Let's sign some hitters!

The Gray Eagle

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Aug 1, 2001
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This team has some holes to fill this offseason, and signing some free agents will likely be a big part of it. Home runs plummeted for this team this past year, and despite an offense that ranked pretty high in the league, it was too inconsistent and bad at situational hitting.

Obviously, we also need plenty of pitching, but that is for another thread. This one is about hitters that we might sign.

If we bring back Xander then I think we will still need to add 2 more bats. Not necessarily star hitters or big names, but guys with some pop who aren’t defense-first types. If X leaves, then we need 3 more, IMO. For me, the first priorities for the offseason would be working out contracts for Xander and Devers. If they do that, then things become a lot clearer and simpler. If not, then it gets chaotic.
MLB Trade Rumors predicted contract for Xander: 7 years, $189 million.

This is intended to be a quick overview of position players who are free agents that the Red Sox might be interested in signing. I'm sure I left some out, feel free to add them.

EDIT: Updated with Qualifying Offer news, and MLB Trade Rumors free agent predictions.

Outfielders:
Regardless of what Xander does, we could really use an outfield bat, possibly 2.

Aaron Judge: Forget it, he’s not signing here. If some you think that he might you can go ahead and talk about him, but I'm not wasting time on that.

Brandon Nimmo: LHB, CF, will be 30 this season. Career numbers of 269/385/441, with a 130 OPS+. That’s way better than I thought. He is a CF who can also play the corners. Seems like he would be a really good addition, but will probably cost more than we will pay in money and years. Sure would be nice to add that OBP to our lineup though. Career .780 OPS against lefties, so no platoon issues. Career .802 OPS at home, .850 on the road, so moving to Fenway should help him a bit, though might cost him some HRs. Only 31 career PAs in Fenway, 1 HR, .878 OPS. Opinion on his defense: “Public metrics unanimously had him as an above-average center fielder in 2021. Those estimators were more divided in 2022, with DRS pegging him a few runs below average while Statcast had him as six runs above par. At the very least, he looks like an adequate defensive center fielder, and some teams might see him as a plus. Nimmo is somewhat quietly one of the better outfielders in the sport, and he could be rewarded for his excellent platform season with a nine-figure deal. He’ll receive and reject a QO.” Some tweet says “The Rockies are looking to sign Brandon Nimmo to a five-year contract worth around $115-$120 million, per @psaundersdp”. Yikes. $24m per year is a LOT for this guy who is a good player, but… EDIT: He got a QO, so he will cost draft picks and international money too.
Nicknames per baseball reference: Nimms or Tater. I would call him Captain Nimmo, especially if he slumped and his batting average was 20,000 leagues under the sea. MLB Trade Rumors predicted contract: 5 years, $110 million.

Mitch Haniger: RHB, corner OF. How the hell is this guy going to be 32 years old next year?? I thought he was like 28. I also thought he had an awful year at the plate, but actually not: he hit an okay 246/308/429 this year, which was good for a 114 OPS+ in that home ballpark. Was injured and only had 247 PAs. Career 261/335/476, 123 OPS+. Hit 39 HRs in 2021. Career splits: .795 OPS vs. RHP, .853 vs. LHP. .796 at home, .826 on the road. Nicknames per baseball reference: Meetch or Hammer. No baseball player should be nicknamed Hammer if they aren’t Henry Aaron. Call him Haniger Schlemmer or something. MLB Trade Rumors predicted contract: 3 years, $39 million.

Joc Pederson: LHB, will be 31 in April. Pretty much a lefty masher platoon guy more than a full-timer. Hit .274/.353/.521 this year in 433 PA, with 23 HR. Only 57 PA vs. lefties this year but did fine, with a .742 OPS, but for his career only hits .642 vs. lefties. Could be a good pickup to play OF/DH vs. RHP if he is cheap enough. He might want to sign somewhere he could play full-time? He got offered a QO from the Giants, so he will likely accept that. We wouldn't want him at $20m a year anyway.
B-R nicknames: Dizzy or King. I wonder if he would be better or worse if he spelled his name Jacques Peterson.

Jurickson Profar (player option): Switch hitter, will be 30 next year. .243/.331/.391 in 658 PA this year, 111 OPS+. Came up at age 19 and didn’t hit his first few years. Since turning 25, he has hit solidly for a utility guy: .241/.326/.403, 101 OPS+. He only played LF this season, despite playing all over the infield and OF in previous years. Does he still have that coveted positional versatility? Will he choose to stay in SD for $10m next year? If not, he’s going to want more money than he’s probably worth. Given name: Jurickson Barthelomeus Profar. B-R nickname: El Patron. He either is a father figure in the clubhouse or loves tequila. Possibly both? Oh yeah, well the Jurickson Store called, and he’s all out of YOU! MLB Trade Rumors predicted contract: 2 years, $20 million.

Michael Conforto: LHB, will be 30 in March. Missed all of this past season, so who knows what to expect or how much he will cost? I guess the team that signed James Paxton should not be ruled out of signing this guy. Hit 88 HRs in the 3 years before the pandemic-shortened season. Career .255/.356/.468, with a 124 OPS+. Platoon split of .873 OPS vs. RHP, .695 vs. LHP. His nickname is Scooter, for some reason, instead of Comfort Toe. MLB Trade Rumors predicted contract: 1 years, $15 million.

Joey Gallo: Do not want. LHB, will be 29 years old. Hit .160/.280/.357, 79 OPS+ in 410 PAs this year. Whiffed 163 times with 56 walks. King of the 3 Boring Outcomes. Adding all those whiffs to the lineup would make this team even more excruciating to watch. Do not want.

Andrew Benintendi: LHB, turns 29 midseason. .304/.373/.399 this year. Surprisingly has never played an inning in RF in the majors. Everyone knows Benintendi from his time here. Seems to have become a guy who hits for average but not power. What will his market be like? Hard to see him coming back unless it was for cheap. MLB Trade Rumors predicted contract: 4 years, $54 million.

Adam Duvall: RHB. 34 years old. 213/276/401 this year in 287 PA. Struck out 101 times in 315 PA. No thanks.

Wil Myers (club option): RHB, will be 32 this year. IB/OF. SOSHers have long wanted us to take on his bad contract and make the Padres give us a good prospect to do so. Never happened. SD will definitely pay him the $1m buyout rather than $20m for his last year. Hit .261/.315/.398 this year in 286 PA. Career 111 OPS+, 122 the past 3 years combined.

AJ Pollock (player option): RHB, will be 35 next year. Hit .245/.292/.389 this year in 489 PA, 91 OPS+. Was good in 2020 and 2021 with the Dodgers (.290/.342/.547 combined in 632 PA) but not this past year, and he is old. Hard to imagine him turning down the $10m option for free agency. Named after a fish but his nickname is Pollo, which means chicken.

Tommy Pham (mutual option): RHB, will be 35. We got a look at him after the trade deadline. Hit .672, 86 OPS+ for us. He’s probably not the same guy who with 21 HR and stole 25 bases for Tampa in 2019. Sox have a mutual option for next year at $6m or owe him $1.5m buyout. Still an exciting player, in that you never know who he might get into a fight with. B-R nickname: Phamtastic. 90% chance he gave himself that nickname.

(added after he was mentioned below):
Masataka Yoshida: LHB, will turn 30 in July. For his career in Japan, he has walked 421 times and struck out only 300. 81 walks to only 41 Ks this past season in 508 PA. Hit .335/.447/.561 this year with 21 HR. Career slash of .327/.421/.539. He likely wouldn't hit for a lot of power after switching to the US, based on how most hitters have fared here. But that OBP! Way more walks than Ks!
View: https://twitter.com/GaijinBaseball/status/1587056728067264512

He reportedly wants to play for the Phillies. He named his dog after Bryce Harper. No word on whether the interest is mutual. Or whether the dog's name is Bryce or Harper.
(Edit: wait, I should have kept scrolling-- it's Harper. Better name for a dog than Bryce.)

DH:
With JD hitting free agency, we will need to sign a good bat. But not necessarily a fulltime DH. Bloom loves position versatility, so it seems like he’d be more interested in someone who can play the field at least part time.

