Does Garin Cecchini have a future with the Red Sox?


With once-promising power threat Will Middlebrooks on the way out, the Red Sox will enter the 2014-15 offseason with third base a potential area of need. While Middlebrooks can’t be trusted as a full time starter next year, however, the Red Sox do have one more promising third baseman in their system in Garin Cecchini. With that in mind, one of the biggest questions the Red Sox will face this offseason is whether Cecchini’s immediate upside is worth passing on an expensive offensive threat such as Pablo Sandoval or Chase Headley.

A year ago, that answer would have been a definitive yes. Between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland, in 2013 Cecchini has flown up prospect lists with a very strong season which saw him slash .322/.443/.471 as a 22 year old.

However, Cecchini followed that breakout season with a relatively disappointing 2014 season for the Triple-A PawSox, hitting a mediocre .263/.341/.371 and adding credibility to those who doubted he could continue to reach base at a fantastic rate in the highest levels of the minors. After all, despite his 6’3″ 220 pound frame, Cecchini’s power is yet to really develop, which casts a cloud of doubt over his future as one of the game’s better hitting third basemen.

If the Red Sox have plans of contending seriously next season, and it appears they do, then they may attempt to secure a more reliable starting third baseman on the free agent or trade market. See, while Cecchini has been solid in his cup of coffee with the Red Sox (slashing .308/.400/.385 in 6 games), some extra time at Pawtucket to truly master the upper minors would likely be beneficial for both Cecchini and the Red Sox.

However, if Cecchini does master Triple-A just a few months into the season, then the Red Sox don’t want to block him with a longterm signing. Cecchini has the potential to be at least a solid contributor at third base, and perhaps much more than that, and signing a player to a large contract would likely prevent that from ever occurring with the Red Sox.

Therefore, if the Red Sox sign Sandoval or maybe even Headley this offseason, then expect them to trade Cecchini. While there are doubts over Cecchini’s offensive potential, it makes zero sense to block him at the Major League level without getting anything in return. At just 23 years old and possessing the type of high on-base style that the Red Sox cherish, there’s plenty of hope for him to figure it out next year. However, expect this offseason to determine whether or not Cecchini has a future in Boston.