The Boston Red Sox offseason has been one of mixed messages.
At the outset of the offseason, there was hope that the Red Sox would drastically upgrade their roster. Sean McAdam of MassLive reported that team chairman Tom Werner said that the Red Sox would be “full throttle” during the offseason. The reality has been different. Lucas Giolito was signed to upgrade the rotation, then Chris Sale was traded for Vaughn Grissom. Alex Verdugo was traded for a pair of minor leaguers and a middling bullpen arm. Chris Cotillo of MassLive then reported that team president and CEO Sam Kennedy stated that the Red Sox payroll would be lower in 2024. So much for full throttle.
Even those statements about payroll may be in question now. Marino Pepin of WJDA out of Boston reported that the Red Sox have remained in contact with Jordan Montgomery. To that end, Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe speculated that the Red Sox are either hoping prices drop or that this is a matter of posturing.
The latter thought makes sense. The Red Sox have been linked to several top free agents this offseason but nothing happened. Meanwhile, those statements about a lower payroll in 2024 were met with anger by the fan base. Having their pursuit of Montgomery made public would allow the Red Sox to claim that they tried.
This claim, however, also sends a mixed message. “Full throttle” means that payroll isn’t a concern. Slashing payroll below 2024 levels may not be possible with a legitimate attempt to sign Montgomery. Although only the Red Sox and Montgomery’s representation would know the extent of those conversations, repetitively asking if his price dropped would count as “constant contact.” It is just another of the mixed messages the Red Sox have sent this offseason.