JD Martinez: RHB, will turn 36 in August. Had a disappointing year, but still had a 117 OPS+. The team went into the season hoping he could play outfield about as often as he did in 2021 (36 games) but he instead played 0 innings in the field, likely due to back issues. He hit well in the early season, then was abysmal in July and August, when he seemed to be playing hurt. Bounced back with an .889 OPS, .284/.352/.537 with 5 HR in September/Oct. Was that a dead-cat-bounce contract drive, or was his back feeling better? No idea how the market will be for him. No one will give him even close to the money he made this year, but he will have offers. MLB Trade Rumors predicted contract: 2 years, $30 million.

Michael Brantley: LHB, will turn 36 in May. Hit .288/.370/.416 in 277 PA, 125 OPS+. Played 29 games in LF and 35 at DH, then was hurt and had season-ending surgery in his non-throwing arm. Has been a consistently good hitter even after turning 30, with a 122 OPS+ since 2017. He’s kind of a LH JD Martinez. Made $16m this past year, won’t get near that this time but will have offers. MLB Trade Rumors predicted contract: 1 year, $15 million.

Andrew McCutcheon: RHB, just turned 36. Played 50 games in the OF, though nowhere near the level he used to. Hit .237/.316/.384 for the Brewers in 580 PA. OPS+ of 99 was the first time he’s been under 100. Made $8.5m last year, will have to take less now.

Matt Carpenter: LHB, will be 37 next year. Had to take a minor league deal, got cut, picked up by the Yankees and of course immediately turned into Babe Ruth for them, hitting 15 HR in 154 PA, .305/.412/.727, 217 OPS+. Used to be the poster boy for the coveted positional versatility, but is old now. Played 15 games in OF, 5 at 1B, 2 at 3B. He got hurt in August and missed the rest of the regular season. His deal with Satan apparently only covered the regular season, as he went 1-12 with 9 Ks in 6 playoff games. Wears a stupid-looking porn stache now. Will probably re-sign for NYY for almost nothing and hit great for them again. If we did sign him, there’s no doubt he would be terrible for us.

Trey Mancini (mutual option): RHB. Will be 31. Hit well for Baltimore, but not for Houston after the trade. Overall .239/.319/.391 in 587 PA, 101 OPS+. Great to see him come back from cancer so well. Has had a poor postseason so far. Played 39 games in the OF, 39 at 1B this year, so he has more of the coveted positional flexibility than most DH types. Career 113 OPS+. Made $10 million last year and his option for next is $10m again, so he will probably be a free agent. Nickname: Boom-Boom.

Carlos Santana: Switch hitter, 1B/DH, will be 37 next year. .202/.316/.376 last year. .789 vs lefties, .655 vs. righties, but 16 of his 19 HR were against RHP. Good clubhouse reputation. Career .861 OPS at Fenway in 158 PA. Got paid $10.5m last year, will have to take a lot less this time. Nickname should be Black Magic or Oye Como Va.

Jesus Aguilar: RHB, will turn 33 in June. Can play 1B. .235/.281/.379 in 507 PA. Career .254/.324/.449, 106 OPS+. Got cut in August, signed with the Orioles. Always been a better hitter on the road than at home-- .835 OPS on the road, .708 at home. Could he be decent in a ballpark that fits him better? Might have to take a minor league deal.

Catchers:
McGuire and Wong did fine after the trade deadline, but neither is an experienced starter. We could go for a more established bat at this position to help the offense.

Willson Contreras: RHB, turns 30 in May. Mostly a catcher but has played LF. Hit .243/.349/.466 in 487 PA with 22 HRs, 128 OPS+. Been HBP 52 times in the last 3 seasons. Could help the offense for sure, but how much will het get offered? Opinion on his defense: “He owns a solid arm, but public pitch framing metrics have never been enamored with his work. Reports leading up to the trade deadline suggested some teams were wary of adding him midseason, questioning his ability to adapt to and manage a new pitching staff on the fly. That’s perhaps not as concerning for teams considering a free agent pursuit—Contreras would have part of the offseason and Spring Training to connect with his pitchers, but there was ostensibly enough worry about his game-calling acumen that no team met the Cubs lofty asking price this summer. How much one should read into Contreras not being traded is tough to tell, but it will have a tangible effect on his free agent market. He’s now eligible for the qualifying offer, which he’ll surely receive and reject.” MLB Trade Rumors predicted contract: 4 years, $84 million.

Edit: The Athletic has the details of how signing Contreras would affect the Red Sox:
But complicating matters for the Red Sox with Contreras is that he will get a qualifying offer from the Cubs. If he declines and the Red Sox were to sign him, they’d lose their second- and fifth-round picks as well as $1 million in international pool money because they were over the luxury tax threshold this season.
Losing a second rounder, a 5th rounder, and a million in international bonus money, on top of the big money he will get, likely makes Contreras unattractive to Bloom. At least I hope so.

Mike Zunino: RHB, will be 32. Strikeout machine—career 34.7% K percentage. Was terrible in 115 PA in 2022 before being injured and out for the season with thoracic outlet syndrome. Had a couple good years with Seattle, then was bad, then had a miracle year with Tampa in 2021, with 33 HRs. Career numbers: .200/.271/.410, 88 OPS+. Probably won’t cost much, but thoracic outlet, yikes.

Gary Sanchez: RHB, will be 30. Caught 91 games for the Twins this year, but um, not known for his defense. Hit .205/.282/.377 in 471 PA, 89 OPS+. Put up an .846 OPS through age 26 with NYY, but .681 in 3 years since then. B-R nicknames: The Kraken or The Sanchize. No one here would call him either of those, we'd go with Dirty Sanchez.

Christian Vazquez: RHB, will be 32. We all know Vazquez. .274/.315/.399 99 OPS+ this year. Not a bad hitter for a catcher, solid defensively. Highly regarded in the clubhouse. Not a good baserunner. Made $7m this year. MLB Trade Rumors predicted contract: 3 years, $27 million.

1B/DH:
Jose Abreu: RHB, turns 36 in January. Still plays 1B a lot, not just DH. Hit .304/.378/.446 in 679 PA, 133 OPS+. Only 15 HR, one less than JD Martinez. Can’t be offered a QO. Still a good hitter and could have a role here as a DH who also plays some first base against lefties. Who knows what his market will be at his age though? B-R nicknames: Oso, Yogi, Mal Tiempo or Pito. MLB Trade Rumors predicted contract: 2 years, $40 million.

Anthony Rizzo (opt out): LHB, will be 34 in August. Can choose to stay with NY for $16m next year. If he opts out, will obviously want more than that. Hit .224/.338/.480 in 548 PA, 131 OPS+. Still a good hitter. Wish we had never traded him in the Gonzalez deal, but what’s done is done. Interesting note about him this year: “Personal-worst .212 average on balls in play. A pull hitter who has been shifted on over 84% of his at-bats this season, per Statcast, he’s likely to be among the top beneficiaries of the forthcoming shift limitations. Even a slight uptick in his ball in play results could help Rizzo regain his peak form, since he’s still hitting the ball hard and is difficult to strike out.” Not a great fit with the 2023 Red Sox, with Casas as a LHH 1B. Could obviously be a DH though. Got a QO from the Yankees.
MLB Trade Rumors predicted contract: 2 years, $36 million.

Josh Bell: switch hitter, will be 30 until mid-August. Hit .266/.362/.422 in 647 PA, 128 OPS+. Didn’t hit well after the trade to SD. Career numbers: .262/.351/.459, 120 OPS+. Has played 26 games in the OF in his career, but probably won’t play many more there. Maybe you could stick him in LF in Fenway 15 to 20 times a year and get away with it? Has been a streaky hitter, which is risky when bringing in a new bat in this market—any new big money signing who starts slowly could get buried by the fans and media. Can’t be offered a QO. Could slot into a DH/IB role here. MLB Trade Rumors predicted contract: 4 years, $64 million.

Brandon Drury: RHB. Will be 30 until mid-August. Played 3B, 1B, and 2B this year. Also played 127 games in OF in his career, so he has that coveted positional versatility. Hit well this year, 28 bombs, .263/.320/.492 in 568 PA, 122 OPS+. Hit well the past 2 years, but was terrible in the AL East in previous stints with NYY and Toronto. MLB Trade Rumors predicted contract: 2 years, $18 million.

