The Red Sox made plenty of moves this off-season after finishing with one of the worst records in baseball last season. But which acquisition was the best? Here are the Top 5 2020 acquisitions for the Red Sox.
1.) Hunter Renfroe
Had Hunter Renfroe found his swing earlier in the season, he would certainly be in consideration for the All Star game. Since May 1st, Renfroe is hitting .307 with an OPS of .910, and has 33 RBIs and 10 home runs. Renfroe, who was a Gold Glove finalist in 2019, is looking like he deserves Gold Glove recognition again this season. He has been a key piece for the Red Sox offensively and defensively, and best of all… he’s only a $3M deal and will not be an Unrestricted Free Agent until 2024 due to arbitration. Renfroe is still only 29 and is on track to post his best season statistically this year. Given the contract Renfroe is currently on, and the impact he had on the Sox this season, Renfroe was a steal.
2.) Garrett Whitlock
The Red Sox selected Whitlock in the Rule 5 Draft last December. Whitlock was a prospect in the Yankees’ organization, and coming off Tommy John Surgery when the Red Sox selected him. The 6″5 right hander is just 25 years old and has posted some impressive numbers this season. In 38 innings pitched, Whitlock has allowed just six earned runs, while posting a 1.42 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. Whitlock is also 3-1 on the season with 40 strikeouts.
For a majority of the beginning of the season, Whitlock only pitched every four or five days as he eased his way back from Tommy John Surgery, now we are starting to see him more often. The rookie is only making $570,500 this and will be due for a new contract next season, but the Red Sox could have a star on their hands with Whitlock.
3.) Christian Arroyo
Yes, Christian Arroyo was claimed in August of 2020, but he only appeared in 14 games. Number three may seem a little high for Christian Arroyo, but the Red Sox could finally have an every day second baseman, something they have been looking for since 2017. The Red Sox have had a hole at second base ever since Manny Machado slid into Dustin Pedroia that ultimately ended his career. Guys like Eduardo Nunez, Ian Kinsler, Brock Holt, Marco Hernandez, Jose Peraza, and Jonathan Arauz have had their chances but nobody has been able to hold the position.
Christian Arroyo is just 26 years old, and will not be an Unrestricted Free Agent until 2025 due to arbitration. In 41 games this season, Arroyo is batting .264 with an OPS of .756. Arroyo has also stepped up big for the Red Sox late in games multiple times this season, most notably his go-ahead pinch hit grand slam against the Braves. Arroyo’s age, and the potential he provides to the second base position is why I have him checking in at number three.
4.) Hirokazu Sawamura
Hirokazu Sawamura was probably the guy most Sox fans knew the least about, but he has provided a huge boost to a bullpen that desperately needed it. Sawamura spent 10 seasons in Japan before signing with the Red Sox on a two-year $3M contract that keeps him the team until 2024. In 30 appearances this season, the 33 year old righty has posted a 4-0 record, with 2.56 ERA, a 1.33 WHIP, allowing just nine earned runs and has punched out 40. Sawamura has also only allowed nine earned runs this season. Sawamura has been a key piece in a Red Sox bullpen that has been very impressive this season.
5.) Adam Ottavino
After a rocky start to the 2021 season, Adam Ottavino has found his stride. Ottavino has been another great addition to a bullpen that needed a lot of work. He has stepped up big as the eighth inning guy for in the Sox bullpen this season, posting a 2.73 ERA, a 1.30 WHIP, with 39 strikeouts and five saves in 36 appearances this season. Ottavino has also allowed just 10 earned runs and has posted 2-2 record on the season.
The Red Sox acquired 10 year veteran Adam Ottavino in a trade with the Yankees, where he signed a three-year $27M contract in 2019. He will be paid $9M this season by the Red Sox. Which is the seventh highest cap hit on their current payroll, before he becomes an Unrestricted Free Agent next season. The Red Sox will have to come to terms with Ottavino as they will most likely look to resign him for the 2022 season. Because of the potential risk with Ottavino being a UFA this season, I have him at number five.