The Boston Red Sox enter 2015 with a number of fresh faces and many returning veterans.  The end results of a variety of winter dealings so far are favorable to some Red Sox players and not so kind to others.  With spring training lurking around the corner, here are the biggest winners and losers of Boston’s offseason so far, categorized by position players and pitchers.


Position Players

Winner: Hanley Ramirez

Hanley Ramirez inked a four-year, $88 million deal with the Red Sox that could turn into five years and $110 million if he stays healthy.  That’s the only argument necessary, but there is more.

The 31-year-old Ramirez took the field for at least 150 games just once since 2009 and appeared in fewer than 130 contests three times in the last five years.  His best statistical seasons were in 2008 and 2009, when he batted .321 while averaging 28 home runs, 86 RBI and 36 stolen bases.  The value of Ramirez’s contract implies he’s still that player, even though his recent numbers suggest otherwise.  His 2013-2014 two-year averages are .308, 16 home runs, 64 RBI and 12 steals.

Ramirez was also rewarded with the added bonus of no longer having to play shortstop, a position he struggled at defensively in recent years.  Fox Sports’ Jeff Sullivan wrote:

By the numbers, Ramirez looks bad. Over the last few years, he’s been one of the worst defensive shortstops. When he spent a chunk of time playing third base, he was statistically bad there, too. Critics have to allow him an adjustment period there, but still, it’s evidence that points to Ramirez being a defensive liability.

He’ll now get to play in Fenway Park’s shallow left field, where even Manny Ramirez once accumulated 17 outfield assists in a single season.


Honorable Mention: Pablo Sandoval and his five-year, $95 million contract.


Loser: Shane Victorino

In 2013, Shane Victorino was Boston’s everyday right fielder and a key member of the Red Sox’s World Series title run, hitting a game-winning grand slam in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series.

Last season, Victorino was hampered by injuries and only suited up for 30 games.  Even if he can rebound fully healthy in 2015, it’s unlikely there will be a regular position available for him.  In addition to Ramirez in left, the other two outfield spots appear destined for top prospect Mookie Betts and 2014 free-agent signing Rusney Castillo.

Despite the uncertain future, Victorino recently told the Boston Herald that his outlook for this year remains optimistic.  Via Scott Lauber, Victorino said:

I love reading and listening to (manager John) Farrell talk about his starting lineup, but I’m nowhere to be heard. That’s OK. They will know once they see.


Love being the one that no one talks about. Always have been the underdog in my life. Know one thing: I will be ready and prepared to go when spring training starts.

Victorino is 34 years old and in the final season of a three-year, $39 million contract.  As reported by Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe, trade rumors are constantly swirling, and Victorino‘s days with the Red Sox may be numbered.


Honorable Mention: Daniel Nava and Allen Craig, outfielders who find themselves in similar positions as Victorino.



Winner: Koji Uehara

There was not a lot of fanfare surrounding the re-signing of Koji Uehara.  It happened just after season’s end and before the Red Sox made big splashes with the additions of Ramirez and Sandoval.  However, Uehara earned himself a nice chunk of change given his age and recent performance.

Boston retained Uehara‘s services for two years and $18 million.  Considering he was one of the best closers in the game for nearly two full seasons with the Red Sox, that price seems like a bargain.

But in this case, it’s worth looking beyond Uehara‘s 1.75 ERA and 0.73 WHIP over his time in Boston.  He’s turning 39 years old in April, and his numbers fell off dramatically at the end of last year.  Over Uehara‘s final nine outings of 2014, he allowed 15 hits and 10 earned runs in a span of just 7.2 innings.

With the amount of money the Red Sox are paying him, Uehara is virtually assured of keeping his closer role to start the season.  As shaky as he looked down the stretch last year, that’s a huge win for him.


Honorable Mention: Craig Breslow, who inked a one-year deal for only $2 million but has fairly solid job security as the only lefty with significant major league experience in the Red Sox bullpen.


Loser: Anthony Ranaudo

Anthony Ranaudo was spectacular in Triple-A in 2014.  With the Pawtucket Red Sox, he went 14-4 with a 2.61 ERA and 1.20 WHIP while holding opposing hitters to a .223 batting average.  The 25-year-old earned a late-season call-up and showed glimpses of his potential in seven starts with Boston.  As a big leaguer, Ranaudo was 4-3 with a 4.81 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP.

Until baseball’s winter meetings, it looked as though Ranaudo might have a chance to begin 2015 in the Red Sox rotation.  But Boston added three new starting pitchers in the offseason: Rick Porcello, Wade Miley and Justin Masterson.  Along with incumbents Clay Buchholz and Joe Kelly, the Red Sox now have five accomplished MLB starters.

Barring an injury or something unforeseen, Ranaudo will be on the outside looking in and likely headed back to Triple-A to start the season.


Honorable Mention: Brandon Workman, who like Ranaudo may be squeezed out of a roster spot but at 26 years old could be running thin on opportunities.


Statistics via and contract information from

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