Miguel Sano (team option of $14m): RHB, turns 30 in May. Only 60 at-bats this year, was horrible and injured. 77 HR and 121 OPS+ the 3 previous seasons. His option won’t be picked up, and who knows what kind of offers he will get. Has lots of power but whiffs a lot and is a bat-only guy who did nothing this year. Could be interesting if he was cheap enough.

2B/3B:
At this point, we don’t really need players at these positions, with Devers at third and Story at 2B. This could change of course, but until it does, we won’t be signing starters to play these positions.

SS:
The Xander question. If we don’t sign Xander, we would need another bat, in addition to the ones we already need, and there are some SS stars on the market.

Trea Turner: RHB, will be 30 in June. In 708 PA, hit .298/.343/.466, 121 OPS+. Career 122 OPS+. Put up nice counting stat baseball card numbers this year: 21 HR, 27 SB, 100 RBI, 101 runs scored. Last year led the league in total bases, hits, batting average, and stolen bases. Seems durable, leading the league in PA and AB in 2018 and 2022. Played 26 games in CF in 2016, 91 games at 2B in his career, but seemingly will want to stay at SS. Been a consistently good hitter pretty much every year, great baserunner, fun to watch. He’ll have a qualifying offer attached to him, and I doubt the Dodgers let anyone outbid them. MLB Trade Rumors predicted contract: 8 years, $268 million.

Carlos Correa: RHB, will still be 28 most of next year. .834 OPS, 140 OPS+ this year in his make-good contract year with the Twins. Already opted out of 2 more years at $35m to go to free agency. Everybody knows about him. He is really good but I don’t like him. He’s going to get a ton of money, and I’d rather keep Xander than pay this guy, but who knows what will happen. MLB Trade Rumors says “His previously Platinum Glove-winning defense fell to merely above-average, per DRS and UZR. (Notably, OAA pegged his glovework as actually slightly below average.) Twins brass has spent much of the year lauding Correa’s glovework, leadership and clubhouse presence. There’s surely some genuine interest in keeping him, but doing so would require eclipsing Joe Mauer’s $184MM guarantee for the largest contract in franchise history—likely by a rather large margin.” I hope the Twins keep him. YMMV. B-R nicknames: The Captain, Showrrea, and I Am Groot. MLB Trade Rumors predicted contract: 9 years, $288 million.

Dansby Swanson: RHB, will be 29 in February. He’s from Georgia, played his whole big league career with Atlanta, and he should stay there IMO. .776 OPS, 115 OPS+ 25 HR this year, much better than his career numbers of .738, 95 OPS+. Let’s just extend Xander instead of paying for these guys. Got a QO so he will cost draft picks and international money. MLB Trade Rumors predicted contract: 7 years, $154 million.

Jose Iglesias: RHB, will be 33 in January. .292/.328/.360, 90 OPS+. If X leaves, he could be a cheap option. Always a slick fielder, has no power but hits for average decently for a SS. You wouldn’t want him to be handed a starting job, but if we are going to cheap out at SS, he is fun to watch in the field. Nickname: Candelita (in English: Little Candle).

After looking at all these guys, I became more interested in some guys who hit better than I realized, like Pederson, Abreu, and Haniger, depending on their prices. Trea Turner would be a great addition, but I assume he wants to play SS and the Dodgers will spend big to try to keep him. Nimmo is a good, consistent player but he will probably cost more than Bloom will want to pay. Josh Bell being a switch hitter is interesting. I've become less interested in Correa and Contreras because of their defensive questions, and Zunino because of his injury questions.

For all of them though, it comes down to the price.

We will have a lot of holes to fill and getting more production at a value price will be important for spending money on pitching. Especially if we keep Xander and Devers. If either of them leave, then we will have even more money to spend and even more holes to fill, but value priced bats will be helpful either way.
 
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Minneapolis Millers

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Gotta sign Pham and Pederson for the chemistry alone.

Edit for something closer to substance: I’d kick the tires on Abreu and Haniger. Consider a Vaz reunion. Have always liked Brantley but, yeah, he’d take JD’s role as a mostly DH. I think they’ll look closely at Profar give his positional flexibility.
 
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Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Mar 11, 2007
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Honestly no real exciting names. I like Nimno but not sure if he’s worth what he’ll get. I’d check to see if Abreu could be had for 2/26 or Drury at 3/45. Maybe Mancini for the same.
My suspicion is that management is feeling some anger and they’ll break the bank for Devers and X. Then deal for a younger cost controlled corner OF too. The Abreu/Mancini/Drury would be Casas insurance and rotation DH rest.

I’ll go to war with this:

Drury/Mancini/Abreu
Casas
Xander
Devers
Story
RF by trade
Kiké
Verdugo
Wong/McGuire

Refsnyder and Arroyo is a good bench.
 

luckysox

Indiana Jones
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Apr 21, 2009
7,993
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I would love to see Mancini replace JD’s bat in the lineup. He hits very well at Fenway, gives Casas a RHB platoon partner if need be, and is young enough that he probably won’t just fall off a cliff.
 

Sin Duda

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Jul 16, 2005
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Let's take a minute to stand and applaud the greatest post this year. Thank you Grey Eagle! Not only are the stats and analysis detailed and appropriate, but the little comments from a Sox fan's perspective were spot on. "Pollo, which means chicken", and "Candelito, which means little candle" both had me chuckling. I like Brantley a lot, but your analysis turned me off to Haniger and Zunino. Maybe Abreau?
 

Tokyo Sox

Baka Gaijin
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There
Most of the handful of players likely heading from NPB to MLB in 2023 are pitchers, but there's also one mildly interesting bat. The Orix Buffaloes will probably post their star slugger, 29yo LHB OF Masataka Yoshida.

Over 7 seasons Yoshida has a career .327/.421/.539 slash line, and consistently walks more than he K's. He's two years older than Seiya Suzuki, but I think most people were surprised at the 5/85 Suzuki got so I'm not sure what kind of deal Yoshida would be after. Something like 4/48 or 3/42 might get it done? He's primarily a LF which in the context of this thread would probably mean Verdugo in RF.

View: https://twitter.com/baseballcosmo/status/1587229266022125568?s=20&t=XA39cFXFlGMeLSN4jnNVhw


This tweet says the Red Sox are kicking the tires. I don't know what it's based on but these things usually have some sourcing:
View: https://twitter.com/Dorapeinet/status/1587233936635461632?s=20&t=XA39cFXFlGMeLSN4jnNVhw
 

chawson

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Aug 1, 2006
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This team has some holes to fill this offseason, and signing some free agents will likely be a big part of it. Home runs plummeted for this team this past year, and despite an offense that ranked pretty high in the league, it was too inconsistent and bad at situational hitting.

Obviously, we also need plenty of pitching, but that is for another thread. This one is about hitters that we might sign.

If we bring back Xander then I think we will still need to add 2 more bats. Not necessarily star hitters or big names, but guys with some pop who aren’t defense-first types. If X leaves, then we need 3 more, IMO. For me, the first priorities for the offseason would be working out contracts for Xander and Devers. If they do that, then things become a lot clearer and simpler. If not, then it gets chaotic.

This is intended to be a quick overview of position players who are free agents that the Red Sox might be interested in signing. I'm sure I left some out, feel free to add them.

Outfielders:
Regardless of what Xander does, we could really use an outfield bat, possibly 2.

Aaron Judge: Forget it, he’s not signing here. If some you think that he might you can go ahead and talk about him, but I'm not wasting time on that.

Brandon Nimmo: LHB, CF, will be 30 this season. Career numbers of 269/385/441, with a 130 OPS+. That’s way better than I thought. He is a CF who can also play the corners. Seems like he would be a really good addition, but will probably cost more than we will pay in money and years. Sure would be nice to add that OBP to our lineup though. Career .780 OPS against lefties, so no platoon issues. Career .802 OPS at home, .850 on the road, so moving to Fenway should help him a bit, though might cost him some HRs. Only 31 career PAs in Fenway, 1 HR, .878 OPS. Opinion on his defense: “Public metrics unanimously had him as an above-average center fielder in 2021. Those estimators were more divided in 2022, with DRS pegging him a few runs below average while Statcast had him as six runs above par. At the very least, he looks like an adequate defensive center fielder, and some teams might see him as a plus. Nimmo is somewhat quietly one of the better outfielders in the sport, and he could be rewarded for his excellent platform season with a nine-figure deal. He’ll receive and reject a QO.” Some tweet says “The Rockies are looking to sign Brandon Nimmo to a five-year contract worth around $115-$120 million, per @psaundersdp”. Yikes. $24m per year is a LOT for this guy who is a good player, but…
Nicknames per baseball reference: Nimms or Tater. I would call him Captain Nimmo, especially if he slumped and his batting average was 20,000 leagues under the sea.

