The Red Sox outlook isn’t bleak by any means, but it’s more complicated than most people realize. Whoever takes this job will have a hell of a mess on their hands.