Red Sox linked to underwhelming free agent as offseason tortures fans

Sep 27, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; San Diego Padres first baseman Garrett Cooper (24) is
Sep 27, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; San Diego Padres first baseman Garrett Cooper (24) is / John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox have had "interest" in a lot of free agents this offseason, and there have been many great ones on the market.

But the latest subject of Boston's "interest" is proof that the front office is punting on the 2024 season, just as it did in 2023. But worse.

Chris Cotillo of MassLive linked the Red Sox to Garrett Cooper, and said the front office is monitoring the market for the veteran infielder. Cotillo noted that Adam Duvall would be Boston's first choice of a right-handed bat and listed Cooper as a "fallback option."

Cooper has a solid MLB career behind him and he's about a league-average player in many respects. He's a career .268 hitter, but has spent most of his with the small-market Marlins and hasn't received much vocal fanfare for his play.

The likeliest reason why the Sox would be eyeing Cooper is his right-handed bat and recent success against left-handed pitchers. In 2023, Cooper registered a .904 OPS against lefties, which would definitely help Boston's lefty-dominant batting order.

But fans don't love that the Red Sox are going after players like Cooper when Justin Turner and Jorge Soler are still available.

They have a point. Red Sox Nation has been on an emotional roller coaster for the ages this offseason after the front office went from having no financial limitations to stating the payroll will likely be lower in 2024 than it was in 2023. It should be noted the front office said the result of the 2023 season was "unacceptable," but they're setting the team up for more of the same, despite promising that this season would be better.

Red Sox fans unimpressed at the team's interest in Garrett Cooper

It seems like there's no possible way Turner will be returning to Boston this coming season after declining his option for 2024. A veteran player coming off a successful season would likely prefer to play for a competitive team ... and for a paycheck the Red Sox have no plans to offer.

But Soler is still a possibility for the Red Sox. There's been little to no movement in his market and Boston could coax him with an offer as spring training nears. It would also keep him from going to a rival club (the Blue Jays are reportedly among the top contenders for Soler's signature).

Cooper is hardly the impact right-handed hitter the Red Sox need, and fans know that they probably won't be getting one of the better ones. Then again, Cooper would be better than nothing, a sad reality for Sox fans to cope with.

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