Mitch Haniger: RHB, corner OF. How the hell is this guy going to be 32 years old next year?? I thought he was like 28. I also thought he had an awful year at the plate, but actually not: he hit an okay 246/308/429 this year, which was good for a 114 OPS+ in that home ballpark. Was injured and only had 247 PAs. Career 261/335/476, 123 OPS+. Hit 39 HRs in 2021. Career splits: .795 OPS vs. RHP, .853 vs. LHP. .796 at home, .826 on the road. Nicknames per baseball reference: Meetch or Hammer. No baseball player should be nicknamed Hammer if they aren’t Henry Aaron. Call him Haniger Schlemmer or something.

Joc Pederson: LHB, will be 31 in April. Pretty much a lefty masher platoon guy more than a full-timer. Hit .274/.353/.521 this year in 433 PA, with 23 HR. Only 57 PA vs. lefties this year but did fine, with a .742 OPS, but for his career only hits .642 vs. lefties. Could be a good pickup to play OF/DH vs. RHP if he is cheap enough. He might want to sign somewhere he could play full-time? B-R nicknames: Dizzy or King. I wonder if he would be better or worse if he spelled his name Jacques Peterson.

Jurickson Profar (player option): Switch hitter, will be 30 next year. .243/.331/.391 in 658 PA this year, 111 OPS+. Came up at age 19 and didn’t hit his first few years. Since turning 25, he has hit solidly for a utility guy: .241/.326/.403, 101 OPS+. He only played LF this season, despite playing all over the infield and OF in previous years. Does he still have that coveted positional versatility? Will he choose to stay in SD for $10m next year? If not, he’s going to want more money than he’s probably worth. Given name: Jurickson Barthelomeus Profar. B-R nickname: El Patron. He either is a father figure in the clubhouse or loves tequila. Possibly both? Oh yeah, well the Jurickson Store called, and he’s all out of YOU!

Michael Conforto: LHB, will be 30 in March. Missed all of this past season, so who knows what to expect or how much he will cost? I guess the team that signed James Paxton should not be ruled out of signing this guy. Hit 88 HRs in the 3 years before the pandemic-shortened season. Career .255/.356/.468, with a 124 OPS+. Platoon split of .873 OPS vs. RHP, .695 vs. LHP. His nickname is Scooter, for some reason, instead of Comfort Toe.

Joey Gallo: Do not want. LHB, will be 29 years old. Hit .160/.280/.357, 79 OPS+ in 410 PAs this year. Whiffed 163 times with 56 walks. King of the 3 Boring Outcomes. Adding all those whiffs to the lineup would make this team even more excruciating to watch. Do not want.

Andrew Benintendi: LHB, turns 29 midseason. .304/.373/.399 this year. Surprisingly has never played an inning in RF in the majors. Everyone knows Benintendi from his time here. Seems to have become a guy who hits for average but not power. What will his market be like? Hard to see him coming back unless it was for cheap.

Adam Duvall: RHB. 34 years old. 213/276/401 this year in 287 PA. Struck out 101 times in 315 PA. No thanks.

Wil Myers (club option): RHB, will be 32 this year. IB/OF. SOSHers have long wanted us to take on his bad contract and make the Padres give us a good prospect to do so. Never happened. SD will definitely pay him the $1m buyout rather than $20m for his last year. Hit .261/.315/.398 this year in 286 PA. Career 111 OPS+, 122 the past 3 years combined.

AJ Pollock (player option): RHB, will be 35 next year. Hit .245/.292/.389 this year in 489 PA, 91 OPS+. Was good in 2020 and 2021 with the Dodgers (.290/.342/.547 combined in 632 PA) but not this past year, and he is old. Hard to imagine him turning down the $10m option for free agency. Named after a fish but his nickname is Pollo, which means chicken.

Tommy Pham (mutual option): RHB, will be 35. We got a look at him after the trade deadline. Hit .672, 86 OPS+ for us. He’s probably not the same guy who with 21 HR and stole 25 bases for Tampa in 2019. Sox have a mutual option for next year at $6m or owe him $1.5m buyout. Still an exciting player, in that you never know who he might get into a fight with. B-R nickname: Phamtastic. 90% chance he gave himself that nickname.

DH:
With JD hitting free agency, we will need to sign a good bat. But not necessarily a fulltime DH. Bloom loves position versatility, so it seems like he’d be more interested in someone who can play the field at least part time.

JD Martinez: RHB, will turn 36 in August. Had a disappointing year, but still had a 117 OPS+. The team went into the season hoping he could play outfield about as often as he did in 2021 (36 games) but he instead played 0 innings in the field, likely due to back issues. He hit well in the early season, then was abysmal in July and August, when he seemed to be playing hurt. Bounced back with an .889 OPS, .284/.352/.537 with 5 HR in September/Oct. Was that a dead-cat-bounce contract drive, or was his back feeling better? No idea how the market will be for him. No one will give him even close to the money he made this year, but he will have offers.

Michael Brantley: LHB, will turn 36 in May. Hit .288/.370/.416 in 277 PA, 125 OPS+. Played 29 games in LF and 35 at DH, then was hurt and had season-ending surgery in his non-throwing arm. Has been a consistently good hitter even after turning 30, with a 122 OPS+ since 2017. He’s kind of a LH JD Martinez. Made $16m this past year, won’t get near that this time but will have offers.

Andrew McCutcheon: RHB, just turned 36. Played 50 games in the OF, though nowhere near the level he used to. Hit .237/.316/.384 for the Brewers in 580 PA. OPS+ of 99 was the first time he’s been under 100. Made $8.5m last year, will have to take less now.

Matt Carpenter: LHB, will be 37 next year. Had to take a minor league deal, got cut, picked up by the Yankees and of course immediately turned into Babe Ruth for them, hitting 15 HR in 154 PA, .305/.412/.727, 217 OPS+. Used to be the poster boy for the coveted positional versatility, but is old now. Played 15 games in OF, 5 at 1B, 2 at 3B. He got hurt in August and missed the rest of the regular season. His deal with Satan apparently only covered the regular season, as he went 1-12 with 9 Ks in 6 playoff games. Wears a stupid-looking porn stache now. Will probably re-sign for NYY for almost nothing and hit great for them again. If we did sign him, there’s no doubt he would be terrible for us.

Trey Mancini (mutual option): RHB. Will be 31. Hit well for Baltimore, but not for Houston after the trade. Overall .239/.319/.391 in 587 PA, 101 OPS+. Great to see him come back from cancer so well. Has had a poor postseason so far. Played 39 games in the OF, 39 at 1B this year, so he has more of the coveted positional flexibility than most DH types. Career 113 OPS+. Made $10 million last year and his option for next is $10m again, so he will probably be a free agent. Nickname: Boom-Boom.

Carlos Santana: Switch hitter, 1B/DH, will be 37 next year. .202/.316/.376 last year. .789 vs lefties, .655 vs. righties, but 16 of his 19 HR were against RHP. Good clubhouse reputation. Career .861 OPS at Fenway in 158 PA. Got paid $10.5m last year, will have to take a lot less this time. Nickname should be Black Magic or Oye Como Va.

Jesus Aguilar: RHB, will turn 33 in June. Can play 1B. .235/.281/.379 in 507 PA. Career .254/.324/.449, 106 OPS+. Got cut in August, signed with the Orioles. Always been a better hitter on the road than at home-- .835 OPS on the road, .708 at home. Could he be decent in a ballpark that fits him better? Might have to take a minor league deal.

Catchers:
McGuire and Wong did fine after the trade deadline, but neither is an experienced starter. We could go for a more established bat at this position to help the offense.

