The 2023 Boston Red Sox face a bit of a predicament. Not only is their roster far from that of a postseason contender, but they'll also have to play in what could be the best division in Major League Baseball.
MLB.com's Alyson Footer recently released the site's first MLB Power Rankings of the new calendar year, and the Red Sox are a distant 23rd, behind the likes of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Miami Marlins.
While that's a depressing ranking, it's also not surprising: Boston finished last in the American League East in 2022 at 78-84 and by most measures have gotten worse this offseason, losing Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez and Nathan Eovaldi in free agency and failing to add any impact players outside reliever Kenley Jansen and Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida.
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What may further depress Red Sox fans is where the rest of the AL East falls in these rankings. Boston is the only AL East team outside the top 15, while three teams in the division rank among the top 10 in baseball.
- New York Yankees: 5th
- Toronto Blue Jays: 9th
- Tampa Bay Rays: 10th
- Baltimore Orioles: 15th
In years past, the Red Sox could count on the futility of at least one (often two) AL East club. But the Yankees have a legitimate shot to win the World Series, the Blue Jays and Rays have emerged as perennial postseason contenders and the Orioles parlayed years of tanking into a talented young squad that just finished above .500 for the first time since 2016 last season.
The upshot is that the Red Sox are now that one futile team in the division. And considering they play nearly one third of their games against the AL East (and went 26-50 against division opponents last season), wins might be especially hard to come by in 2023.