With the Winter Meetings beginning with a bang, it is likely life, or death, for the Red Sox 2018 season.
As we all know, a certain player on the Marlins not named Dee Gordon has been traded. I based my entire early off-season plan to fix the lineup woes around completing the same transaction the Yankees completed.
This was almost overnight for the Yankees and came to a surprise to almost everyone. But I digress.
Looking forward, some holds true to what I mentioned in one of my Free Agency Primer articles that I wrote up in mid October. The Red Sox seem to have accumulated a legitimate interest in Carlos Santana. This is a move that I still endorse and would welcome, however this would not be the big move I would like the Sox to complete, merely the first move that is necessary for this team to stay afloat with their competition.
I believe that Sam Travis will still be the first baseman of the future, but may need another year or two to get situated with his plate discipline
I like Eric Hosmer, he bats for average and is in the peak of his career, but he does not bring the power presence that Carlos Santana brings, and the Sox have plenty of players that hit for average. To reiterate, Hosmer is a fantastic player, but not one that the Sox need at this time.
Moving on to J.D. Martinez, back in October I thought that he would not be the answer to a solution the Sox are starving for. Don’t get me wrong, Martinez provides power but the Sox need a source of reliable power.
He may be a source of that for maybe 2 years but being a Scott Boras client, Martinez will likely sign for a contract of 6+ years and that is not something I want the Sox signing their souls on.
Here is my solution: Sox pass on Martinez, sign Jake Arrieta, sign Carlos Santana, and re-sign Addison Reed.
Instead of adding more runs for the 2018 season, you attempt to reduce runs scored against by bolstering the pitching and keeping Jackie Bradley Jr. for defensive purposes. Now that Stanton is not an option, there is no reason to settle for J.D. Martinez just because the Yankees made a huge move.
The 2017 Red Sox majorly under-performed offensively so it’s worth a shot to see them prove everyone wrong in 2018 and perform to the par that is expected. Finally, the Sox assess the 2018 season and then make a huge splash with the 2018 free agency class.
Offensive players available next year include the likes of Charlie Blackmon, Bryce Harper, Josh Donaldson, Manny Machado, Daniel Murphy, Andrew McCutchen, and Yasiel Puig.
I would rather have all of these players mentioned on my team before J.D. Martinez, so why make a move just because the Yankees did? After all, when the Sox signed Chris Sale, the Yankees didn’t make a corresponding move and they turned out just fine.
At the end of the day, am I going to complain if Martinez goes to the Sox? Probably not. But locking up money on Martinez which limits financial flexibility come this time next year is not something I want to see.
And I know it’s not my money, but which would you rather do: buy a Cadillac now or wait a year to buy a Mercedes-Benz?