Now that Spring Training games have begun, it is time to look at the new players wearing a Red Sox uniform this year:
This is the big one. Boston signed him to the biggest contract in team history. Price is just turning 30 this year and coming off an 18 win season in which he lead the league in ERA. He is the ace Boston missed so much last year. By the way, I just got this card in recently, my first card of Price with Boston. Yes it is photoshopped, but I don't care.
I am not thrilled with this trade personally. I am happy Boston got a great closer, but they gave up four good prospects to get him. They gave up Manuel Margot, Javy Guerra, Carlos Asuaje, and Logan Allen. Kimbrel will be with the team for a couple of years, but that prospect haul hurts. And Boston has bad luck trading for closers. They have previously acquired Andrew Bailey, Mark Melancon, and Joel Hanrahan in trades, none of whom worked out. The players they gave up included Jed Lowrie, Josh Reddick, and Mark Melancon, who became an All Star after he was traded away. Kimbrel is better than all three of those closers, but the history gives me pause. Kimbrel's first card will appear in Topps Heritage.
A rare player who left the Yankees to join the Red Sox, Young is expected to be the fourth outfielder after Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Rusney Castillo. Young does quite well against left-handers.
Acquired in a trade with the Mariners for Wade Miley, Elias is a young left-hander with some potential. He could easily step into Miley's shoes, or find a place in the bullpen. I think it is more likely that he starts out in the bullpen and then pitches his way into more playing time.
Smith was the key piece Boston picked up in the Wade Miley trade. Smith was dominant in the bullpen in 2015, striking out 92 in 70 innings. He joins an already impressive back end of the bullpen with Kimbrel, Koji Uehara, and Junichi Tazawa. It is not as strong as the Yankees' bullpen, but it should be a strength this year. Smith has been announced to be in the Topps Heritage set.