Red Sox: Left-handed free agent bats to platoon at DH


Dave Dombrowski’s comments imply that he’s looking for a left-handed hitter to platoon at DH for the Boston Red Sox. Which free agents fit the criteria?

Boston Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombroski keeps his own counsel. When a potential clue to his thought process appears to leak out, we will tend to pounce on it and attempt to decipher the meaning, especially as we await his response to the Yankees’ acquisition of superstar outfielder, Giancarlo Stanton.

Dombrowski provided a possible clue during his conference call with the media following the re-signing of first baseman Mitch Moreland.

"“…we feel we have a [designated hitter slot], and that between [Hanley Ramirez] and if I could find someone else to DH and play outfield spots, that would give us plenty of at-bats and opportunities for somebody to contribute in a full-time fashion,” stated Dombrowski, via’s Ian Browne."

Since the Red Sox have a right-handed hitting DH in Hanley Ramirez, it stands to reason that Dombrowski would want a lefty hitter to compliment him. He specifies an outfielder who could serve as a DH and also spell the corner outfielders.

If a left-handed bat is Dombrowski’s preference then that would seem to rule out J.D. Martinez, who has been heavily linked the Red Sox as a free agent target. Here is a list of some left-handed free agent outfielders on the market:

Ethier is 36 and had a -0.1 WAR last season; his other stats were unimpressive:

AB          R             HR          RBI         BA          OBP       SLG        OPS

34           3             2             3             .235       .316       .441       .757

Due to chronic injuries, he is not the player he once was and would be a liability in the outfield.

Granderson is also 36 and his 2017 WAR was 1.5; his other offensive stats were better than Ethier and near league average, except for his BA, but he would also be a defensive notch or two down.

AB          R             HR          RBI         BA          OBP       SLG        OPS

449        74           26           64           .212       .323       .452       .775

Bruce is 30 and had a resurgent offensive year in 2017 with the New York Mets and Cleveland Indians with a career-high 36 HRs.  He would be below average on defense, but not a liability.

AB          R             HR          RBI         BA          OBP       SLG        OPS

555        82           36           101        .254       .324       .508       .832

He would be the best fit of the three LHB free agent outfielders, but the Red Sox would have to outbid Cleveland for his services since the Indians just lost Carlos Santana to the Phillies [3 years, $60 million].

If Dombroski were willing to settle for a LHB DH who could NOT play the outfield and was not Eric Hosmer, he would be looking at these free agent infielders:

Moustakas is a LHB and Walker and Reyes are switch-hitters.

Moustakas is a third base starter, but the Red Sox are committed to Rafael Devers there. If he’s willing to become a full-time DH then Moustakas could be an option but it’s more likely a team with an opening to allow him to play the field will target him.

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Walker could serve as a backup at second base and Reyes could be a backup at second, third, and short, but neither is a big power bat and do not fit a DH profile.

Is there a stealth player out there who could meet Dombroski’s requirements for a LHB to pair with Hanley at DH and also serve as a backup outfielder? Perhaps even a power hitter who can also play first base?


He is listed by Baseball Reference as “First Baseman and Leftfielder.”

He is 30 years old and has played for five teams.

He has played 4,384.1 innings at first base and 2,136.1 innings in the outfield.

Baseball Reference lists these 2017 stats:

AB          R             HR          RBI         BA          OBP       SLG        OPS

512        75           38           85           .246       .353       .516       .868

His 2017 WAR was 3.6.

He played for the Tampa Bay Rays last season so he’s familiar with the AL East.

By now you have guessed that our mystery man is:

Logan Morrison.

Setting Hosmer and Martinez aside, free agents Bruce and Morrison are the closest matches to the criteria that Dave Dombroski described.

Next: Red Sox re-sign first baseman Mitch Moreland to 2-year deal

How will you feel, if the Red Sox respond to the Yankees’ Stanton acquisition by signing Mitch Moreland and acquiring Jay Bruce or Logan Morrison?