The Boston Red Sox have caused a sensation in previous years at the annual Winter Meetings. Will they cause a wave of titles this year, or will they be just a drop of rain in preparation for the tsunami of free agents in class 2018?
The annual winter meetings are the favorite moment of all baseball fans out of season. It reminds us that Spring Training is not far away and allows us a glimpse
of what our teams have in store for us in 2018.
The Red Sox finished first in the East of the American League for the second consecutive year season, winning 93 victories on the way to another defeat of the division series.
What was present for the Red Sox throughout this season was an aggressive base running, hitting by touch, a pair of consistent starters aided by a stellar bullpen.
What was missing? Without a doubt, a team of 93 victories had the tools to compete and had little room for improvement, right? Do not be too sure
Where the Red Sox could see improvements is their power department. They were ranked last in the division and 27 in all baseball in home runs last season despite being close to the top of the league in the last decade.
Boston as a team hit .149 ISO last season with a .407 SLG%. Those brands ranked 28 and 26 in baseball, respectively.
These numbers are far from the norm for any squad of the Red Sox. In the last decade, they are ranked fourth in the overall ISO classification and have earned a .434, good enough for first place in general. They are also ranked sixth in home runs in that span, as well as first in doubles.
The friendly Fenway Park batters help in this surge of power, allowing right-handed hitters to move around the green monster with left handed batters can cut the doubles of the famous wall.
Mookie Betts led all Red Sox players last season with 24 homers and 102 RBIs. Five players, including Betts, eclipsed ten homers this season, while three included it, eclipsed 20.
What can the Red Sox do to rectify this team without power?
They were linked to the most coveted commercial piece of 2017 at Giancarlo Stanton, but those reports have declined ever since. Free agents Carlos Santana and Logan Morrision have also connected with the Red Sox as well.
Is signing a low-level free agent the best move for the Boston Red Sox 2018?
While all those options would bode well for Boston, Stanton would have cost the Red Sox a lot of prospects, as well as taking on the rest of his 13-year contract for $ 325 million. In addition, Santana is not exactly the much-needed leader and, although Morrison hit 38 home runs seemingly out of place last season, it's not the proven and consistent production they're looking for.
In general, none of these men seems a perfect match for Boston. However, the so-called "remnants" or better named, the unnamed free agents that I have excluded so far, could be close to a perfect fit.
Free agent Eric Hosmer fits the mold quite well. His consistency in offense and defense along with the test of battles in the postseason could provide the right combination of leadership and production quality that this team is competing.
One-year-old freshman, Hosmer hit .318 / .385 / .498 last season for Kansas City while collecting his fourth Golden Glove and his first Silver Slugger.
Hosmer's best season to date could not have come at a better time. He is entering his first year in free agency and will have a contract of more than $ 100 million. With only 28 years old, Hosmer is in the prime of his career and health, making him a valuable asset for any team. The only drawback for Hosmer is that it would cost Boston a draft pick in the next selection process this year because he rejected a $ 17.4 million qualifying bid.
J.D. However, Martinez does not come with the loss of a draft selection. Because he was traded to Arizona during the season, Martinez could not receive a qualifying offer so he was not assigned a draft.
Although his 45 homers could not match Stanton's 59, Martinez hit home runs more frequently among plate appearances. than any other player in the game.
At 30 years old, the slugger is two years older than Hosmer, but he shares the same seven seasons in the majors with him.
While both men have postseason experience along with leadership qualities and power at the plate, Martinez could see up to double the value of Hosmer's contract with more years guaranteed.
$ 200 million for a 30-year-old designated hitter seems a bit too much. As Martinez is one of the best sluggers this game has to offer, Boston should be wary of a contract like this. With the demand for this type of money, any non-deferred basic contract will require more than five years.
If combined with a five-year agreement, that contract will have an average annual value of $ 40 million. That would be the biggest AAV in the history of sports. But does a seven-year agreement sound better? A seven-year agreement worth so much would insure an AAV of approximately $ 28.5 million. Giving any player that amount per season is a risk. It would be even more risky to deliver him to DH 37 years old.
$ 100 million and $ 200 million. That is what these two men are demanding and there should be all the confidence that each one will receive it. The Red Sox need a power hitter and they should also have confidence that they will acquire it. One of these men is the power batter they are looking for.
The Red Sox will be able to choose since their wallets are fat. But they will have to act fast, as they surely will not be the only team that will propose offers to these two men from December 10 to 14. They have a choice to make. The question they will have to face and the choice they will have to make is simple: which man is best suited for the Red Sox 2018?