Willson Contreras: RHB, turns 30 in May. Mostly a catcher but has played LF. Hit .243/.349/.466 in 487 PA with 22 HRs, 128 OPS+. Been HBP 52 times in the last 3 seasons. Could help the offense for sure, but how much will het get offered? Opinion on his defense: “He owns a solid arm, but public pitch framing metrics have never been enamored with his work. Reports leading up to the trade deadline suggested some teams were wary of adding him midseason, questioning his ability to adapt to and manage a new pitching staff on the fly. That’s perhaps not as concerning for teams considering a free agent pursuit—Contreras would have part of the offseason and Spring Training to connect with his pitchers, but there was ostensibly enough worry about his game-calling acumen that no team met the Cubs lofty asking price this summer. How much one should read into Contreras not being traded is tough to tell, but it will have a tangible effect on his free agent market. He’s now eligible for the qualifying offer, which he’ll surely receive and reject.”

Mike Zunino: RHB, will be 32. Strikeout machine—career 34.7% K percentage. Was terrible in 115 PA in 2022 before being injured and out for the season with thoracic outlet syndrome. Had a couple good years with Seattle, then was bad, then had a miracle year with Tampa in 2021, with 33 HRs. Career numbers: .200/.271/.410, 88 OPS+. Probably won’t cost much, but thoracic outlet, yikes.

Gary Sanchez: RHB, will be 30. Caught 91 games for the Twins this year, but um, not known for his defense. Hit .205/.282/.377 in 471 PA, 89 OPS+. Put up an .846 OPS through age 26 with NYY, but .681 in 3 years since then. B-R nicknames: The Kraken or The Sanchize. No one here would call him either of those, we'd go with Dirty Sanchez.

Christian Vazquez: RHB, will be 32. We all know Vazquez. .274/.315/.399 99 OPS+ this year. Not a bad hitter for a catcher, solid defensively. Highly regarded in the clubhouse. Not a good baserunner. Made $7m this year.

1B/DH:
Jose Abreu: RHB, turns 36 in January. Still plays 1B a lot, not just DH. Hit .304/.378/.446 in 679 PA, 133 OPS+. Only 15 HR, one less than JD Martinez. Can’t be offered a QO. Still a good hitter and could have a role here as a DH who also plays some first base against lefties. Who knows what his market will be at his age though? B-R nicknames: Oso, Yogi, Mal Tiempo or Pito.

Anthony Rizzo (opt out): LHB, will be 34 in August. Can choose to stay with NY for $16m next year. If he opts out, will obviously want more than that. Hit .224/.338/.480 in 548 PA, 131 OPS+. Still a good hitter. Wish we had never traded him in the Gonzalez deal, but what’s done is done. Interesting note about him this year: “Personal-worst .212 average on balls in play. A pull hitter who has been shifted on over 84% of his at-bats this season, per Statcast, he’s likely to be among the top beneficiaries of the forthcoming shift limitations. Even a slight uptick in his ball in play results could help Rizzo regain his peak form, since he’s still hitting the ball hard and is difficult to strike out.” Not a great fit with the 2023 Red Sox, with Casas as a LHH 1B. Could obviously be a DH though.

Josh Bell: switch hitter, will be 30 until mid-August. Hit .266/.362/.422 in 647 PA, 128 OPS+. Didn’t hit well after the trade to SD. Career numbers: .262/.351/.459, 120 OPS+. Has played 26 games in the OF in his career, but probably won’t play many more there. Maybe you could stick him in LF in Fenway 15 to 20 times a year and get away with it? Has been a streaky hitter, which is risky when bringing in a new bat in this market—any new big money signing who starts slowly could get buried by the fans and media. Can’t be offered a QO. Could slot into a DH/IB role here.

Brandon Drury: RHB. Will be 30 until mid-August. Played 3B, 1B, and 2B this year. Also played 127 games in OF in his career, so he has that coveted positional versatility. Hit well this year, 28 bombs, .263/.320/.492 in 568 PA, 122 OPS+. Hit well the past 2 years, but was terrible in the AL East in previous stints with NYY and Toronto.

Miguel Sano (team option of $14m): RHB, turns 30 in May. Only 60 at-bats this year, was horrible and injured. 77 HR and 121 OPS+ the 3 previous seasons. His option won’t be picked up, and who knows what kind of offers he will get. Has lots of power but whiffs a lot and is a bat-only guy who did nothing this year. Could be interesting if he was cheap enough.

2B/3B:
At this point, we don’t really need players at these positions, with Devers at third and Story at 2B. This could change of course, but until it does, we won’t be signing starters to play these positions.

SS:
The Xander question. If we don’t sign Xander, we would need another bat, in addition to the ones we already need, and there are some SS stars on the market.

Trea Turner: RHB, will be 30 in June. In 708 PA, hit .298/.343/.466, 121 OPS+. Career 122 OPS+. Put up nice counting stat baseball card numbers this year: 21 HR, 27 SB, 100 RBI, 101 runs scored. Last year led the league in total bases, hits, batting average, and stolen bases. Seems durable, leading the league in PA and AB in 2018 and 2022. Played 26 games in CF in 2016, 91 games at 2B in his career, but seemingly will want to stay at SS. Been a consistently good hitter pretty much every year, great baserunner, fun to watch. He’ll have a qualifying offer attached to him, and I doubt the Dodgers let anyone outbid them.

Carlos Correa: RHB, will still be 28 most of next year. .834 OPS, 140 OPS+ this year in his make-good contract year with the Twins. Already opted out of 2 more years at $35m to go to free agency. Everybody knows about him. He is really good but I don’t like him. He’s going to get a ton of money, and I’d rather keep Xander than pay this guy, but who knows what will happen. MLB Trade Rumors says “His previously Platinum Glove-winning defense fell to merely above-average, per DRS and UZR. (Notably, OAA pegged his glovework as actually slightly below average.) Twins brass has spent much of the year lauding Correa’s glovework, leadership and clubhouse presence. There’s surely some genuine interest in keeping him, but doing so would require eclipsing Joe Mauer’s $184MM guarantee for the largest contract in franchise history—likely by a rather large margin.” I hope the Twins keep him. YMMV. B-R nicknames: The Captain, Showrrea, and I Am Groot.

Dansby Swanson: RHB, will be 29 in February. He’s from Georgia, played his whole big league career with Atlanta, and he should stay there IMO. .776 OPS, 115 OPS+ 25 HR this year, much better than his career numbers of .738, 95 OPS+. Let’s just extend Xander instead of paying for these guys.

Jose Iglesias: RHB, will be 33 in January. .292/.328/.360, 90 OPS+. If X leaves, he could be a cheap option. Always a slick fielder, has no power but hits for average decently for a SS. You wouldn’t want him to be handed a starting job, but if we are going to cheap out at SS, he is fun to watch in the field. Nickname: Candelita (in English: Little Candle).

After looking at all these guys, I became more interested in some guys who hit better than I realized, like Pederson, Abreu, and Haniger, depending on their prices. Trea Turner would be a great addition, but I assume he wants to play SS and the Dodgers will spend big to try to keep him. Nimmo is a good, consistent player but he will probably cost more than Bloom will want to pay. Josh Bell being a switch hitter is interesting. I've become less interested in Correa and Contreras because of their defensive questions, and Zunino because of his injury questions.

For all of them though, it comes down to the price.

We will have a lot of holes to fill and getting more production at a value price will be important for spending money on pitching. Especially if we keep Xander and Devers. If either of them leave, then we will have even more money to spend and even more holes to fill, but value priced bats will be helpful either way.
Nice job making these fun to read.

Yes (at their projected price)
Judge (won't happen)
Haniger (decent pillow contract DH/OF option)
Bogaerts (I could talk myself into it until about $190-200. don't think any team sees his splits and hitting charts and values his bat more than we do)
Correa (unlikely but I'd be happy, excellent player, probably a better long-term investment than X but a risky kind of move)
Abreu (don't see him leaving CWS but the bat is good)
Zunino (as McGuire platoon)
Duvall (seems like a Renfroe type, strangely great defense)
Brantley (unlikely but a good professional fit for OF/DH)

No
Nimmo (not my kind of player, don't think he ages well)
Turner (same)
Pederson (interesting player but not a good fit for our ballpark/OF construction)
Conforto (same)
Gallo (could talk myself into it on defense alone but I don't think we're a good fit)
Benintendi (don't see a reunion happening for several reasons)
Swanson (don't know why you'd outbid the field for him instead of just keeping Bogaerts. think he stays in Atlanta)
Drury (product of Great American Ballpark, can't hit RHP well enough to justify the price)
Rizzo (no)
Vazquez (wouldn't hate it but don't see it)
Carpenter (no)
Santana (good career but he's done)
Mancini (good story, easy to root for. like Vazquez, his career year was a juiced ball year in a (then-) ridiculous hitters park. overrated bat)
Iglesias (why?)

