Red Sox news: Free agency target Jose Iglesias opts out of deal with Marlins
Former Boston Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias has triggered the opt-out clause in his minor league deal with the Miami Marlins, per Mark Feinsand. Iglesias has had two previous stints with the Sox, from 2011-2013 as well as recently for a short time in 2021.
The importance of this for Boston is that they were previously eyeing Iglesias in free agency this offseason. He was looked at as the potential short-term replacement for Trevor Story at shortstop while he recovers from his injury. With the Sox platooning shortstop between Kike Hernandez and Yu Chang currently, having the ability to move Iglesias into that position instead may be beneficial to all parties. Playing Chang at second base, Kike in the outfield at times or wherever needed, and Iglesias at shortstop would add a little more versatility to a roster dealing with many infield injuries.
Iglesias had a phenomenal season last year with the Colorado Rockies, having one of the best hitting seasons in his career. According to Baseball Reference, in 467 plate appearances, he slashed .292/.328/.708 with 47 RBI, three home runs, 17 walks drawn, and 30 doubles. He was also solid in the field at shortstop, with only eight errors committed in 429 chances (a .981 fielding percentage).
Jose Iglesias low strikeout rate would help Red Sox
The main part of his game that truly would be a boon to the Sox offense would be his low strikeout rate when given a chance. Since the 2015 season, he has never had a strikeout percentage above 15%. In fact, over the span of his career, he has a 12.4% average, compared to a 21.2% league average in that time. With Boston struggling to create hits at the back end of the lineup, bringing in a solidified hitter with good fielding prowess would be absolutely beneficial to winning.
In terms of price, he would not take a huge dent out of the payroll books either. Last year he signed a 1-year, $5 million deal for the Colorado Rockies, and played in 118 out of 162 games for them. He has also never earned a salary above $6.5 million in a single season, according to Spotrac. So, the odds would be that he could be picked up on a cheap deal.
This also helps out Iglesias, as he presumably opted out of the minor league contract so he could fulfill a bigger role with another team. Boston can offer that, even if he splits time with other players, he would be able to start at shortstop for the foreseeable future. It would also be nice to see a fan favorite back in town, which only adds to the appeal. Overall, this seems to be a deal that would be a win-win for all parties involved.