Red Sox: Bobby Dalbec could be the solution for a vacant first base
The Boston Red Sox are in need of a first baseman and luckily for them, they have a top prospect that can fill the vacancy with ease.
As we head into the offseason the Red Sox will be hit with some free agency players that will leave holes in the lineup. The biggest vacancy will be at first base where Mitch Moreland has held down the fort for the last three years. Boston already has some guys on the roster that can fill the void but they’ll also be needed elsewhere. So who gets the call in Moreland’s absence?
With the direction that the team is heading, it doesn’t feel like they’re going to go out by sign a free agent to replace the one they’re losing. Now that Chaim Bloom is at the helm of baseball ops as the new Chief Baseball Officer, I imagine that we may see the team lean more on their farm system. Bloom has experience with cultivating a farm system thanks to his lengthy tenure with Tampa.
Sam Travis and Michael Chavis both took shots at first base when they weren’t needed elsewhere and did a fine job in doing so. Both guys became big-time assets for the Red Sox as they would be used in a multitude of ways throughout the season.
Chavis worked on becoming a strong second baseman this season and is most likely to get the everyday spot with the uncertainty surrounding Dustin Pedroia and the upcoming free agency of Brock Holt. Travis is also utilized in the outfield and may see more of that action if the Red Sox jump on any of the trade rumors we’ve heard swirling around Jackie Bradley Jr. and possibly Mookie Betts.
Considering the obvious answers to the question already on the roster will most likely be busy with other tasks, I think it’s time to go to the prospect list. Bobby Dalbec, much like Chavis, is mostly a first and third baseman. He got some serious time in spring training last year that would also afford him a promotion to Triple-A.
While in Pawtucket, Dalbec would hit .257 with 7 homers and 16 RBI in just 30 games. That’s not a bad clip whatsoever and will surely earn him another call to join the Red Sox at Fenway South this winter. If Bobby can come into spring training hot this offseason then we may be seeing him on the Opening Day roster.
Another reason I’m leaning towards Dalbec as the heir apparent to Moreland at first is the salary. It’s no secret that FSG wants the salary to get as close to or under the CBT as possible so they can reset the penalty markers.
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That’s going to be one hell of a tough task for Bloom and his team to achieve but it can be done and utilizing prospects can get them there. Promoting Dalbec to the main roster is a hell of a lot cheaper than going shopping on the market this winter.
If for some reason he winds up not being the right guy for the job or just isn’t ready for the Majors just yet, Alex Cora can just slide Chavis or Travis back over to first. I don’t see that happening as Bobby has shown a hell of a work ethic and drive to better himself on the field. It’s that work ethic that got him this shot this past winter and will likely get him there again this year.
He may not be the sexiest of the choices out there especially for a team that wants to contend. But the Red Sox are working under some tough guidelines and have to make do with what they have.
For all we know, the bosses may give Bloom a green light for some spending this offseason but with everything we’ve heard going in, I doubt that allowance is big. So promoting from within the system will be the best and most likely used option.
Boston has the tools to once again find themselves playing in October they just need to put the puzzle together. If the Red Sox are going to make another run at the Commissioner’s Trophy they’ll need all the weapons they can get their hands on. Bobby Dalbec can be that weapon especially with his talent and drive to continue bettering himself. Only time will tell what the team has planned for 2020, but that time will soon begin to run out.