With the uncertain future surrounding center fielder Jackie Bradley jr. should the Red Sox pursue Astros outfielder George Springer?
While Bradley has done an outstanding job manning the outfield defensively for the Red Sox, another bat in the lineup is always useful. While the plan is to re-sign the Gold Glove winner, Peter Gammons of The Athletic intimated it isn’t a certainty earlier this week.
“They expect Duran somewhere in the lineup next season, but they plan to try to re-sign Jackie Bradley Jr. Problem is, there may be a lot of daylight between what Scott Boras will ask and where the Red Sox think the market will go post-COVID.”
Springer has close ties to New England, as a Connecticut native and UConn product. The 31-year-old has always had his name tied with Boston via trade rumors. He entered Wednesday hitting .251 with 13 home runs, having come to life in September after hitting just .209 through August. With uncertainty about his future in Houston, Springer should expect a robust free-agent market
Even with Duran in the mix in 2021, the Red Sox still have a sizeable gap in centerfield that Andrew Benintendi simply cannot fill. Springer would provide stellar defense, as well as a keen eye at the plate. He also fills another void left empty after the Mookie Betts trade, a competent leadoff hitter. His career as the leadoff hitter is no small sample size (2,013 total plate appearances) and has been one of the most consistent at that spot in the last two seasons.
As a New England native, Springer knows the “win at all cost” mentality that most Boston Sports fans and media epitomize. While he understands how crazy of a market Boston truly is, his ability to handle that pressure and scrutiny will be something easy to analyze for the front office moving forward. Springer has shown he can perform on the biggest stages, taking home World Series MVP honors in 2017.
Paying big money for a 31-year-old outfielder is a con in itself, but it will also cost the Red Sox their second-highest draft pick if Springer is extended a qualifying offer, which is almost assured. That pick could be in the top 60 because of Boston’s horrid 2020 season. Is Springer worth a top-60 pick going to an American League rival?
The market and future of MLB will also play a huge role in this decision. With the collective-bargaining agreement running out soon, and the outfield not the biggest need on the roster, is it really worth overspending on a position with plenty of able-bodied players? Especially when pitching was the crutch of the 2020 season.
The Final Take
While it would be nice to insert George Springer into the daily lineup, at this point in time, it doesn’t seem to be worth the money or draft pick. In a different non-pandemic world, and with more financial stability, it’s not worth spending the lion’s share of free salary the Sox have under the $208 million luxury tax threshold. While fans may have been looking forward to this pairing, right now is simply not the right time to make this move.
Check us out on our socials:
Follow Kyle Porch on Twitter @porchie16
Main Image Credit: