I don’t think it’s a stretch to say the Red Sox are among the most volatile franchises in sports history. Starting in 2012, their finishes went as followed: Last, World Series, Last, Last, Won AL East, Won AL East, World Series, Third in AL East, Last.
Following another last-place finish along with a luxury tax reset, the Sox are poised to be highly active this off-season. Chaim Bloom made his first big move last week bringing back notorious rule bender Alex Cora to manage the Sox once again.
The Sox frankly have needs all across the board. They need at least two MLB caliber starting pitchers, a starting outfielder, bullpen help, and a second baseman. Yeah, it’s a lot, I know. That’s why they finished with the 4th worst record in the MLB last year.
Free Agency Targets
Trevor Bauer, Starting RHP
The crown jewel of the MLB free agency class, Bauer was a Cy Young candidate in 2020 and is poised to make over $100 million this off-season. His only downside is his age (30) and the fact that the Sox would have to give up a draft pick to sign him due to the qualifying offer rules.
Marcus Stroman, Starting RHP
Most Sox fans despise Stroman, and for good reason. The former Met and Blue Jay has always rubbed people the wrong way but is nonetheless a solid number 2-3 starting pitcher. The Sox really should be in on Stroman despite his erratic personality.
George Springer, CF
You want a guy who can give you 80% of what Mookie Betts can give you? That’s George Springer. He hits leadoff and can drive in 35-40 home runs a year. No small feat. Like Bauer, Springer is getting up there in age (31) and would cost the Sox a draft pick. If Chaim Bloom can get Springer for under five years, I’d bring him in in a heartbeat.
Michael Brantley, OF
Another former Astro, Brantley has been one of the most underrated players in baseball for the past decade or so. The four-time All-Star won’t wow you with the long ball, but he still has an OPS of over .800 in his past six full seasons. Brantley is 33, so he won’t cost nearly as much as Springer, plus he won’t cost a draft pick. According to the Barstool’s Jared Carrabis, Brantley has also expressed real interest in coming to Boston this off-season.
Cesar Hernandez, 2B
Hernandez is an under-the-radar guy I could see the Red Sox scooping up early on in free agency. He would immediately fill the gaping hole at second base with some decent pop (OPS+ over 100 three out of the past five years), and excellent defense (2020 Gold Glove). Hernandez likely won’t cost much either, I’d be shocked if he cracked $10M/year.
Brad Hand, LH Relief Pitcher
You want a dominant closer for less than market value? Insert Brad Hand. The guy is an absolute stud, posting a 1.37 FIP and a whopping 11.9 K/9 in 2020. The Indians weren’t willing to pay his $10M option this offseason, (and neither was any other team, as he was on waivers), so Hand likely will not cost over $10M, and won’t cost the Sox a draft pick.
Keone Kela, RH Relief Pitcher
Kela is an underrated reliever most Sox fans haven’t heard of, but he’s quietly put together a solid career out of the bullpen. At just 27 years old, the former Ranger and Pirate has legit upside to be your closer for the next five years. Kela clearly has interest in coming to Boston, as he commented on Instagram that he would “love to” play for the Sox in 2021. Seems like a no-brainer to me.