My Boston Red Sox misses in free agency
The Red Sox finally made a move that can best be described as “Maybe this will shut them up?” Trevor Story was not on my list of players I would target, and some of it was influenced by his skewered Coor Park numbers. Then again, we have a notable shortstop in Xander Bogaerts, who I would have entertained with an extension.
The minutia of new addition Story is now firmly rooted in Red Sox psyche with every tedious metric accompanied by the rudimentary old school statistics. Undoubtedly information is available on any birthmarks and if Story leaves the toilet seat up or down. To cut to the chase, he’ll help more than hinder.
Now for those patient enough to get this far, I present players that I thought could solve a problem(s) and not create them. Naturally, this does not mean signing them all but being selective—my list of favorite targets is now elsewhere.
I wrote about the Red Sox attempting to get righty Max Scherzer when he became available in 2021. Would this be a Curt Schilling moment with a baseball elderly pitcher who still had it left in the tank? That failed, but Scherzer was now on the open market.
The Mets are attempting to buy a championship with new owner Steve Cohen dumping dollars on star players. The Mets signed Scherzer to a three-year deal for $130 MM, which surprised me regarding dollars although it was in line with MLBTR projections. Boston could have risked it with the new CBA in place and the cap extended.
Right field is an issue with Hunter Renfroe traded away, and the talk was Boston was seriously pursuing Japanese star, Seiya Suzuki. Suzuki checked all the boxes being a right-handed slugger, excellent speed, and a plus defender. At 27-years-old Suzuki would have solved right field and complimented Jackie Bradley Jr. defensively.
Suzuki signed with the Cubs for five years and $85 MM plus another $14.65 MM for his old Japanese team as posting compensation. The cap squeeze for Boston would be $17 MM for 2022, and that would have been manageable. I have difficulty wrapping my head around Boston missing out. Was it money? Was it a personal decision on Suzuki’s part?
Last season’s first base position was an issue, but one player was available this off-season in Freddie Freeman. Boston was mentioned, but that is relatively standard for many high-priced free agents. Freeman is a consistently productive lefty with a good glove and superior locker room credentials.
The Dodgers stepped up and enticed Freeman with a six-year deal for $162 MM. Freeman is a diligent hitter, a patient hitter with excellent power and run production and patience that Rafael Devers could undoubtedly use. Freeman’s contract would eat up the new cap space, but that lineup would be fearsome.
No, Ben Zobrist was not available, but Chris Taylor was. The Red Sox were associated with Taylor in the rumor mill, but the former Dodger chose to remain a Dodger. The righty strikes out a ton but is one with a knack for the big hit. It is a tad pricy at four years and $60 MM, but the factor would have been worth the venture with the versatility.
Outfield depth would have been resolved with signing Andrew McCutchen, whose career has languished since his Pirates glory days. Still, the 35-year-old righty slammed 27 home runs in 2021 while hitting a pedestrian .222 for the Phillies. McCutchen signed with the Brewers for one-year at $8.5 MM.