The Boston Red Sox need to look for a long-term solution at first base after this season, and the answer is none other than rookie sensation Michael Chavis.
This Red Sox season has had some pretty drastic highs and lows so far and we’re only two full months in. One of the biggest highs has been the outstanding play of rookie sensation Michael Chavis. Getting the call in April to join the main club, Chavis has been nothing short of spectacular since the promotion. With some big opportunities coming for Michael, it’s safe to say as of now he’s a big part of the future.
We’ve seen glimpses of the moon bomb power that we’ve heard about from his time in the minors. And we’ve also seen the incredible work ethic that has always been attached to his name. Coming into 2019 he has primarily been slotted at first or third base, but he has had some serious on the job training at second and is doing pretty damn well.
But with other true second basemen in the field like Tzu-Wei Lin, it looks like Chavis could be slotted back to one of his more primary roles. When the season concludes and free agency opens up the Red Sox will be without both Steve Pearce and Mitch Moreland. Now, both could easily re-sign with the team on short-term deals. I wouldn’t be surprised with that by any means.
However, the Red Sox need to begin looking towards the future when it comes to the 3 slot. By the time the spring training comes next year, Moreland will be 34 and Pearce will be nearing 37. Not old in the grand scheme of life but in baseball terms, they’re reaching the end of the line. So then what do Alex Cora and the Red Sox do? As I said before, the answer is already on the roster, Chavis.
Since he made his debut, the Ice Horse has mostly been saddled up at second but we have gotten to see what he can do at first. Last night is a prime example of his abilities when at one of his normal positions. He had Brett Gardner scouted and was ready to make the move on him in the field. Luckily for the Red Sox Chavis didn’t follow the gameplan and stayed put and he was able to make a stellar play to save the game.
"“With the spreadsheet (scouting report) and having played there the past few nights, I knew that he will hit a groundball to me at first base,” Chavis added. “So I was ready for that. I was actually about to move to the right because (Heath) Hembree was pitching. He threw so many fastballs he (Gardner) was late on. And part of me was like, ‘I don’t want him just to beat me through the hole.’ Honestly, after that pitch I was going to move. So I’m glad I didn’t.”"
So even though he has been strong at second, I truly feel his calling will be at first. With Rafael Devers holding down the fort at the hot corner, I don’t see him playing third any time soon. With Moreland and Pearce both being free agents come 2020, first base will be his best chance at remaining on the major league roster.
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Even though he is currently slumping at the plate he is still one of the more effective bats in the lineup. His production may have slowed but the power is there, Chavis even legged out his first Major League triple last night. The Ice Horse will only be 24 when the season is fresh in 2020 and isn’t set to be a free agent until 2025. Being drafted in the first round of the 2014 draft, Chavis has skyrocketed to the Majors.
Chavis will become arbitration eligible come 2022 but I have a good feeling that a long-term deal will be reached well before then. If the Red Sox can lock down Chavis for the foreseeable future that will give them both Xander Bogaerts and Chavis signed and Devers won’t be a free agent until 2024. The infield is young and incredibly talented as much of the Red Sox team is at the moment.
Red Sox Nation will get to see more of Chavis at first since both Moreland and Pearce are on the IL currently. This will be one hell of an opportunity to see what the kid can do at first for a serious stretch of time. With the way that he’s started his career with the big club, I truly feel he is the future. The Red Sox are getting younger and younger and Ice Horse will be a major component in the machine.
The Boston Red Sox have a great problem in that much of their young talent is performing at a high level. While many teams will struggle to replace older players the Sox have that all sorted out, it’s just a matter of putting the puzzle together. As of now, Michael Chavis is making sure his name is in the conversation for the future of the Red Sox.