Maybe?
Contreras (very solid catcher but not worth what he'll get, IMO)
McCutchen (decent one-year option as a OF/DH)
Bell (bad 1B, like the bat but don't see them spending on DH like this)
Profar (decent player; not sure how many positions he can play beyond LF anymore)
Myers (not a bad one-year OF/1B/DH option)
Pollock (I've liked the idea before but suddenly he can't hit fastballs?)
Pham (I've liked him but that wasn't a great audition. could be done as a regular and the defense is gone)
Sanchez (always something interesting about the bat but probably not)
Sano (intrigued but don't think this is the place he figures it out)
Aguilar (fun player, not a great fit)
 

streeter88

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Most of the handful of players likely heading from NPB to MLB in 2023 are pitchers, but there's also one mildly interesting bat. The Orix Buffaloes will probably post their star slugger, 29yo LHB OF Masataka Yoshida.

Over 7 seasons Yoshida has a career .327/.421/.539 slash line, and consistently walks more than he K's. He's two years older than Seiya Suzuki, but I think most people were surprised at the 5/85 Suzuki got so I'm not sure what kind of deal Yoshida would be after. Something like 4/48 or 3/42 might get it done? He's primarily a LF which in the context of this thread would probably mean Verdugo in RF.

This tweet says the Red Sox are kicking the tires. I don't know what it's based on but these things usually have some sourcing:
Masataka Yoshida... a powderkeg at 5'8" (173cm) and 188lbs (85kg). @Tokyo Sox how is his defense?
Masataka Yoshida BRef
 

Tokyo Sox

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Masataka Yoshida... a powderkeg at 5'8" (173cm) and 188lbs (85kg). @Tokyo Sox how is his defense?
Masataka Yoshida BRef
I've got no idea to be honest. I don't watch a ton of Pacific League games, so I haven't seen that much of Yoshida over the past few years. He doesn't run much so I don't think speed is really part of his game, but he's also got hardly any errors -- 0 in the OF this year, and only about 10 for his career. Which tells me he's probably also DH'd a lot over that time but I'll have to look for those #'s.

And yes he's small in stature but takes some big hacks (while rarely K'ing). Here he is destroying my hopes and dreams during Game 5 of the Japan Series last week:
View: https://twitter.com/JCoskrey/status/1585623334762340352?s=20&t=XA39cFXFlGMeLSN4jnNVhw
 

streeter88

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@The Gray Eagle that was a great post - informative, user friendly and hilarious on the nicknames. @Sin Duda and others have already applauded - but I would agree one of the best posts this year.

And I agree that Judge will not sign here - it's NYY 80% or a west coast team (SF maybe) at 20% with Other chances at slim or none in my opinion... all other bidders are just there to drive up the price for NYY which I wholeheartedly support.

Loved the Captain Nimmo reference, and wondered if Bloom should give Satan a call re: Carpenter. Or maybe Abreu. And I am intrigued by the Orix LF Yoshida mentioned above.

Excited for new nicknames though!
 

OCD SS

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Not sure if serious...
Serious, but not enthusiastic... I guess you could add Hosmer to the list, which isn't adding much of anything...

With the list of hitting/ positional needs on the team lined up against the FA options it seems pretty straight forward: They need a SS and an OFer (preferably one who can play almost CF with an arm so they can stick him in right, and keep Verdugo in LF) and the best option is not one we realistically think they'll sign. The RF options suck, so that might be a place for a trade or some other out of the box thinking, but after they address these issues that are more pressing, I don't see the team spending the money to lock in a full time DH when we have a couple guys who are dirt cheap and might develop or get lucky enough to provide offense for the minimum. Really it should just be Franchy, but based on last year's performance you can just as easily hope on 2 or 3 guys who might be on the roster when camp opens up...
 

Alex Cole's Rec Specs

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An outstanding post by the Gray Eagle!

I would add two names to the outfield list (LF only, of course): David Peralta and Corey Dickerson. Depending on what the team does at DH, either guy could be a useful platoon LF or DH without a lot of financial commitment. I could see Peralta or Dickerson pairing well with a Wil Myers/Trey Mancini/Andrew McCutchen signing, for example.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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The Twins are loaded with OFs. I don’t think it would be hard to pry Kepler away. Whether that’s really acquiring a “hitter” is open to debate. For a corner OF, his .666 OPS was fiendishly low.
 

Yo La Tengo

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I already made my pitch to trade for one of the Brewers starters (Woodruff or Burnes) and take on Yelich's contract. Absorbing bad deals is one of the big financial advantages the Sox have available and, based on the somewhat lackluster free agent list, I'd like to see them use it.

So, what other good player+ a bad contract options are out there?

I'm sure the Nationals would love to move Patrick Corbin but I don't see any players on that roster that would justify taking on that awful contract.

MJ Melendez and Hunter Dozier from the Royals (they might want Hosmer back?)
German Marquez and Charlie Blackmon/Randal Grichuk from the Rockies
I'm sure Dipoto in Seattle would make a move.

EDIT: and if the Phillies are in fact linked to Yoshida, I'm definitely on board with a Kyle from Waltham reunion. (It might just be that Yoshida would like to go to Philly.)
 
Last edited:

Jason Bae

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I was surprised to see Contreras has only played 236 innings in the outfield (and 180.2 of those were in 2016), it feels like he's played more outfield than that. I wonder if he'd still be able to make sproadic appearances when he isn't behind the plate or DHing.
 

Bowhemian

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Carlos Correa: RHB, will still be 28 most of next year. .834 OPS, 140 OPS+ this year in his make-good contract year with the Twins. Already opted out of 2 more years at $35m to go to free agency. Everybody knows about him. He is really good but I don’t like him. He’s going to get a ton of money, and I’d rather keep Xander than pay this guy, but who knows what will happen. MLB Trade Rumors says “His previously Platinum Glove-winning defense fell to merely above-average, per DRS and UZR. (Notably, OAA pegged his glovework as actually slightly below average.) Twins brass has spent much of the year lauding Correa’s glovework, leadership and clubhouse presence. There’s surely some genuine interest in keeping him, but doing so would require eclipsing Joe Mauer’s $184MM guarantee for the largest contract in franchise history—likely by a rather large margin.” I hope the Twins keep him. YMMV. B-R nicknames: The Captain, Showrrea, and I Am Groot.
Great post and breakdown. Love to see it.

If Correa hit a lot of home runs, we could call him Gone-arrea
 

nvalvo

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Most of the handful of players likely heading from NPB to MLB in 2023 are pitchers, but there's also one mildly interesting bat. The Orix Buffaloes will probably post their star slugger, 29yo LHB OF Masataka Yoshida.

Over 7 seasons Yoshida has a career .327/.421/.539 slash line, and consistently walks more than he K's. He's two years older than Seiya Suzuki, but I think most people were surprised at the 5/85 Suzuki got so I'm not sure what kind of deal Yoshida would be after. Something like 4/48 or 3/42 might get it done? He's primarily a LF which in the context of this thread would probably mean Verdugo in RF.

View: https://twitter.com/baseballcosmo/status/1587229266022125568?s=20&t=XA39cFXFlGMeLSN4jnNVhw


This tweet says the Red Sox are kicking the tires. I don't know what it's based on but these things usually have some sourcing:
View: https://twitter.com/Dorapeinet/status/1587233936635461632?s=20&t=XA39cFXFlGMeLSN4jnNVhw
I was just coming here to post that Yoshida might be exactly what we need: a lineup lengthening corner outfielder for reasonable money.
 

