Red Sox: 3 potential trade targets who could fill leadoff spot

BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 10: Boston Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom speaks during a press conference introducing Alex Cora as the manager of the Boston Red Sox on November 10, 2020 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 10: Boston Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom speaks during a press conference introducing Alex Cora as the manager of the Boston Red Sox on November 10, 2020 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /
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DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JUNE 09: Robbie Grossman #8 of the Detroit Tigers bats against the Seattle Mariners at Comerica Park on June 09, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JUNE 09: Robbie Grossman #8 of the Detroit Tigers bats against the Seattle Mariners at Comerica Park on June 09, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Red Sox trade target – Robbie Grossman

Don’t let the batting average fool you. A career .252 hitter who currently sports a .247 average might not seem like a significant upgrade but the Red Sox aren’t necessarily looking for someone vying for a batting title. The primary purpose of a leadoff hitter is to get on base and Robbie Grossman has always been able to accomplish that task.

Grossman enters the day with a .359 OBP that ranks 17th in the AL. He has 275 plate appearances as a leadoff hitter and owns a .349 OBP from that spot in the order, fifth among AL hitters with 200+ plate appearances in that role.

His middling batting average is offset by his knack for drawing walks. Grossman ranks sixth in the league with a 14.1 BB% this season. His 12.7% career walk rate still places him among the elite and he owns a solid .351 OBP over parts of nine major league seasons.

Grossman is already approaching his career-highs with nine home runs and eight stolen bases so he should continue to provide modest production in both departments. He’s also a decent defensive player who can fill either corner outfield spot.

The Detroit Tigers are in the midst of a lengthy rebuild and the 31-year-old Grossman isn’t a part of their long-term future. He’s owed a reasonable $5 million this season, which would be prorated based on the timing of the trade, plus another $5 million next season before hitting free agency.