Super Agent Scott Boras dropped an unexpected headline when describing J.D. Martinez’s decision to opt into his final year on his current deal with the Boston Red Sox. Here is the full quote:
“J.D. looked at his situation. He’s comfortable in Boston and he got his swing back,” Boras said here at the GM Meetings. “Where 2020 was disruptive for him, he started working and getting his swing back. And he wanted to be the best version of himself when he hit free agency. And he thought he would do that after another season in Boston where he’s comfortable. And the ownership there has supported this decision and told him they’re going to make every effort to make the team even more competitive. So he’s decided to return.”Scott Boras
Of course, the team is going to try and improve but I still believe this quote carries weight. After an unexpected deep playoff run, the Red Sox have found themselves ‘a year early’. Most people did not expect the Red Sox to be legitimate contenders heading into the offseason. To ownerships credit, they have never backed down from spending money on this team.
Chaim Bloom also had a couple of interesting quotes recently:
It seems as though the Red Sox are open to spending more than Bloom has been able to in the past. There are some extremely talented free agents that could put this team over the top and the Red Sox have a lot of money being freed up over the next two seasons.
While pitching is always a concern, the free-agent market is much more favorable for position players. Marcus Semien would be my top choice. Semien is a 31-year-old, which allows Bloom to pursue a much shorter contract than the majority of the top-tier shortstops. He also has the most pop, coming off of a 45-homerun season (the most home runs ever hit by a second baseman) with 102 RBI’s.
Shortstop options include Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Trevor Story, Javier Báez, and two-time Red Sox José Iglesias.
Báez led the National League in strikeouts in 2021, so I would prefer to avoid him despite his overall talent. José Iglesias is a real solid player but I hope Bloom swings a little harder to add a starting middle infielder.
Trevor Story is a really intriguing option that may be much more affordable than expected due to a down year in 2021. Story has a special speed-power combination along with above-average defensive abilities.
The additions of Correa or Seager would improve the team immensely but those two will receive contracts that Bloom would not be expected to pursue.
Overall the group is arguably the best shortstop free-agent class ever. If the Red Sox acquire any of the players mentioned outside of Iglesias, this team will be vying for the best offense in the league.
While we look at the Red Sox external options to improve, it is equally important to get their own house in order first. Check out the Boston Red Sox 2022 Free Agents. As projected, Martinez did opt-in, Vázquez’s option was picked up, and Richards and Perez’s options were declined. However, there are still some pieces up in the air.