Red Sox are consensus favorites to land George Springer
We’re entrenched into the offseason and free agency is in full swing as teams are planning out their strategies for the 2021 season. For the Red Sox, that means beefing up the pitching staff and filling a massive void in the lineup that was created when Boston traded Mookie Betts. One of the biggest jewels on the market this offseason will be outfielder extraordinaire George Springer.
The Red Sox were very diligent this past year in getting their budget under the CBT threshold in order to reset the penalty markers and free up some money to repair the squad. They achieved that goal and now it’s time to reap the benefits of the lack of spending this past season. If you’ve read anything I’ve written about this free-agent class then you know I’m not a big fan of signing Springer, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad move.
Recently, MLB.com gathered several of its experts and ran through a list of the biggest free agents on the market this winter with their latest edition focusing on Springer. When the group got to the topic of Springer, it was a near-unanimous vote that he’d be making his way to Fenway Park and the Red Sox. The only one to stray away from the pack was Mark Feinsand, and though he made some solid points, he was the only one to voice a different opinion.
Red Sox beat reporter Ian Browne laid out the perfect scenario that would lead Springer to Boston and I’ll admit, he got me to bite. His linking of Boston manager Alex Cora and his former ward made more than perfect sense for both sides.
"“Boston manager Alex Cora was the bench coach for Springer in Houston in 2017. The two had a great relationship,” Browne said. “When Cora made Mookie his leadoff hitter in ’18, he mentioned a million times he was modeling that move after what Springer did as a leadoff man for Houston in ’17.”"
Add in that the team needs some help on both sides of the ball as well as in the PR department, and this makes too much sense. I’ve been against signing Springer due to the recent freeze on the funds and that he won’t come cheap, but the other factors may outweigh that thought process.
What Springer can do in the field and in the batter’s box is beyond top-notch and he can at least get the Red Sox in the same ballpark as what Mookie could do. He’s versatile enough to play every inch of the Fenway Park outfield and can produce more offense than any of our current outfielders.
Springer will also be a massive improvement over Jackie Bradley Jr. at the dish and is light years ahead of what we last saw from Andrew Benintendi. Again, a player of that skill is going to come at a hefty price and it may be something that scares Chaim off. However, we know the pressure that Chaim’s bosses can place on a front office exec when the team isn’t doing well, and this signing may be his way of appeasing them despite the price tag.
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"“The Sox should also have some money to spend, after quite frankly, being extremely frugal last year to get below the luxury tax, Browne added.” “These owners hate losing. The team was embarrassed last year. They could get good PR with Springer.”"
The topic of Houston’s sign-stealing scandal came up as both were members of the Astros in 2017 when it occurred. Everyone felt like the topic would come up on sports radio and with fans but any successes would eventually move people past it. Cora has already shown his remorse and handled questions from the media incredibly well and I’m sure Springer could do the same.
The Sox should also have some money to spend, after quite frankly, being extremely frugal last year to get below the luxury tax. These owners hate losing. The team was embarrassed last year. They could get good PR with Springer. When the wins start piling up fans tend to forget any negativity or wrongdoing that may have occurred. I’m not saying the Red Sox are heading to the World Series, but I feel far more confident with Alex at the helm than Ron Roenicke.
Adding Springer to the lineup would be a big step in filling the void left by Betts and seemingly JBJ, even with his big salary coming to town. The Red Sox got roasted for their lack of spending in 2019 and 2020 and now’s the time to redeem themselves. After reading what the experts had to say about the move made it more logical for me despite my initial trepidations. The more I think about it now, I wouldn’t hate seeing Springer with a Boston “B” on his hat and smacking dingers over the Green Monster.