The Boston Red Sox are not on the annual list of possible destinations for high priced free agents. But where may the Red Sox free agents land? Is there any on the list worth a look?
The top 50 list of free agents is now available from MLB Trade Rumors and with a prediction – a two-part prediction – where the prospective free agent will land and just what the landing fee will cost. Scanning through the wish list there is a noted omission of the Boston Red Sox in the upper level of talent – a rare and undoubtedly troublesome reality that the Red Sox may be serious about payroll reduction.
Boston has their free agents who have wandered onto the radar with Rick Porcello resting comfortably at the 31st position and predicted to journey west to the Giants for $11 million. A reasonable outcome based on Porcello’s less than a spectacular season. The righty is consistent in getting starts and approaching 200 innings, but the downside is readily visible with a glance at his statistics.
A long-time Boston favorite is the versatile Brock Holt who has been pigeonholed in the 41st slot to Arizona for two years and $8 million. Holt has already bid adieu to Red Sox Nation with the obvious undercurrent that Brock Star has reached his shelf life in Boston. Of course, this is conjecture and both Porcello and Holt would be worth their projected salaries if the Red Sox budget allowed.
The list does provide interesting opportunities for shoppers as there is something for everyone. If money is no object, you can pursue Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg who are the types of shiny trinkets generally mentioned with the Red Sox, Yankees, and a few other notorious free spenders.
With the current direction in fiscal responsibility after years of fiscal irresponsibility via the corporate mandate is there anything on the list Chaim Bloom could entice to Boston? This is a cart before the horse situation since the Red Sox may have potential deals pending that could avoid that need. Then comes the ledger as the Red Sox are now Ebenezer Scrooge before he turned a solid citizen.
Is there a place for an aging slugger in one Edwin Encarnacion? Encarnacion is pegged for one-year and $8 million and could fit depending on the fluid situation with Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. Would Martinez shift to the outfield? Would Encarnacion take his career -11.5 UZR to first base? Looking at the Red Sox roster as now constructed, I would say Michael Chavis and avoid EE.
More from Red Sox Rumors
- Is Jean Segura the solution to Red Sox’ Trevor Story concerns?
- Red Sox news: Orioles eyeing former Boston arms, Dansby Swanson to Cubs, JD Martinez to Dodgers
- Did Alex Cora just drop a huge hint about Red Sox free-agent target?
- MLB insider hints Red Sox teardown may continue with two trades
- Division rival targeting Red Sox 2022 standout Michael Wacha
Kole Calhoun is listed at 44th and predicted to the Pirates for $6 million for one year. Calhoun certainly joined the crowded field of 30+ home run hitters with 33 along with a .232 average. The positive about Calhoun is he is an excellent defender and the price would represent savings over Bradley. Definitely worth a look if Rumors is correct on the market.
The Red Sox need pitching support and with a rotation that has a fondness for the IL what better choice than lefty Rich Hill. Hill is now 40-years-old and a constant companion to the IL, but when healthy the former Red Sox is a darn good pitcher. Hill is sequestered at 46th and heading back to LA at $6 million. Rumors also have Hill as a possibility to return home to Boston.
The Red Sox have not been neglected as right-hander Pedro Strop is 49th and predicted for your Boston Red Sox for one year and $5 million. Strop did not shine in 2019 out of the bullpen for the Cubs (2-5, 4.97) and that could be an indicator that Strop should be making retirement plans or it may just be an anomaly. I tend to view the former as Strop’s future.
For the risk-takers, there is towering righty Dellin Betances with a career 14.6 K/9. The obvious downside is Betances’s right shoulder that was healed just in time for a partial Achilles tear. Betances is positioned for the Rays for $7 million to bring his fastball to either The Trop or the IL. Intriguing, but a no from me. Rumors has Betances at 43rd.
At 37th is a baseball nightmare in Yasiel Puig who probably gets the least out of the most talent in the Majors. Puig is slotted for the Tigers at $8 million and has flashing lights warning caution. Puig in Boston would certainly be entertaining and not in a good way.
The list offers some startling insight into just how difficult the replacement of talent will be for the Red Sox with possible trades and free agents leaving the fold. Bloom does have a history of finding a truffle among the baseball weeds. He’ll need to be on top of his game.