Red Sox: Boston needs to avoid high priced World Series free agents

HOUSTON, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 02: Carlos Correa #1 of the Houston Astros reacts after striking out against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning in Game Six of the World Series at Minute Maid Park on November 02, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 02: Carlos Correa #1 of the Houston Astros reacts after striking out against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning in Game Six of the World Series at Minute Maid Park on November 02, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The Red Sox need to be smart shoppers this offseason

The World Series has come and gone and now everyone can turn their attention to the offseason and free agency. Within the next few days, we’ll be seeing players and teams picking up options while those that can opt out of their deals will need to make some big decisions. For the Red Sox, it’s pretty clear what they need to focus on this winter and the World Series gave us a glimpse at some players that may garner their interest, but they have to be careful.

The Red Sox are in no way a poverty franchise that has to stick to a shoestring budget in order to keep the lights on. Yeah, they have made some tough decisions as of late in order to get in the good graces of the CBT Luxury Tax but those moves were all made in order to spend in the coming years. This winter will be Chaim Bloom’s biggest offseason as this team far exceeded any expectations that were set for them and he’ll have the monetary support to get over that hump.

Bloom had plenty of cash to work with before this season but he still played things smart and went with cheaper players that could fit the chemistry he was building. I fully believe he’ll do the same this coming winter but may have some urging from his bosses to splash some more on the market in order to get even closer to another World Series title. Coming within two games of the Fall Classic is a hell of a motivator to do whatever you must in order to get the job done.

So, as I said above, we got to see some highly talented players in the World Series that will be available this winter but the Red Sox should just keep shopping. The two biggest names that will have the baseball world buzzing are Carlos Correa and Freddie Freeman.

One was easily the best player on his team while the other was the heart and soul of his organization. They have one thing in common, both will have hefty price tags on the market.

I’ll start with the winning side of things and take a look at Freeman before jumping to Correa. It would be a damn near impossible task to find someone on this planet that will say something bad about Freddie Freeman.

Whether it’s his teammates, coaches, people he’s come across in life, it seems like everyone loves this guy, me included. I had a massive smile on my face when he caught that final out last night, finally earning his ultimate goal.

Freeman earned $22M in 2021 and thanks to a .300/.393/.503 line with 31 bombs and 83 RBI, he’s going to get himself a big raise this Christmas. He was stellar in October as well and was one of the carrying forces for this underdog Braves squad that never thought about giving up.

Spotrac is projecting that he could see a new contract in the way of 5-years/$136M which gives an AAV of $27.2M. While he deserves every penny of that possible deal, at 32 years old and 12 years in the league, Boston should stay far away. Though our squad could use his talents and he’d fit right in, that money is just too much for me to entertain.

Now it’s time to talk about Correa, I will do my best to be objective here. I will never deny that Correa is one of the best players in the game today and is without a doubt the best shortstop going right now. His .261/.320/.304 slash was a big reason why the Astros were so close to raising the Commissioner’s Trophy for the second time.

Obviously, that hurts to say with Xander Bogaerts on the Red Sox roster but I’d be lying if I said anything else. With the market for top shortstops skyrocketing in the last few years, the Puerto Rican superstar is about to get paid, big time. Once again, I turned to Spotrac to see what they felt he could garner this winter and I nearly spit out my coffee.

They’ve got him estimated at a 10-year/$266M contract which gets his AAV to $26.6M, wow. Much like Freddie, Correa has earned every penny that could be coming his way, but Chaim should steer clear. Not only is that an insane cost per season but the Red Sox would just be asking for trouble in reuniting Carlos with former Astros coach and Boston skipper Alex Cora. Despite the two having a solid relationship I just can’t see John Henry and the fellas wanting that kind of heat.

I also don’t think he would fit in with this current crop of guys on the roster, especially after this past ALCS. I don’t believe he’ll re-sign with Houston but I also can’t see him calling Fenway Park home for the next decade. Where exactly he’ll land is hard to tell as plenty of teams will be throwing their hats into the ring for his services.

Another interesting name on the free-agent market this winter didn’t play in the World Series but he is linked to the Houston Astros. Justin Verlander’s time in Texas could very well be done and with his 39th birthday right around the corner, it’ll be interesting to see where he lands. The veteran righty is coming off Tommy John Surgery and a $33M paycheck, as BSI’s Sean Penney said, this one’s just too scary for me.

Carlos Correa and Freddie Freeman are fantastic players that have more than earned every penny they will receive this winter, I just hope it’s not from the Red Sox. Chaim has done a fantastic job of fixing the financials of the club while building a team with great chemistry, there’s no need to throw that away right now. I hope to see some solid signings for Boston this offseason but these two shouldn’t be on the transaction report.

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