Why Red Sox missed out on better return for Nathan Eovaldi, Xander Bogaerts

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This detail about Eovaldi, Bogaerts exits is a bad look for Red Sox originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Red Sox got caught in no-man's land at the 2022 MLB trade deadline, and now they're paying the price.

Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom tried to toe the line between buying and selling last summer, trading away popular catcher Christian Vazquez for a pair of prospects but then adding two veterans in Tommy Pham and Eric Hosmer. The moves didn't make the Red Sox any better -- they tanked to a last-place finish in the American League East -- and also put them over MLB's luxury tax threshold.

Tomase: Red Sox kept finding new depths in a lost 2022

Fast forward to the offseason, where Boston watched free agents Xander Bogaerts and Nathan Eovaldi sign with the San Diego Padres and Texas Rangers, respectively.

Fortunately, the Red Sox extended both players qualifying offers, which means they'll get 2023 MLB Draft compensation for Bogaerts and Eovaldi leaving. Unfortunately, that draft compensation is now worse because Boston went over the luxury tax, as Ian Cundall of SoxProspects.com pointed out Tuesday.

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The Red Sox could have received a pair of early-third round picks (No. 70 and No. 71 overall) for Bogaerts and Eovaldi. Instead, they'll pick more than 60 slots later -- while also losing out on about $1 million in bonus pool money to sign draft picks.

This isn't the end of the world, as draft order matters less in Major League Baseball than essentially any other sport with such a vast pool of talent (more than 600 total selections). The Red Sox were just three games out of a wild card spot at the time of the trade deadline, too, so you could make the case for them being buyers.

But Bloom and Co. still failed on multiple fronts. They could have either improved their team significantly by going over the luxury tax to add real talent, or gone into sell mode by looking to trade Bogaerts, Eovaldi or J.D. Martinez. Instead, they did neither.

Pham and Hosmer both are off the roster, and Bogaerts, Eovaldi and Martinez all walked for essentially no return besides draft picks that are now lower due to Boston exceeding the tax.

The Red Sox were the only team that paid the luxury tax and didn't make the playoffs in 2022, which tells you all you need to know about how Bloom has managed this roster to date.