The Boston Red Sox have endured a frustrating 2020 campaign and find themselves on the verge of officially being eliminated from postseason contention.
However, chairman Tom Werner assured fans Friday that the team doesn't intend to embark on an extended rebuild.
"We're staring at a very disappointing season," Werner said, according to Chris Cotillo of MassLive. "We don't have any excuses. We've got a lot of assets and, as everybody knows, we spend and we're not a small-market team. We're going to be back next year."
At 19-33, the Red Sox own the second-worst record in the American League and feature the worst staff ERA in the majors at 5.91. Both Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez were lost to injury prior to Opening Day, and fellow lefty David Price was sent to Los Angeles alongside Mookie Betts in February, so the rotation was in trouble before a single pitch was thrown.
"There's no secret to the fact that pitching wins pennants for you," Werner said. "Our pitching wasn't acceptable this year. It's going to start with pitching."
Both Sale and E-Rod are expected back in 2021.
Despite the struggles on the mound and the loss of Betts in the field, there have been bright spots on offense. While J.D. Martinez has regressed significantly, Boston has received major contributions from Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, and Alex Verdugo.
The Red Sox won't be hamstrung by the luxury tax again this offseason, either, so they may be able to spend more freely. The team's payroll moved below the $208-million threshold this year, which the team's Twitter account appeared to celebrate in a since deleted tweet.