The Boston Red Sox finished last in the AL East in 2022, sending them into MLB free agency at a pivotal point for the organization. There is significant impact talent available both via trade and on the open market, but Boston’s options might be limited.

Boston is no longer the big spender it used to be. The team ranked sixth in payroll after the 2021 season ($202 million), behind teams like the New York Yankees Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros. In 2022, the Red Sox finished with the sixth-highest payroll once again and were passed by the San Diego Padres.

Things could look even direr in the years ahead. Xander Bogaerts is a free agent and low-ball offers from Boston’s ownership could push him to a new team. Meanwhile, contract negotiations with AL MVP candidate Rafael Devers haven’t gone well.

Fans are anxiously waiting to see if executive Chaim Bloom spends this winter, taking advantage of a moment when Boston is currently projected for just $63 million in payroll right now (Spotrac). However, it seems two marquee targets at a position of need could be off the table.