Red Sox Seek Multiple 2B/SS/CF Options, Rotation Help

The Red Sox have been dealt a brutal blow this week with the information that infielder Trevor Storywho’d been getting ready for a transfer from second base to shortstop within the wake of Xander Bogaerts‘ free-agent departure, required an inside brace process to restore the ulnar collateral ligament in his proper elbow. Story felt discomfort late final month when ramping up his throwing program, and subsequent testing revealed sufficient harm that surgical procedure was required.

Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom met with reporters following the announcement yesterday, ominously declining to place a timeline on the damage whereas noting {that a} return in 2023, whereas not one thing that may be dominated out, is “not one thing, at this stage, that we need to financial institution on” (hyperlink through Julian McWilliams and Alex Speier of the Boston Globe). The prospect of shedding Story for your entire 2023 season solely additional serves to create urgency for the Red Sox to strengthen their up-the-middle core.

Bloom acknowledged that even earlier than Story’s damage, he’d been available in the market for no less than one up-the-middle participant. The versatility afforded by each Story (who can play both center infield place) and Enrique Hernandez (who can play second base and middle subject) left Bloom free to discover a wide range of choices. Now, possible needing a pair of exterior additions, it’d appear possible the Sox can solid a good wider web. Bloom, actually, instructed that the seek for up-the-middle additions “does not even should be restricted to 2” gamers, Speier tweets.

The middle subject market has been skinny all offseason, which no less than on paper would make a pair of infield additions a neater course to chart. The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey factors out that Bloom implied that the choice could also be for right-handed bats, given the glut of lefties already on the roster (eg Rafael Devers, Masataka Yoshida, Alex Verdugo, Triston Casas, Reese McGuire). That mentioned, the free-agent market has already been largely picked over, so Boston will not essentially have the ability to be as selective because the entrance workplace would possibly choose.

There are nonetheless some right-handed-hitting center infield choices out there in free company, with Elvis Andrus, Josh Harrison, Donovan Solano and Jose Iglesias topping the checklist. On the commerce entrance each Miami’s Miguel Rojas and Colorado’s Brendan Rodgers have no less than been talked about on the rumor circuit this offseason, though Rodgers solely in reference to the Marlins’ bevy of MLB-ready younger pitching.

Things are extra sparse in middle subject, the place the choices are typically restricted to veterans who might be out there on minor league offers (eg Kevin Pillaroutdated buddy Jackie Bradley Jr.). Bryan Reynolds, in fact, headlines a skinny commerce marketplace for outfielders. It needs to be additional famous that the Sox aren’t more likely to completely deal with righty bats, any such preferences however. They’ve beforehand been linked to the Marlins infielder Joey Wendleas an example, and given the diminished state of the commerce and free-agent markets, an openness to including no less than one different lefty provides them extra flexibility.

Middle infield and middle subject aren’t the lone areas of focus for the Sox, both, as Bloom voiced a continued need to accumulate “impression” beginning pitching — notably arms who will be managed for a number of years (Twitter hyperlink through Speier). That’s wise, provided that the present rotation — Chris Sale, James Paxton, Nick Pivetta, Corey Kluber and Garrett Whitlock — is teeming with uncertainty, even with a touted arm like Brian Bello ready within the wings.

The slate of middle-infield and controllable pitching wants does make the Marlins a pure slot in commerce talks, though all indications have been that the Sox are reluctant to half with high prospects like Casas, Bello and Marcelo Mayer. That does not shut the door on a commerce completely, in fact, but it surely definitely complicates issues. Other speculative commerce companions with ample infield and/or rotation depth embrace the Brewers, Royals and Guardians.

Whatever path the Red Sox discover, they’re in a troublesome scenario. Needing a pair of up-the-middle place gamers at this stage of the offseason, with a skinny set of choices in each free company and commerce, is difficult sufficient. But the group’s finest commerce chips are younger, near-MLB-ready abilities they’d choose to not transfer, and payroll projections from Roster Resource put them solely about $22MM shy ​​of reaching the posh threshold for a second straight season. Add in an ongoing seek for controllable rotation assist, and it will be difficult, to say the least, for the Sox to examine all of their most well-liked bins (controllable starter, a number of infield/middle subject choices, dangle onto high prospects, keep away from repeat offense of luxurious tax). Even in the event that they’re ready to take action, it will be a troublesome battle for them in a aggressive AL East.

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