Red Sox: Tommy La Stella can be the second base solution

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 19: Tommy La Stella #3 of the Oakland Athletics throws to first base throwing out Donovan Solano #7 of the San Francisco Giants in the top of the first inning at RingCentral Coliseum on September 19, 2020 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 19: Tommy La Stella #3 of the Oakland Athletics throws to first base throwing out Donovan Solano #7 of the San Francisco Giants in the top of the first inning at RingCentral Coliseum on September 19, 2020 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Is Tommy La Stella the best second base option for the Red Sox?

Throughout the NBA, NFL and even MLB, there is a trend on the come-up with types of players . Some like to call them “Swiss Army Knives” or to put it in layman’s terms, Utility Men. They are the players that can do a little bit of everything and do them all well. The  Boston Red Sox had a player like that recently in Brock Holt. He could play every infield position as well as the outfield.

While Holt is a Free Agent, there is low possibility of a reunion with the Red Sox. They could definitely use another player like Holt. There is an almost perfect option for them still hanging around the free-agent market. That guy would be Tommy La Stella.

The 31-year old Infielder has been in the league since  being drafted in the 8th round by the Braves in 2014. This past season he played for the Los Angeles Angels and the Oakland Athletics. La Stella can play just about every infield position and was a part of the Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series team. Although, he didn’t play in any World Series games, as his roster spot was given to Kyle Schwarber for the series. Which of course, did in fact end up working out for the Cubs as they went on to win their first World Series in 108 years.

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While he is a “Swiss-Army Knife” type player, the Red Sox don’t have a clear cut starter for second base. In 226 career games at the position, La Stella has a .978 fielding percentage. That might not jump off the page at you exactly, but it is better than Hall of Famer Rod Carew had at the same position in his career (.973). As well as the fact that every player the Red Sox put at second base last season only combined for a .973 fielding percentage. The only players to have a higher fielding percentage than La Stella’s career average last season for the Red Sox were two players that combined for only 20 games at the position, (Tzu-Wei Lin, and Christian Arroyo).

It can be argued that his bat would be more useful for the Red Sox than his defensive ability would. In 2019 with the Angels, La Stella became an All-Star for the first time with a slash line of .295/.346/.486. Along with 16 home runs and 44 RBIs, while only playing  just under half the season. There’s no saying he wouldn’t have stayed on that path, had he not fractured his tibia two weeks before the All-Star game.

At the moment there is no outright source or quote saying that the Red Sox are pursuing La Stella. But in an article by Christopher Smith of MassLive.com, it was shown GM Brian O’Halloran had this to say .

"“We definitely have some options internally,” Red Sox GM Brian O’Halloran said Monday during a conference call. “But we’re also open-minded. And this is not exclusive to second base. We’re open minded to different ways of improving the club.”"

If they were to pursue the second baseman, it wouldn’t be without a fight. The Oakland A’s, whom he ended this past season with are reportedly interested in keeping him around although he could be a little more than the smaller market A’s can choose to retain. According to NBC Sports’ Alex Espinoza via The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser, the A’s reached out to La Stella’s representation.

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To put it plainly, the guy gets on base and that is exactly what the Red Sox need. While there are other intriguing options out there for the same position. La Stella is probably one of the better options for the Red Sox. With the “Hot Stove” of the MLB Off-Season not exactly heating up just yet position player wise. It could be the perfect time for the Red Sox to start it off with snagging La Stella.