Photo Credit: Boston Herald
Previously, I raised a trade proposal for the Boston Red Sox to acquire their prized power bat – Giancarlo Stanton. This trade would satisfy their need for an injection of power, as well as excite Red Sox fans everywhere; however it may not be prudent for long-term success.
How can Boston make important steps for the future?
Kick the Tires on Stanton / Martinez / Hosmer
When discussing Stanton, the problem is not his ability, nor his injury history. Most teams, and fans, are stuck on his salary. If the Red Sox were to take on that monster of a contract, they would inherit one that is very back-loaded.
Essentially, his production may not be expensive at this moment, but the Red Sox will be stuck with a very expensive veteran towards the end of his deal.
The Red Sox have also been very interested in acquiring JD Martinez via Free Agency. The reality with JD is that he will not be cheap – agent Scott Boras is expecting a deal around 7 years / $210 million for his client.
On top of the financial complications, the Red Sox have no available position for him. He is primarily an outfielder / DH – neither of which are available.
Since JD is a big-bodied player, many fans have suggested that he move to first base. However, Martinez has not played a single inning at first which could lead to the Hanley Ramirez experiment 2.0.
Address First Base
The Red Sox have made it fairly clear that Mitch Moreland will not be returning to Boston in 2018.
This leaves the internal options as: Hanley Ramirez (Current DH), or Sam Travis.
Sam Travis, though under the radar, is very capable of holding down first base. He would be inexpensive and allow the Red Sox to maintain cap space.
Externally, the Red Sox could pursue veterans: Carlos Santana, Lucas Duda, or Logan Morrison.
This list is uninspiring for most Red Sox fans, but if Dombrowski is looking to take a play out of the 2013 World Series playbook – this could be an option.
All three of these options could be inexpensive, but Santana presents a separate challenge. The Indians tendered Santana a Qualifying Offer, meaning they will owe the Indians their first round draft pick if they were to sign him.
Adding a huge name like Hosmer is exciting, but he also has a Qualifying Offer attached. The ex-Royal is also a Boras client and will capitalize on the chance to get paid big money.
Extend Mookie Betts
What can you say about Mookie Betts?
Since joining the Red Sox, he has been everything that this franchise has needed. He has been an All Star, Rookie of the Year contender, MVP candidate, and has won two Gold Gloves. To top it off, in 2017, he led the Red Sox in nearly every offensive category.
The young outfielder is not set to hit the open market until 2021, but there is no need to wait around. His value will only increase, proving that Dombrowski would be wise to extend him while he is young.
Betts is up for arbitration this year, meaning his contract won’t be cheap for a one year deal.
If Dombrowski wants to spend money, he should spend it on his franchise player.
Save for the 2019 Free Agent Class
Next year’s class is a monster class.
Clayton Kershaw, Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutchen, and other perennial All Stars are set to hit the open market.
With this being said, Dombrowski should target a familiar face – Manny Machado.
The incredibly talented Orioles’ third baseman has become a villain in Boston; however Sox Nation would be more than willing to leave the past behind.
Machado has been a terror to pitchers in the AL East and would be worth every penny if the Red Sox front office were to bring him to Fenway.
Rafael Devers is not a long-term third baseman. His glove is shaky, which will ultimately lead to a change of position (1B / DH). This move would allow Machado to lock down the Hot Corner for the foreseeable future and allow Devers to flourish with his bat.
Manny Machado never stops amazing with his defense pic.twitter.com/zaqCXfzIib
— MeanMug Sports (@MeanMugSports) June 18, 2017
So for 2017 / 2018 these moves may be uninspiring, but they could lead to dominance down the road for the Boston Red Sox.