Red Sox: Free-agent predictions from MLB Trade Rumors

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 27: Jose Quintana #62 of the Chicago Cubs pitches against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on September 27, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 27: Jose Quintana #62 of the Chicago Cubs pitches against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on September 27, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

MLB Trade Rumors predictions that could impact the Red Sox.

Major League Baseball Trade Rumors (MLBTR) is an exceptional site for baseball information and their latest is an annual prediction by their staff on where free-agents will finally land. What I noted with interest is the monetary value attached to the various contract predictions, but MLBTR is stuck with just how the market will coalesce – the great unknown this season thanks to COVID-19.

MLBTR’s predictions are just that since anyone can make them – in 2016 I predicted Hillary Clinton would get 307 Electoral Votes. I have a long list of Red Sox predictions that are equally astute. Scanning the list, I can make observations based on what they have predicted starting with our own free agent Jackie Bradley Jr.

Bradley has no qualifying offer so he is one of many free agents unencumbered with a one-year fat check of $18.9 MM to provide tempting bait. Bradley is pegged for delivery to the Houston Astros for two-years and $16 MM. My knee jerk response is that is quite adaptable to the Red Sox budget which had Bradley in line for a pre-virus $11 MM handout.

Collectively, we fully understand Bradley’s inconsistencies offensively since they seem to have an ebb and flow of a baseball tide. Streaks of offense that could singe titanium and routinely followed by a glacial period that can run weeks. What is consistent is Bradley is a pitcher’s best friend when they make a mistake that can be hunted down and Bradley has instincts that would put radar to shame.

There is now a linkage and that is to George Springer who just may flee the Astros. MLBTR has the talented right-hand hitting Springer heading to the Sox only the White and not the Red variety for five-years and $125 MM. Springer is excellent offensively and defensively with a noted history of clutch performances. Springer will not give Red Sox Nation seizures over lengthy slumps. But there are other offerings.

Marcell Ozuna is somewhat of a surprise to me on the prediction scale as MLBTR has the hard-hitting – he could be indicted for murdering the Red Sox staff this past summer – going to the suddenly slovenly Nationals for four-years and $72 MM. If the Red Sox could get Ozuna for that price then just do it! Ozuna is excellent defensively but has a balky shoulder so the Red Sox would have to reconfigure their outfield and move Andrew Benintendi – if he survives the offseason – to center field.

The Red Sox also are going to get a second baseman if MLBTR’s crystal ball is functioning correctly and that is Kolten Wong who will sign for two years and $16 MM. I recently wrote about this possibility since I have admired the gritty Wong from afar. A splendid fielder who grades well in UZR and DRS. Wong is a steady batsman with occasional power, a nifty baserunner, and a career .261 hitter. Will that be bad news for Jeter Downs?

More from Red Sox Rumors

The Red Sox need pitching – a brilliant deduction on my part – and the staff at MLBTR has pitching coming our way and if they are accurate you can see why Martin Perez is gone. First off it is not Trevor Bauer who is predicted for the Dodgers in a rich get filthy rich move. Nor will the predictors send J.A. Happ. Rick Porcello, or Jon Lester our way, but they will give us two pitchers to statistically chew on.

Left-hander Jose Quintana is on the fictional books for two-years and $18 MM and is coming off an injury-plagued season. The most noted injury is thumb surgery. Thumb and surgery are not optimum words to instill confidence, but neither is the thought of Perez getting mutilated each start.

MLBTR points out some rather commendable statistics for Quintana but the period of reference was 2014-2017. However, in the two following seasons, Quintana was not exactly fodder for hitters. In his last real functional season – 2019 – Quintana went 13-9 with a 4.68 ERA/3.80 FIP and what attracts me is just a 2.5 BB/9 for his career.

Next. Qualifying offers could cross free-agents off target list. dark

Near the bottom of MLBTR’s top fifty at 49th is Anthony DeSclafani – a now 30-year-old right-hander who has been with Cincinnati since 2015. In that time frame, DeSclalfani has twice made 31 starts with 2019 being the last season he accomplished that. DeSclafani went 9-9 with a 3.89 ERA/4.43 FIP in 166.2 innings. In 2020, his record collapsed to 1-2 and 7.22.