Red Sox Will Probably Win the World Series
The first reason I have hope is because of Dave Dombrowski and what he was able to do with our pitching staff. To the untrained eye, it did not seem like much outside the signing of our new ace David Price. But, we added a starting pitcher by the name of Roenis Elias. He is the type of guy, if he can get back to his 2014 numbers, who would do just fine as a number 5 in our rotation. We lost Rich Hill and Wade Miley, who were both God awful last year. I could not be more happy to see them gone. I absolutely would call this addition by subtraction. In the bullpen, we added superstar Craig Kimbrel, which will prove to be an essential part of this team come the 8th or 9th inning. Koji is getting old and is definitely an injury concern at this point, but has the potential to be solid coming in relief. The Sox also added righty reliever Carson Smith from the Mariners. He posted 13 saves with a 2.31 ERA working out of the pen, which is far better than most of our guys last year. I would also like to throw in the fact that I think Rick Porcello will manage 16 wins and be our #2 guy. Clay will fall to be #3 and be just above .500. Rodriguez will end up having a very solid year at the #4 spot in the rotation. All of these additions will prove to be major players en route to the 2016 World Series championship.
Another thing that I really like is the addition of Chris Young in an already crowded outfield. Last year with the Yankees, the 10 year veteran Young hit .252 with 14 HR and 42 RBIs and played very well defensively. To me, this looks like Farrell and Dombrowski have one outfielder in particular on a very short leash: Jackie Bradley, Jr. At this point, I would imagine that some bonehead organization would still be willing to take JBJ off of our hands for something of value in return. He hit .249 with 10 HR and 43 RBIs last year, improving upon his lifetime average of around .190. Everyone who knows me knows I think JBJ is horrible and a waste of space. It is true that I will never knock his defensive efforts because they are simply stellar, but in the MLB you need to be able to play the field AND hit. He just can't get it done. The outfield at the end of the year will be Rusney Castillo in LF (you pay him too much to be a bench guy), Mookie Betts in CF and Chris Young/Brock Holt in RF. Jackie Bradley Jr. will be gone by June.
Big Papi retiring is one of the better things that will happen to this team for a few reasons. One reason being the fact that he is going to play out of his mind. It is going to be his last time at all of these parks and he is going to show these young pitchers that a 40 year old can still rake. It's the same thing that happened to Ray Lewis and Peyton Manning, they're on a mission from God that only a championship will complete. Papi has been the man in Boston for over 10 years now, so I am really sad to see him go. But the other positive that comes from this is after his retirement. I really do think Hanley Ramirez will figure things out at 1B this season. The downside of this is if he does, there is virtually no room for Travis Shaw to get meaningful ABs. It's a shame but it's just one of those things that happens in baseball. Potential stars just have to wait for their turn. Next year, Hanley will move to the DH spot and Shaw will slide back in at first, making everything right in the world.
Also worth mentioning is the fact that I think Pablo Sandoval will bounce back to be his regular self in 2016. His 2015 campaign was pretty poor seeing as we paid him like a superstar. I think this year, under Big Papi's leadership, he will learn that the game is more about the team than himself. He looks like he is taking steps in the right direction by losing a ton of weight. When asked, Farrell said that, "He's roughly 20 pounds lighter than the last game he played in 2015." Good for him, I'd love to see the Panda do well this year.
There you have it, my reasons why the Boston Red Sox will be the 2016 World Series champions. It's going to be a tough battle to get there (especially when we play the Astros in the ALCS), but we will find a way to get it done. Red Sox nation baby!