ElcaballitoMVP

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"B-R nickname: Phamtastic. 90% chance he gave himself that nickname." Made me laugh out loud. Well done.
 

chawson

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The Twins are loaded with OFs. I don’t think it would be hard to pry Kepler away. Whether that’s really acquiring a “hitter” is open to debate. For a corner OF, his .666 OPS was fiendishly low.
I Kepler's chances of a rebound as I wrote about here.

The defense is evidently superb and his wOBA was well below his expected marks. This is a pretty solid set of metrics for a .666 OPS.

57116
 

Alex Cole's Rec Specs

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MJ Melendez and Hunter Dozier from the Royals (they might want Hosmer back?)
I had a similar thought. Dozier has a lower AAV for luxury tax purposes ($6.25 million) than he is actually due in 2023 and 2024 ($7.25 million and $9 million, respectively), and is a good fit on the roster. He has regressed since his breakout 2019 season, but as a platoon bat with major league experience at 1B, 3B, LF, and RF, he could be useful.

I don't know how open the (likely rebuilding) Royals are to dealing Melendez, but I have to imagine they would listen on Scott Barlow if the Sox took on Dozier's contract. Barlow has two years of control left and could immediately step into the closer's role.

And if Hosmer was open to it, Kansas City would not be a bad fit for him.
 

chawson

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I had a similar thought. Dozier has a lower AAV for luxury tax purposes ($6.25 million) than he is actually due in 2023 and 2024 ($7.25 million and $9 million, respectively), and is a good fit on the roster. He has regressed since his breakout 2019 season, but as a platoon bat with major league experience at 1B, 3B, LF, and RF, he could be useful.

I don't know how open the (likely rebuilding) Royals are to dealing Melendez, but I have to imagine they would listen on Scott Barlow if the Sox took on Dozier's contract. Barlow has two years of control left and could immediately step into the closer's role.

And if Hosmer was open to it, Kansas City would not be a bad fit for him.
The Royals have a young stud at first base in the form of Vinnie Pasquantino, and potentially another in Nick Pratto. They make strange decisions but it doesn't seem likely that they'd want Hosmer back at the moment.

Would Houston want Hosmer? Yuli is a free agent and could be close to wrapping up. Trying to think of mid-market contenders. Seems like a decent fit in San Francisco too if they'd want to move on from Belt.
 

nvalvo

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I don’t think contenders are the right set of teams to be thinking about if we’re looking at dealing Hosmer.
 

Yaz4Ever

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The Royals have a young stud at first base in the form of Vinnie Pasquantino, and potentially another in Nick Pratto. They make strange decisions but it doesn't seem likely that they'd want Hosmer back at the moment.

Would Houston want Hosmer? Yuli is a free agent and could be close to wrapping up. Trying to think of mid-market contenders. Seems like a decent fit in San Francisco too if they'd want to move on from Belt.
They "may" consider it if they look at Hosmer and Pasquantino as candidates to split duties at 1B and DH. Keeps Vinnie in their lineup, while spelling him once in awhile.

Hosmer is a fan favorite and will cost them nothing.
 

Daniel_Son

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I already made my pitch to trade for one of the Brewers starters (Woodruff or Burnes) and take on Yelich's contract. Absorbing bad deals is one of the big financial advantages the Sox have available and, based on the somewhat lackluster free agent list, I'd like to see them use it.

So, what other good player+ a bad contract options are out there?

I'm sure the Nationals would love to move Patrick Corbin but I don't see any players on that roster that would justify taking on that awful contract.

MJ Melendez and Hunter Dozier from the Royals (they might want Hosmer back?)
German Marquez and Charlie Blackmon/Randal Grichuk from the Rockies
I'm sure Dipoto in Seattle would make a move.

EDIT: and if the Phillies are in fact linked to Yoshida, I'm definitely on board with a Kyle from Waltham reunion. (It might just be that Yoshida would like to go to Philly.)
Maybe Gore?
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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What’s the appeal of taking on more bad players in order to get good ones? Why not just acquire good players and let others deal with bad ones? There’s no extra credit for the degree of complexity in a move although it sometimes seems like the organization acts as if there is.
 

Yaz4Ever

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What’s the appeal of taking on more bad players in order to get good ones? Why not just acquire good players and let others deal with bad ones? There’s no extra credit for the degree of complexity in a move although it sometimes seems like the organization acts as if there is.
Some teams don't have the revenue we do and would feel the need to shed a bad contract even if it means giving up a prospect or lottery ticket. We have the cash to take on those salaries if it benefits us in terms of further building for the future. I'd happily take 2-3 years of an overpaid player if we get 5-6 years of a decent prospect for a position of need in return.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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What’s the appeal of taking on more bad players in order to get good ones? Why not just acquire good players and let others deal with bad ones? There’s no extra credit for the degree of complexity in a move although it sometimes seems like the organization acts as if there is.
The real goal is to take on a bad contract on a player who isn’t actually a bad player, and to do that to acquire talent without giving up as many prospect resources. Right?
 

Max Power

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What’s the appeal of taking on more bad players in order to get good ones? Why not just acquire good players and let others deal with bad ones? There’s no extra credit for the degree of complexity in a move although it sometimes seems like the organization acts as if there is.
Mainly because the ones who are available for just money are an uninspiring lot outside of the shortstops. A trade may be the only way to get a really good hitter who can play the outfield.
 
Jul 21, 2005
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I know the idea is mostly fantasy, but I think they should make an aggressive play for Judge. The gap between Judge and any other available hitter is absurd. Between the value he brings in general and the Sox need for a right-handed, power hitting right fielder, I'd offer something like 8/320. It's probably not enough to top NY, but you'll never know until you make the call.
 

Yo La Tengo

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What’s the appeal of taking on more bad players in order to get good ones? Why not just acquire good players and let others deal with bad ones? There’s no extra credit for the degree of complexity in a move although it sometimes seems like the organization acts as if there is.

This year's group of free agents are not a very good fit for Boston's needs (high risk pitchers and wildly expensive shortstops plus Judge).

As a comparison, the Sox could sign Rodon and Nimmo for something like 6 years/$125 million and 5 years/$115 million. Both players have significant injury risks (Rodon has thrown more than 140 innings once in the last 8 years and Nimmo has played more than 90 games in just 2 of the last 7 seasons). The Sox would lose their second-highest and third-highest selection in the 2023 year's Draft, as well as $500,000 + $500,000 from their international bonus pool for the upcoming signing period.

I'd much rather the Sox investigate a trade for Woodruff/Burnes and Yelich, with a contract extension for the pitcher that includes a reduction for buying out their last two years of arbitration. They would get a good player who is overpaid (Yelich) who might improve playing in Fenway (and sitting against some lefties). In addition, they'd have to give up some prospects/players, which might be attractive if there is a squeeze on the 40 man roster. The dollars spent would be roughly equal but the Sox would keep their draft picks, bonus pool money, and, in my opinion, would likely receive better production over the course of the contracts.
 

Daniel_Son

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This year's group of free agents are not a very good fit for Boston's needs (high risk pitchers and wildly expensive shortstops plus Judge).

As a comparison, the Sox could sign Rodon and Nimmo for something like 6 years/$125 million and 5 years/$115 million. Both players have significant injury risks (Rodon has thrown more than 140 innings once in the last 8 years and Nimmo has played more than 90 games in just 2 of the last 7 seasons). The Sox would lose their second-highest and third-highest selection in the 2023 year's Draft, as well as $500,000 + $500,000 from their international bonus pool for the upcoming signing period.

I'd much rather the Sox investigate a trade for Woodruff/Burnes and Yelich, with a contract extension for the pitcher that includes a reduction for buying out their last two years of arbitration. They would get a good player who is overpaid (Yelich) who might improve playing in Fenway (and sitting against some lefties). In addition, they'd have to give up some prospects/players, which might be attractive if there is a squeeze on the 40 man roster. The dollars spent would be roughly equal but the Sox would keep their draft picks, bonus pool money, and, in my opinion, would likely receive better production over the course of the contracts.
I tried to run it through BTV but surprisingly, Yelich is listed at -126.4 trade value, which means that Yelich plus both Burnes (78.3) and Woodruff (37.8) is still a negative trade value. That doesn't seem right - Yelich has underplayed his contract but he's not that bad. Does anyone have a more accurate idea on what a realistic trade for either would look like? Would a headliner of Whitlock/Houck + Casas get it done?
 
