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Red Sox Wishlist: 2021 Offseason

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In watching the 2020 Red Sox through their first 25 games, there isn’t much cause for optimism moving forward.

Outside of Rafael Devers’ recent resurgence, Alex Verdugo’s flare, and the pinnacle of consistency at shortstop in Xander Bogaerts, there’s not much to keep your attention. J.D. Martinez has struggled with consistency, the pitching staff continues to disappoint, and the farm system continues to be a basement-dweller in Major League Baseball.

However, should the season reach Aug. 31, the Competitive Balance Tax resets, and the Red Sox will be able to go out and spend freely without facing harsh league discipline. Should the season get to that date, you can expect the team to be serious players in the offseason.

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That being said, there are a lot of holes to fill. Many players who have been mainstays in the lineup for years are getting their first taste of free agency as well––thus creating more holes. Guys like Jackie Bradley Jr., J.D. Martinez, and Brandon Workman could all be donning new threads in 2021. As a result, the team will have to look towards the market to bring in replacements.

With that in mind, who could potentially be on Chaim Bloom’s radar?

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1. Trevor Bauer – RHP

Trevor Bauer is a no-brainer here.

The Red Sox rotation continues to spiral, possessing zero starters with an ERA below 4.07 or a FIP below 4.79. In four starts this year, the former No. 3 overall pick has a 0.68 ERA, a 1.93 FIP, and a jaw-dropping 43.6 percent K-rate in 26.1 innings.

Acquiring a proven Ace-caliber arm like Trevor Bauer, mixed with pending returns from Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez, would give the Red Sox a top-tier rotation.

He’s a bit of a polarizing figure and has an explosive social media personality, but the man knows how to win baseball games.

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2. Mark Canha – OF/DH

This one is more of a Plan B should J.D. Martinez opt-out after the season. However, Mark Canha is an interesting case for the Boston Red Sox.

If you haven’t heard of him, he’s an outfielder for the Oakland Athletics who quietly was a top 10 hitter in 2019. Among the 169 hitters with at least 450 plate appearances, Canha ranked ninth in wRC+ (146), ninth in OBP (.396), tied for 15th in wOBA (.386), and tied for 16th in BB-rate (13.5 percent).

Far and away a career-year, many wondered if Canha could replicate his success in 2020. In short, he has thus far. Through 24 games this season (105 plate appearances), the A’s outfielder is slashing .274/.400/.452 with a .372 wOBA and a 142 wRC+. He hasn’t exactly replicated his power numbers––ISO has dropped from .244 to .179––but he’s still been impressive to start.

Consistently losing talent due to a small market, Oakland likely won’t be able to afford the 31-year-old Canha. Consequently, he becomes a prime candidate to take over as Boston’s designated hitter––though his defensive metrics are far from damning.

3. Blake Treinen – RHP

A pitcher many believed to be a no-brainer for Boston last offseason, Blake Treinen is poised to become a free agent again ahead of 2021.

Following his first All-Star selection in 2018, the 32-year-old right-hander struggled with consistency and injuries much of 2019. His ERA spiked from 0.78 to 4.91, his ERA+ plummeted from 531 to 88, and his FIP jumped from 1.82 to 5.14. As a result, he was non-tendered by Oakland, only to be signed to a one-year, $10 million contract with the Dodgers.

Since the change of scenery, he’s looked like an All-Star.

In 11 innings, Treinen has a 0.82 ERA, a 3.05 FIP, and a career-best 86.4 mph average exit velocity against. His strikeout rate of 24.4 percent, though 7.4 percent short of his All-Star season, still places above his career average. He’s put himself back on the map as an effective arm, something the Red Sox need in the worst way.

Even more so if Brandon Workman ends up going elsewhere in 2021.

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Follow Jordan Leandre on Twitter @RealJRLeandre

Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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Check us out on our socials:   
Twitter: @PTSTNews and @TalkPrimeTime
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