Boston Red Sox: Four areas of need heading into the 2020 season

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 17: Jackie Bradley Jr. #19 of the Boston Red Sox hits a two-run home run in the sixth inning against the Houston Astros during Game Four of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on October 17, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 17: Jackie Bradley Jr. #19 of the Boston Red Sox hits a two-run home run in the sixth inning against the Houston Astros during Game Four of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on October 17, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – APRIL 29: Michael Chavis #23 of the Boston Red Sox at bat during the fifth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park on April 29, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – APRIL 29: Michael Chavis #23 of the Boston Red Sox at bat during the fifth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park on April 29, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Second Base

This was a position that killed the Red Sox in 2019. The year prior, they were able to paper over it with a platoon of Brock Holt, Eduardo Nunez, and Tzu-Wei Lin before acquiring Ian Kinsler near the trade deadline to stabilize it.

In 2019, with Dustin Pedroia still unable to play, the Red Sox relied on rookie Michael Chavis which worked out fairly well until he went down with an injury halfway through the season.

Right now the Red Sox have Jose Peraza as the lone big league second basemen on their roster, but there’s no way they can go into the season with only him manning the position.

Top prospects Bobby Dalbec and Triston Casas project as corner infielders and while the Red Sox could try to convert one of them to second base, having already done so with Chavis doesn’t lend itself to doing so again.

That means that right now, second base will be a rotation of Peraza and Chavis. With a dearth of second base depth in the minor leagues (Jeter Downs, acquired in the Mookie trade, looks to be at least a couple of years away), the Red Sox will most likely need to look for additional depth on the free-agent market.

Of course, there’s always Brock Holt, but with the popular utility man still being available, there must be some reason the Red Sox don’t seem to be in any hurry to bring him back.

Perusing the realistic free agents still available, some intriguing names remain, the most interesting of which include Jason Kipnis, Ben Zobrist, and Scooter Gennett.

Zobrist might be a good, cheap depth move given his age (38). Kipnis and Gennett are both younger in their early 30s and could easily take the bulk of the time at second with Peraza and Chavis being used as backups. That would free Chavis up to take more time at first base as stated previously.