Ranking the top 3 second basemen the Red Sox could sign in free agency

Aug 1, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Whit Merrifield (15) throws to first
Aug 1, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Whit Merrifield (15) throws to first / John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
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In 2023, second base at Fenway was a veritable revolving door. Christian Arroyo, Trevor Story, Pablo Reyes, Enmanuel Valdez, Luis Urias, and Ceddanne Rafaela all had at least one turn at second this year -- three of whom went up and down between the majors and minors throughout the season. None of them came out as the clear everyday favorite going into the 2024 season, so the Red Sox still have a gap at second that they desperately need to find a regular occupant for.

Ranking 3 top second baseman the Red Sox could pursue in free agency

This year's free agent class is thin on position players, which might be why Red Sox chatter has focused more on trades for second basemen (Gleyber Torres and Jonathan India are two names which have been thrown around recently) than on signing free agents. However, a trade can never be assured — even talk surrounding Juan Soto, whose trade from the Padres was thought to be assured this offseason, is suddenly more uncertain.

There are 10 free agent second basemen, and if Boston does decide to explore the free agency class instead of pursuing a trade, here are three they should consider signing.

3. Amed Rosario

Okay, maybe we're cheating a little bit with this one, but cheating a little is kind of necessary, given the fact that all 10 free agent second basemen are over the age of 30 and very few of them are above-replacement according to FanGraphs. Amed Rosario is primarily a shortstop, but spent most of his time at second with the Dodgers — importantly, he's also 27 years old. He split 2023 between Cleveland and Los Angeles, playing in 142 games and batting .263/.305/.378. Rosario was a top prospect with the Mets, but never managed to perform with the kind of power he was scouted for.

Even so, Rosario's young and his potential for longevity puts him above available second basemen like Elvis Andrus, who accured a 1.1 fWAR this year, but is also 35 and only played in 112 games this year. Rosario wouldn't be an incredibly long-term investment for the Red Sox, but he could still give them two or three years at second base (MLB Trade Rumors estimates two years at $18 million with his next team). He also ranks in Baseball Savant's 95th percentile in sprint speed, meaning that if he can get his walk rate up, he could put himself into good situations for stronger bats behind him.