Are The Red Sox Out of Luck This Offseason?
Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated
If you think about it, having the smallest home run count in the American League and being the only team not to hit a grand slam in the 2017 season is a tough feat to pull off.
To start you need a large lack of power and the worst luck in bases-loaded situations. It hurts to think about the fact that the San Diego Padres hit more grand slams in the 2017 season than the Red Sox did, and with their first full season with the absence of David Ortiz, the Sox are in serious need of power. The need for a power bat is what drives the Red Sox this offseason, but could it be that the Red Sox could be out of luck?
As I’ve mentioned multiple times, J.D. Martinez is the power bat everybody hopes for. With 45 home runs and a .303/.376/.690 slash, there doesn’t seem to be any downsides to signing Martinez.
Besides all of the pros and cons I mentioned before, the biggest issue with Martinez is the contract. Martinez and his agent Scott Boras are currently looking for a massive contract of at least six years and at least $30M a year.
This type of contract would keep Martinez on the team well into his mid-30s, which could be either a good or a bad thing depending on how you think about it, but a minimum of $180M is absurd. It has been stated that the Red Sox are willing to wait out until Martinez and Boras lower their offer, but who knows how long that could take.
One potential slugger that Red Sox fans overlook is Mike Moustakas.
Moustakas blasted 38 home runs in the 2017 season, 16 more than his previous season high. This, of course, could be seen as a downside, as there is no telling that he could perform as well as he has this season.
With a horrible career fielding percentage of .960, Moustakas would be best as a designated hitter. Another problem with Moustakas is also the contract, however, this is different from how it is with Martinez. It is unknown exactly how long of a contract Moustakas would want or how much money he would want, but I do not believe that he would want nearly as much as Martinez.
Logan Morrison is another player with the same problem as Moustakas. Also hitting 38 home runs in 2017, Morrison destroyed his previous season high home run count by 15, which could be seen as either a sign that he is going to perform better than ever or get a large contract and underperform. Signing Morrison as a DH would be a waste of his defensive talent, with a .995 career fielding percentage.
Another option could be Todd Frazier, who was traded to the New York Yankees in the middle of last season and has recently become a designated hitter.
While most fans would be against having an ex-Yankees player on the Red Sox, Frazier is one of the best power free agents still available. Frazier would be best as a DH as he has a .965 career fielding percentage at third base, but in his last four seasons he hit 131 home runs and drove in 343 runs. However, Frazier has one big problem. In those aforementioned seasons, Frazier had a mediocre .243/.332/.464 slash. Frazier has always been a player who can either crush the ball or not make it on base. In 2017 Frazier had 101 hits out of his 474 at-bats.
Lucas Duda has many similarities to Todd Frazier. Both were traded to an AL East team in the middle of this season and both are power hitters with low averages, as Duda hit 94 home runs in his last four seasons, but sporting a .238/.338/.480 slash. The signing of Mitch Moreland also would waste the defensive talent of Duda, who, like Logan Morrison, has a career .995 fielding percentage.
As any other free agent that is a position player has either never hit more than 20 home runs or is past their prime and losing their power and with no current signs of a power bat being on the trading block, it seems the options for power bats for the Red Sox is limited.
As every free agent with a power bat has multiple cons, it seems there is no option for the team that could work out 100% in their favor, so it seems the Red Sox may be out of luck.