As Major League baseball enters what is expected by many baseball analysts / experts as a weak free agent class, it is time to think who Dave Dombrowski will target.
Under Dave Dombrowski, the Red Sox return a team that won 93 games and their second consecutive AL East Division title. However, this season will be the first under new manager Alex Cora. So here’s my list of speculative targets for DD to look into signing.
1st Base/DH: Carlos Santana Eric Hosmer, JD Martinez, Mitch Moreland
Santana has had a steady career with the Indians and is making his initial foray into the free agency waters where he’s sure to get at least a three, if not four year deal. His switch-hitting and positional flexibility would offer Cora lots of options.
Hosmer is a gold-glove caliber first baseman who would look great playing his home games at Fenway where he would use Green Monster to his advantage. However, his agent is Scott Boras. It’s already been rumored he could be looking at between 5-6 years which could be much too long and far too expensive.
JD Martinez would bring is a power-hitting right-handed bat to a lineup sorely in need of power. However, he’s never played first base and I’m not sure the Sox can rely on Hanley once again splitting time between first and DH. That would give Martinez enough at bats.
I think that Martinez if signed, would require a trade of JBJ for him to fit into the outfield mix, and for Hanley to be okay with splitting time at first which he played sparingly last season. Mitch Moreland could once again be resigned for a low salary and platoon with Ramirez.
My prediction: The Sox will look to sign Martinez, or Hosmer with Santana as a fallback. Though could look at trying to trade for Jose Abreau
With the news that Dustin Pedroia is now going to be out 7 months after undergoing knee surgery, the in-house candidates aren’t that great (Brock Holt, Deven Marrero, Tzu-Wei Lin, and Marco Hernandez).
It is imperative the Dombrowski explore other options at this position.
Zack Cozart, Eduardo Nunez, Howie Kendrick, or Chase Utley are players who could be fill ins. They would offer a stable defensive player while chipping in offensively as well.
My Prediction: The Sox resign Nuñez to a 2-year deal. Fall back would be Cozart or Kendrick.
The Sox have one of the best young outfield cores of Benintendi, JBJ, and Mookie in all of the game.
If the Sox were to trade JBJ they could look at trading for Giancarlo Stanton, or try and sign, JD Martinez, Lorenzo Cain, or Austin Jackson.
Truthfully, there is very little need to upgrade here.
My Prediction: If the Red Sox don’t trade JBJ then I don’t see Cain, or Stanton coming to Boston. JD Martinez could come to Boston, but not as an outfielder.
The Sox will have Craig Kimbrel, as well as Joe Kelly, and Carson Smith setting him up.
Free agents Jake McGee and Tony Watson stand out because of their late-inning experience as well as the fact they’re left-handed. Steve Cishek, Luke Gregerson, and Pat Neshek would be right-handed set-up alternatives on the open market.
My Prediction: The Sox look to sign either Watson, or McGee to go along with Scott as their lefties in the pen. As for RHP, I’d like to see one Cishek join the pen.
The pitching staff will once again be led by Chris Sale, Drew Pomeranz, David Price, and Rick Porcello. The rotation may have the return of Steven Wright who missed the majority of the 2017 season, with ERod out until at least June after undergoing knee surgery as well.
The low-cost alternatives are Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn who would bring experience, the ability to eat innings, as well as stabilize the number five spot in the rotation which didn’t produce much.
My Prediction: No move here. Steven Wright will fill the void.
With all of this, Dombrowski must spend wisely as the likes of Bryce Harper, Clayton Kershaw, Manny Machado, and others are free agents the following season.
So again this is my speculative list of potential free agent signings that Dombrowski could look at for the 2018 season.
Happy Hunting, remember to check the list twice.