The names that were being thrown around in Orlando last week, when president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski was asked about Dustin Pedroia’s replacement options, might have been palatable if the Red Sox were a mid-market team not in dire need of offensive potency. But it’s tougher to swallow for a team valued by Forbes to be worth $2.7 billion, and one that skimped and saved to avoid going over the luxury tax threshold in 2017 so it could spend freely in 2018 and beyond. That’s why when a name like Ian Kinsler, the ultra-durable, four-time All-Star and power-hitting second baseman for the Detroit Tigers, is being dangled by his current team, the Red Sox should be giving it some thought. The risks of passing over Kinsler, just like the risks that the Sox won’t be able to lure a premium utility man like Eduardo Nunez out of free agency for a part-time role, are too steep. The alternative is potentially a black hole at second base. The Sox, notorious for being overly-optimistic when projecting return dates for injured players, have said that Pedroia’s cartilage restoration procedure was going to take seven months before he was ready to return. That procedure took place on Oct. 25. If we assume the 34-year old has no setbacks and is ready to return to the lineup on May 25, that will be more than eight weeks after the regular season begins. Can a Sox team that had a .736 OPS last year, the fifth-lowest OPS the franchise has seen in 30 years, put their trust in backups for eight weeks, if not longer? The names, in order, that Dombrowski listed as possible replacements include Brock Holt (career .690 OPS, unreliable post-concussions), Marco Hernandez (coming off shoulder surgery, .676 OPS in majors, .752 OPS at Triple A), Tzu-Wei Lin (.709 OPS with Sox in ’17, career .635 OPS in minors) and Deven Marrero (career .568 OPS in majors, .644 OPS in minors).
Could Ian Kinsler be in the mix for job with Red Sox?
Boston Herald | Nov 23