For a team that won 93 games last year, the Boston Red Sox are in a heap of trouble. They are playing an outdated brand of baseball, desperately need an impact power bat, and match up poorly against the Giancarlo Stanton-fortified Yankees. The void of David Ortiz remains omnipresent more than a year after his last game. The pressure is on president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski again to do what he does best: make the big move. “My scouting report on Dave,” said one veteran advisor, “is that he will say no, no, no to your deals until eventually he will say yes.” But where can Dombrowski find his bat? The best bats on the free agent market are, in order, J.D. Martinez, Carlos Santana and Eric Hosmer. None of them is a perfect fit for Boston. Martinez isn’t a perfect fit because he’s a righthanded opposite-field power hitter. Martinez pulled only eight of his home runs last year. Fenway Park, particularly early and late in the year, does not serve his rightfield gap power stroke well at all. “I agree it’s a poor fit,” said one NL talent evaluator. “I like the bat, just not as much in Boston. And he’s a DH soon.” A Martinez addition also would likely displace Jackie Bradley Jr. from centerfield, where Andrew Benintendi would slide over from left to accommodate Martinez—thus weakening the outfield defense, a strong suit. First basemen Santana and Hosmer are expensive complementary bats—nice additions, but not cutting enough into the Ortiz void.
This Is Why the Red Sox Need to Trade for Jose Abreu
SI | Dec 12