Free agency is the most pivotal part of every team’s future.
Teams can be made and set up for life during the free agency period. At the same time, they can dismantle and spell doom for franchises across the league. Some teams can afford to splurge a little more than others, and depending on situations that mainly come down to farm systems and spending money, can really alter how decisions are made.
So where do the Red Sox fit in to all of these situational decisions? In order to save time and attempt to not in-convene, I have compiled a few short lists of players that should be signed, kept away, brought back and let go and will be splitting these lists into four different articles.
1. Carlos Santana: This is a guy that provides a lot of what this team should be searching for, which is versatility. Granted, he’s 31 years old and is most likely looking for a long term contract, but let’s be real, nobody will be buying into that. In 8 years as a professional, he has only surpassed 85 RBI’s once (And that was only by 2). He isn’t a player a team can build around and certainly doesn’t have that sexy name that the Encarnacion’s and Goldschmidt’s of the baseball world have. BUT, he is a switch hitter, can drive the crap out of the ball and this is a depth player that the Sox can get for cheap when Hanley inevitably forces the club to leave him on the side of the highway and move on.
2. Tyson Ross: Here me out on this one. In 8 professional years, Ross has only started 30+ games in a season twice. The other 6 years, he was either a bullpen pitcher or he was injured (I had him on my fantasy team last year and while searching twitter for answers on the status of his injuries someone asked “Is Tyson Ross still alive?” Yeah, I get it, not good. But I digress.) However, in the two seasons he started 30+ games, he had an ERA of 3.00, a WHIP of 1.2, and a SO/9 of 9.35. These numbers may seem troublesome until you look at what the back end of the 17 Red Sox have done. Porcello, Rodriguez and Fister all have ERAs over 4.00, WHIPs of 1.3+ and a combined record of 22-33. Ross will be cheap, and if healthy can be a pivotal addition to this rotation.
Giancarlo Stanton: This is a move that has been a long time coming although at first I was against it. But lets take a deeper look into the future: 2019 is gearing up to be one of the biggest free agency years ever. Bryce Harper will want a contract that only princes in Saudi Arabia will be able to afford, Devers is (should be) the future at third base which means the Sox should be out on Machado. Among other huge names (Blackmon, Donaldson, Daniel Murphy, Pollock) the Red Sox need to keep up with the competition. Now who can you think of off the top of your head that has the potential to drive in more runs than all of these guys when healthy and isn’t named Mike Trout? The answer is Stanton.
This is a guy that has been salivating at the idea of being on a winning team and is tired of rebuilding. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Stanton has had an MVP caliber season compiling stats not even Albert Pujols has ever achieved. We all knew that he could pile on the home runs but 59 is really something special. In comparison, 2002 was the year Alex Rodriguez hit 57 home runs. The next 8 years he never had less than 30 home runs a season. Okay so Giancarlo is a righty, but if Manny could belt home runs over the monster like it was his job, Stanton should have no issues whatsoever with the same. This is a player that any team would give just about anybody to trade for and rightfully so. As much as I love the young players on the Red Sox, Stanton is someone this team desperately needs.