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Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I tried to run it through BTV but surprisingly, Yelich is listed at -126.4 trade value, which means that Yelich plus both Burnes (78.3) and Woodruff (37.8) is still a negative trade value. That doesn't seem right - Yelich has underplayed his contract but he's not that bad. Does anyone have a more accurate idea on what a realistic trade for either would look like? Would a headliner of Whitlock/Houck + Casas get it done?
Ouch!! What????
 

The Gray Eagle

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Thanks for the replies and comments!
I'm hoping this thread can be where we talk about free agent hitters, not trades. Trades are different and whenever anyone suggests a trade idea, it leads to lots of back and forth that gets further and further from the original concept of this thread. I think we should have a separate trade thread and try to keep that discussion there.
 

nvalvo

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I’ve been interested in the possibility of Willson Contreras as a C/DH/1B2 if the price is reasonable.

Basically I love him as a high OBP guy with 20 HR pop whose role would be to be standing on first base for as many of Triston Casas’ HRs as possible. You’d have him split time at C with McGuire, but play pretty much everyday.

Contreras is playable defensively, but definitely bat first. He’s a high character, beloved clubhouse leader-type with great vibes. Wong has options remaining and would be a great depth option.

There has been a lot of talk about how Boston needs more HR power, but I think they mostly just need to get close to full seasons from Casas, Story and Hernández, and for Devers and Bogaerts (if he’s back) to not have power-sapping injuries that attenuated their power. I’d be aiming to add good offensive players more than power hitters specifically. In other words, one way to add more HR is to raise the team OBP and get everybody more PA.
 

Yo La Tengo

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Thanks for the replies and comments!
I'm hoping this thread can be where we talk about free agent hitters, not trades. Trades are different and whenever anyone suggests a trade idea, it leads to lots of back and forth that gets further and further from the original concept of this thread. I think we should have a separate trade thread and try to keep that discussion there.

Sorry about that. I think Hanigar (for RF) or Pederson (as primarily a DH) could be good targets. It is hard to know what to expect for Drury, but he could be interesting if the market dries up. Most everyone else on that list will be wildly overpaid for expected performance, aren't a good fit for the roster, or just aren't that good.
 
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Trlicek's Whip

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I had a similar thought. Dozier has a lower AAV for luxury tax purposes ($6.25 million) than he is actually due in 2023 and 2024 ($7.25 million and $9 million, respectively), and is a good fit on the roster. He has regressed since his breakout 2019 season, but as a platoon bat with major league experience at 1B, 3B, LF, and RF, he could be useful.
Useful as in "fungible." As someone who watched 75% of KCR's games in the past year I'd hope they trade Dozier. He doesn't do any one thing superlatively and his metrics don't indicate his 2019 offense is coming back even by half. They have better options defensively and with more offensive upside at every position he can play. Purely JAG. If he's still in KC in 2023 I suspect he's a bench bat but they already have pinch hitting lefty ninja Ryan O'Hearn for that.

MJ Melendez is legit power and led the team in walks even though he missed the first six weeks of the season. But he's not great defensively behind the plate; they taught him LF and RF on the fly last year to keep his bat in the lineup once Perez came back from two different injury stints. He'd be shielded playing half his games in Fenway's LF; not as adventurous as Manny Ramirez out there (faint praise, low bar). Melendez would be pretty expensive. And KC would likely be compelled to want to keep him for the start of the Quataro era to see how he trends with the rest of the rookies that got oodles of AB's in 2022.
 

allmanbro

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Another shot in the dark "take on salary" trade might involve Arizona. The trade simulator has MadBum + Alek Thomas at near 0 total value. They had almost too many promising-but-not-great young OFs last year and Marte will be coming back, so they would be dealing from a position of surplus. If they think they can do better things with MadBum's money, it might make sense. For the Sox, Madbum is not good and I don't like him, but a two year commitment is not terrible, and he eats innings. Having him and Pivetta as innings eaters would hedge against the total rotation collapse of 2022. Thomas would be a great addition, is a good all around player, can play center, and has some real upside.

There might also be smaller deals to be made for a cost controlled OF from ARI. I assume Carroll, Varsho, and Marte are untouchable or near it, but Stone Garrett, Jake McCarthy, or even Jordan Luplow might make good depth/role players.
 

kazuneko

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Definitely a Chaim move, acquiring another lottery ticket. See the Renfroe/JBJ deal that everyone loves to shit on after one year.
I think the Renfroe/JBJ deal was meant to be that type of deal, but what it ended up becoming is a reminder that Chaim isn't really as smart as he thinks he is..
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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If we are just talking about FA here, Turner and Abreu seem the most interesting to me. Turner could play SS, or CF, or maybe RF and bat leadoff….Abreu would bring needed power and play DH, mostly. Granted, Turner probably costs at least as much as Bogaerts and I’m sure the preference is to keep Xander, but Turner’s positional versatility and speed is pretty appealing.
 

Dewey'sCannon

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Jul 18, 2005
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There's a lot of meh on that FA list (in many cases, the nicknames are better than the player). Not much that represents a marked improvement.

As others have stated, the most noteworthy are Judge and the Shortstops (which sounds like a bad Yankee fan band name). I agree there's virtually no chance we get Judge, and I still think keeping Xander is the best option for SS. But we NEED an OF. My dream is that we can convince Trea Turner to play CF (or RF), which would vastly improve our lineup. And then mix-and-match at DH, unless maybe we can get JD to come back on a cheap short-term deal (not likely, but worth asking). Maybe Turner will consider the OF if other teams are looking at him for 2B instead of SS. If not, then I'd certainly look into Yoshida (who I know of only from the posts above), although I'd probably prefer a RH bat. And if that doesn't work, I'd start looking at trade options for the OF before I'd really pursue any of the other FAs.
 

chawson

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Trea Turner is a speed-first guy who led baseball in infield hits the last two years. He is currently an average shortstop by DRS/OAA and has a below-average arm, which suggests he’s not a great fit for CF/RF.

Speed ages poorly. The last time we signed a speed-first guy to a nine-figure contract into his thirties was a disaster. If you’re going to spend that much on an infielder and not sign Bogaerts, Correa is an infinitely better choice.

Joc Pederson's spray chart makes me wonder if he might thrive at Fenway.

https://www.fangraphs.com/players/joc-pederson/11899/spray-charts?position=OF&type=battedball

Unfortunately the numbers suggest he's not much defensively.
Gotta say, I kind of get the opposite conclusion from Pederson's spray charts. It seems like a lot of his homers are to dead center or straightaway right, and those would turn into fly outs.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Turner’s career SLG is 30 points higher than Bogaerts and 8 points higher than Correa. The depiction of him as a “speed goof” is a bit unfair, IMO, although I’m sure he will get a huge deal that will end up regrettable anyways .
 

allmanbro

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It will be really interesting to see how teams value Yoshida, given that he walks more than he strikes out. If the leaguewide rule/ball changes aimed at reducing three-true-outcomes ball actually do their job, players with that profile could become the next undervalued asset. We might have seen a glimpse of that with Kwan in CLE. Maybe it's too early, but Yoshida's market might be partly a sign where teams think things are.
 

ElcaballitoMVP

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Turner’s career SLG is 30 points higher than Bogaerts and 8 points higher than Correa. The depiction of him as a “speed goof” is a bit unfair, IMO, although I’m sure he will get a huge deal that will end up regrettable anyways .
I just don't see LAD letting anyone outbid them for Turner, so I'm not even considering him a realistic option. And while he can play OF, he might not have much interest in doing so.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I just don't see LAD letting anyone outbid them for Turner, so I'm not even considering him a realistic option. And while he can play OF, he might not have much interest in doing so.
Yeah, thinking Turner will change positions seems like folly to me. He's moved off SS twice in his career. Once in his rookie year when the Nats wanted his bat in the lineup any way they could get it (and that was mostly in CF despite SS being manned by the immortal Danny Espinoza and his 79 OPS+). The other time was after he was traded to the Dodgers when they still had Seager at SS. Basically, he's only played other positions out of necessity and a bit of desperation. I can't see Turner choosing to sign with anyone that plans to play him anywhere but short. And that's before considering that the Dodgers aren't likely to be outbid for him.