1. Nelson Cruz
Cruz is an even bigger risk than Martinez due to a combination of age and his own dismal 2022 showing.
He played 124 games for the Washington Nationals, but like many sluggers around the league, was mired in a serious power outage. For a hitter who’s usually a human highlight reel, it felt like he was MIA because his bat went silent. In 507 plate appearances, he collected 105 hits, including 16 doubles and 10 home runs, his lowest HR total since 2008. Between his first 40-homer season in 2014 and 2021, he’s averaged 36 home runs per 162 games.
The Sox could give Cruz a one-year contract given his advanced age. He’s been excellent at Fenway throughout his career, hitting .343/.396/.652 with 27 doubles and 14 home runs in 49 career games in Boston. Some fans may recall a game in June 2018, when he hit a three-run home run off Steven Wright in the first inning, and then matched it in the fourth inning, also off Wright.
Boston ranked 20th in home runs in 2022, and have since lost Martinez and Bogaerts. Why not see if Cruz has anything left in the tank?