There is one question that I have been asking myself constantly since the Red Sox signed Mitch Moreland.. What are the Red Sox going to do if they don’t sign J.D. Martinez? Although my optimism for the signing of Martinez is fairly high, I still am worried about not signing him.
The Red Sox have to win in the next few years if they want to have a good team in the future. They have a two/three-year gap that they have to win a World Series or, at least make it to the World Series. If they don’t achieve this within that gap, most of the guys on the team will want bigger contracts or might want to leave Boston.
So, what do the Red Sox do if they don’t sign Martinez? Well, before I start listing off potential candidates, I am going to first talk about how crucial the signing of Martinez is. The gap between the Yankees and the Red Sox right now, in talent, is huge. If you sign Martinez, that gap closes a substantial amount. The free agent slugger will help the Sox with the power hitting problem in the lineup. The Red Sox will be absolutely screwed if they don’t end up with J.D. Martinez by the start of next season.
I will say that, in my opinion, the Red Sox can’t just sign Martinez and expect to be World Series contenders. They will need another bat and probably some more pitching. A benefit of the Moreland signing is that now, we have more money we can spend on someone else. We could target a pitcher like Lance Lynn or Alex Cobb. These are just a couple of possibilities.
Now, let’s discuss some potential players for a backup plan in case we don’t sign J.D. Martinez:
The guy that makes the most sense to me if we don’t sign Martinez, is free agent, Mike Moustakas. Moustakas’ name appeared in some rumors at the trade deadline this past season for the Red Sox. Now that Moustakas is a free agent, it might not be a bad idea to sign him. The only problem is that Moustakas plays third base. I really want to keep Devers in the lineup because I feel like he is one of the better hitters on the team. We could DH Moose and trade Hanley. Or vice versa, DH Devers and play Moose at third. The other option is to teach Moustakas to play a different position, which is very unlikely.
Mike Moustakas is coming off a great year hitting a career high, 38 home runs. That’s 14 more home runs than any other Red Sox player hit this past season. Moose also has some postseason experience with the Royals and has made two World Series appearances. It is always nice to have those type of guys on the team.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, Moustakas could possibly sign a short-term deal with a team. That would be big for the Red Sox. We wouldn’t have to pay a whole lot of money and commit to one player for multiple years. If Moose ends up playing well for the Sox, we could re-sign him once his contract expires for us.
Other options for a backup plan:
The only thing that I feel the Red Sox could possibly do if they didn’t sign J.D. Martinez or Mike Moustakas, is look to add some talent via trade. They could trade Jackie Bradley Jr. or Hanley Ramirez and see what we can get out of them. I doubt any team would want to take on Hanley’s massive contract.
The options are running out for the Red Sox. They only have a few things they could do at this point. One thing is for certain though, the best option for the Red Sox is to sign J.D. Martinez.