5 players the Boston Red Sox must avoid in free agency

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) /
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DENVER, CO – SEPTEMBER 28: Trevor Story #27 of the Colorado Rockies in action during the game against the Washington Nationals at Coors Field on September 28, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the Nationals 3-1. (Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO – SEPTEMBER 28: Trevor Story #27 of the Colorado Rockies in action during the game against the Washington Nationals at Coors Field on September 28, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the Nationals 3-1. (Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Red Sox must avoid Rockies SS Trevor Story

In terms of just pure tools, no player on the current free-agent market can top Trevor Story. Of all the players who have stolen 100 bases since 2016, none can top Story’s 158 home runs. A player with so much talent rarely enters the open market, and Story appears ready to cash in this winter.

Yet even his Story’s rare power-speed combination, there are signs that he is not worth the long-term investments. The first red flag is Story’s atrocious defense. The former Rockie ranked in the fourth percentile in outs above average, and the only shortstops to rank below him were famously inept defenders Xander Bogaerts, Gleyber Torres, and Didi Gregorius. Story has stated that he will not move off the shortstop position, leaving any interested team to commit long-term to a defensive liability.

The second red flag is his inability to hit away from the hitter-friendly confines of Coors Field. The Coors effect has been a point of subject recently with the Hall of Fame candidacies of Todd Helton and Larry Walker, but for Trevor Story, the impact is real.

Larry Walker

  • Home OPS: 1.068
  • Road OPS: .865
  • Difference: .203

Todd Helton

  • Home OPS: 1.001
  • Road OPS: .837
  • Difference: .164

Trevor Story

  • Home OPS: .972
  • Road OPS: .752
  • Difference: .220

While each player is significantly better at home, Helton and Walker are both at least sill productive on the road. Story hasn’t shown that he can hit away from Coors, and with Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers locked in at third base and shortstop respectively, there is no place on the Red Sox roster for an average-hitting shortstop with no defense value.