Where can the Red Sox find a first base upgrade?
The problem is that there are no clear options to turn to. Boston expected Triston Casas to be their savior at the position but he’s not ready yet after missing two months with an ankle injury.
According to MassLive’s Chris Cotillo, the Red Sox are bringing Danny Santana back on a minor league deal. While he has experience playing all over the infield, Santana isn’t the solution. He hit a meager .181 with a .597 OPS in 38 games with the Red Sox last season. Santana hasn’t played this year while serving an 80-game PED suspension. It’s hard to see him earning his way into a meaningful role down the stretch. He offers little more than depth and an excuse for the front office to claim that they are leaving no stone unturned.
Options are limited on the trade market with the deadline looming next week. Josh Bell is the prize at the position, and while his bat solves part of the problem, he leads the position with nine errors. The potentially available Hunter Dozier (-2 DRS) and Jesús Aguilar (-3) are also subpar defensive first basemen.
Arizona might be willing to part with Christian Walker, who leads the position with 14 DRS and he has 23 home runs, but his batting average is hovering above the Mendoza Line. He’s also under team control through 2024, which means the Diamondbacks might not be eager to let him go unless a team overpays. Plus, he’d create a roadblock for Casas next season, although his right-handed bat would make him an ideal platoon partner considering the lefty prospect has struggled with southpaws in his minor league career.
The options are slim, both internally and externally, and they all come with warts. There isn’t an easy solution to this problem but the Red Sox need to do something. Cordero’s bat hasn’t proven consistent enough to be ready for the big leagues and his defense is a liability. Boston gave him an opportunity but at this point, the Franch Toast is burnt. If they don’t find a more reliable option before next week’s deadline, they might as well concede to being sellers.