Red Sox solution at second base is Christian Arroyo
Three items of certainty are death, taxes, and the Red Sox second base issue. In the universe’s grand scheme, the second base situation may lag behind death and taxes except for Red Sox Nation.
The issue has been a problem since Dustin Pedroia‘s medical situation forced missed seasons and early retirement. Since then, many have tried, and many have failed.
The solution that has surfaced is a pricy addition to the infield and a defensive mix and match approach, which would impact the second base. BSI’s Rumors has floated the names of Carlos Correa and Javier Baez. MLBTR mentioned a few lower-priced possibilities. I would urge an Occam’s Razor approach. The solution for Chaim Bloom is on the roster or a quick low priced contract away.
The roster already has Christian Arroyo, and the 26-year-old has performed remarkably well when on the field. On the field became the paramount concern since the righty played just 57 games in 2021. Injuries sought out Arroyo like a shark would a bloody fish.
The 57 games produced a .262 batting average, six home runs, and 22 RBI. The downside is 4.4 BB% and 24.3 K%. Arroyo finished with a 1.4 bWAR for the season.
Arroyo is steady but not spectacular or dazzling defensively. Metrics on the defensive side are solid, with a 7.8 UZR/150 and five Defensive Runs Saved (DRS). Arroyo will not get a shortstop killed with an errant of the ill-advised tossed ball. Most notably is the $1 MM price tag for 2022.
Would the Red Sox have squeezed into the playoffs with José Iglesias? Bloom plucked the former Red Sox shortstop as a free agent and became a solid pickup for the September run. At age 31, Iglesias hit .356 and solidified second base.
Iglesias is now a free agent, and the asking price should be a comfortable fit for the Red Sox ledger. The right-hand hitter showed that the tank may not be empty and can provide depth at short or second. A solid .277 career hitter over his 10 MLB seasons.
I would certainly like the free agent high-priced flavor of the month, but the team needs to allocate coins into pitching. Arroyo has strong support from manager Alex Cora, and with Iglesias providing depth protection, the solution is simple.
Meanwhile, out on the farm is the possible future in Nick Yorke. Yorke is a former first-round pick (2020) who was the Red Sox minor league Offensive Player of The Year. The right-hand, hitting 19-year-old slammed 14 home runs and hit .325 in just 97 games down in the deep bushes. Just maybe?
If the Red Sox management has a degree of patience, left-hand hitting Adam Frazier will join the free agent pool after the 2022 season. Statistically, regarding offense and defense, I cannot picture Frazier as a significant upgrade over Arroyo.
Needs versus wants and the crucial need and want is pithing. Projected rotation is the proverbial fool’s errand as invariably one or more arms fall by the wayside with injury or poor performance. Quality pitching means established pitching and not trolling the MLB landscape for another Garrett Richards of Martín Pérez.