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The Boston Red Sox were one of baseball’s surprise stories in 2021. Can they build on that success in 2022?
After a forgettable 2020 in which they went just 24-36 during the shortened 60-game campaign, Alex Cora returned as manager in 2021 following a suspension. It worked, as the team would improve dramatically in 2021, with a 92-70 record. That was good for second place in the AL East behind the Tampa Bay Rays, as well as the first Wild Card spot in the American League.
After trading for Kyle Schwarber at last year’s deadline, the Red Sox upset Tampa in the ALDS and made it all the way to the ALCS, where they would lose to the Houston Astros in six games.
With most of Boston’s roster intact for 2022, it’s not out of the question to expect this team to contend after surprising in 2021. The quest for consecutive playoff berths won’t come easy, as the Red Sox will likely experience some regression after overachieving last year, along with a competitive AL East division.
Here are five moves they can make to put themselves over the top in 2022.
5 moves to make the Red Sox World Champions
Sign Seiya Suzuki
This one seems obvious, given Boston’s ties to the Japanese outfielder in various rumors throughout this off-season.
Suzuki is 27 and considered an elite talent who is ready to make the transition to MLB. With a slash line of .319/.436/.640 and 38 home runs in 2021 in NPB, you might be able to see why he’s such a hot commodity.
The Red Sox could use outfielders after trading Hunter Renfroe to Milwaukee and potentially losing Kyle Schwarber in free agency. They still have Alex Verdugo, but the depth chart runs pretty then after him. Suzuki is the type of affordable, productive player that could fill their need at the position.