It was announced earlier today that Gold Glove free agent Ian Kinsler wouldn’t be returning to the Red Sox. With Dustin Pedroia’s health still in question, should they have made more of an effort to retain Kinsler?
Earlier today Ken Rosenthal reported that free agent second baseman Ian Kinsler would be taking his talents to San Diego. This is the second free agent the Red Sox have lost to another organization this week. The first being fireball pitcher Joe Kelly packing up and heading to Hollywood.
Now I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t always say the nicest things about Kinsler while he was in Boston, but I think it’s a mistake letting him go. With absolutely zero ideas on whether or not Dustin Pedroia is actually healthy, losing Ian is a blow.
Kinsler wasn’t the strongest bat while in a Red Sox uniform but he wasn’t brought to Boston for his bat, he was there for his defense. And yes, I remember the botched throw during the playoffs. We still won the World Series, move on, it happens.
He still put together a Gold Glove caliber season over the course of 2018, the second of his career. Our other options at second if Pedroia still isn’t 100% are primarily Eduardo Nunez and Brock Holt. Both are quality players, but neither are everyday second baseman like Kinsler. So if Dustin does go down again, we’ll have to hope the subs can pick up the slack.
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So back to the argument posed above, should the Red Sox have made an attempt to re-sign Kinsler? In my opinion, they absolutely should have. A full season in Boston could’ve made a night and day difference for the veteran. He split his time between the Angel and Sox in 2018, never getting a chance to settle. So being able to plant roots could’ve helped his production.
I have been on the Dustin Pedroia war wagon since he came onto the scene in 2007. I want him to come back from this nightmare season and just kill 2019, But I also would’ve preferred having an everyday second baseman like Kinsler ready to go if we needed him. Again, Holt and Nunez are class players but it just isn’t the same.
Retaining the services of Kinsler could’ve been a great precautionary plan to keep Pedroia healthy as well. They could’ve split shifts so both stay fresh during the long season. Both have been in the league since the early 2000’s and both are showing the wear and tear. So to keep both healthy they could have both take different series off to rest and recover.
But alas the Padres swept in and made Kinsler an offer he couldn’t refuse. He’ll be heading to San Diego on a two-year, $8 million deal. That’s something the Red Sox could’ve easily come up with and it wouldn’t have killed the bottom line in the ledger books.
Kinsler didn’t need to be an MVP candidate, he just needed to flash the leather when we needed it and get some contact when it mattered most. I’m hoping that we don’t come to regret not making an offer for him this year. But more importantly, I’d like to thank Ian Kinsler for what he did do while with the team and wish him the best in San Diego!