We are roughly three weeks into the offseason and the Red Sox have been relatively quiet. Not that anyone doesn’t know this already, but the Red Sox are losing a huge power bat in their lineup in David Ortiz. Dave Dombrowski has said that finding a replacement for Ortiz and finding late inning relief help would be his top priorities this offseason.
Lets start with players I could see holding down the DH spot next year: Carlos Beltran, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, Mark Trumbo, and Miguel Cabrera.
Dombrowski has said he would be more interested in signing a short term DH like Beltran, more than going for a DH that will want some length to his contract like Encarnacion, Trumbo, or Bautista. My argument for Miguel Cabrera is simply because you never know what Dealin’ Davey will do. He has traded for Cabrera before so he could do it again, however he would be very expensive. Edwin Encarnacion would come the closest to replacing David Ortiz when talking from a numbers standpoint. Encarnacion hit .263, with 42 homeruns and 127 RBIs, while Ortiz hit .315, with 38 homeruns and 127 RBIs. Edwin would most like want a 4 or 5 year deal, and I’m not sure the Red Sox are willing to commit to a DH long term. The Sox could also do DH by committee with Pablo Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez, and Travis Shaw. Too me, this creates too many questions though. Travis Shaw had a decent first half last year, but fell off significantly in the second half. As for Pablo Sandoval, it is hard to play baseball when you’re EXTREMELY OVERWEIGHT and not to mention, HAS DONE NOTHING in a Red Sox uniform. NOT A THING.
My prediction: Red Sox sign Carlos Beltran to a 1 year deal , worth $17 million.
As for late inning relievers: Greg Holland, Wade Davis, Hector Neris, Carter Capps, Koji Uehara
The Red Sox have been linked to Greg Holland ever since the offseason has started. He is coming off Tommy John surgery, and in his showcase he was barely hitting the low 90’s. This should raise red flags everywhere, but Holland is getting offer after offer which really isn’t surprising. He was of the most effective closers in 2013 posting a 1.21 ERA and in 2014 posting a 1.44 ERA. With a good strong offseason, and a good spring training, he should be back throwing 97+ with a devastating slider and splitter. With Wade Davis, he would be costly, but he is one of the most dominant bullpen arms in the game. Then there’s 2013 World Series hero Koji Uehara, who will be turning 42 this year. Even with his age, the way Koji throws the ball, he is still very effective. A combination of fastball, splitter still leaves hitters swinging and missing at a pretty high rate.
My prediction: Red Sox sign Greg Holland to a 2 yr deal, worth $20 Million.
3 weeks in, it will be interesting to see what Dombrowski does the rest of the offseason in terms of replacing Ortiz and finding his dominant 8th inning man. There is no doubt in my mind Dealin’ Davey will think outside the box and shock the baseball world with a game changing acquisition.