Red Sox Looking At Carlos Beltran

A week after the Chicago Cubs finally ended their 108-year World Series drought, the other 29 teams are back to work. For the Red Sox, it is time to fill some holes in their lineup. With the departure of David Ortiz, the designated hitter position is finally back on their radar. While Edwin Encarnacion has been the hot name, Carlos Beltran is the newest player rumored to come to Boston.

This is not the first time the Red Sox have shown interest in Beltran. They were in theBeltran discussions for the 39-year old as recently as this year’s trade deadline. As a Yankee however, the asking price to trade within the division was too high. After an up-and-down second half with Texas, Beltran is again tied to Red Sox rumors. With Ortiz leaving a huge hole in the lineup, Beltran may be a cheap, short-term answer.

Even as a 39-year old, Beltran made his ninth All-Star game. Along the way, he hit .295 with 29 homers and 93 RBI with an .850 OPS. In the three seasons from 2013-2015, Beltran also hit .352 at Fenway Park. For his career, he has hit .281 with 421 home runs and 1,532 RBI. Although quietly, Beltran’s bat is certainly paving him a path towards Cooperstown based purely on his numbers.

Over his 19 major league seasons, Beltran has solidified himself as one of the all-time great switch hitters. Last year’s splits were consistently good from both sides of the plate. He hit a serviceable .279 against righties and a terrific .338 against lefties in 2016. Even with a lower average, most of his power comes batting left-handed with 20 of his 29 homers last year coming against righties. Beltran can also still play some outfield, where he had 242 at-bats last year.

His age, however, is still an issue. He will turn 40 in April, so a one-year deal with a second year option seems the most likely route. If the Red Sox have to overpay for a “rental” player like Beltran, that would take Encarnacion off the table. With the Yankees courting Encarnacion too, it could be 5-6 more years of playing against him in the division. A one-year deal could be the best thing for Beltran and the Red Sox. In the last full month with both of his teams last year, Beltran raked. In June with the Yankees, he hit .366, slugged .659 with a 1.081 OPS with seven home runs and 22 RBI. In the September stretch drive with the Rangers, he hit .304 with four homers and 18 RBI.

What I’m trying to say is, it seems there’s still something left in Carlos Beltran. If the Red Sox don’t want to offer five or six years for Edwin Encarnacion, this could be a short-term solution. A one-year deal where he DH’s and plays a little left field if need be could be a good fit for both sides. Whatever ounce this future Hall-of-Famer has left can really help the Red Sox next year.

Red Sox Sign David Price to Historic Deal

According to multiple reports, the Boston Red Sox have finally captured their ace, with David Price signing a 7-year, $217 million contract to become the most expensive pitcher in baseball history.

Red Sox sign David Price

The Boston Globe broke the news on Tuesday night, heralding a fresh era for New England sports. After years of reticence to pay huge salaries to ageing pitchers, ownership has altered its philosophy, allowing Dave Dombrowski to consummate an historic deal. No Red Sox player has ever earned more than Price will, as his pact eclipses the 8-year, $160 million deal with Manny Ramirez in 2000.

This record-breaking deal includes an opt-out clause after three seasons, which could be beneficial for both sides, while the Red Sox smash through the luxury tax threshold with authority. Incidentally, Boston will now pay $140 million more to Price than what they offered Jon Lester in the run up to his free agency. Undoubtedly, that speaks to Dave Dombrowski’s roster-building aggression and his fresh power on Yawkey Way. This is now his team, and it will be managed in his win-now vision henceforth.

In Price, the Red Sox get the defining free agent of this stacked class. Through seven full seasons, the 30-year old has averaged 16 wins, 227 innings pitched and 216 strikeouts, to compliment a 3.09 ERA and 1.132 WHIP. In every way, he is the ace personified, a horse you can rely on for dominance and leadership. He’s another pivotal building block in Dombrowski’s revolution, joining Craig Kimbrel and the homegrown core of Dustin Pedroia, Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts and Blake Swihart.

Accordingly, genuine hope has been rekindled in Red Sox Nation, which can once again smell World Series contention after an inconsistent era. Work is still to be done, and nothing is ever certain in baseball, but with a warrior like David Price spearheading a revamped rotation, Boston’s most obvious weakness can almost be considered a strength, which is a testament to Dombrowski and his swift work.

Johnny Cueto Could be in Play in Free Agency

It’s no secret that the Red Sox need to improve their pitching in the off-season. There will be a few notable targets available in the, including Johnny Cueto. Cueto was traded from the Cincinnati Reds to the Kansas City Royals at the MLB trade deadline in a short-term rental to help Kansas City try to get over the top in their quest to win a championship.

However, Johnny Cueto will be a free agent after the season finishes and he has left the Johnny Cuetodoor open for a move to Boston. Per WEEI, Johnny Cueto told Rob Bradford during Kansas City’s visit to Fenway Park that he would like to come here since Boston has a “championship-caliber team.” According to WEEI, Cueto, who is also friends with Hanley Ramirez, said that he would consider it and that anything was possible.

Red Sox fans, is it safe to start fantasizing about Johnny Cueto in a Red Sox uniform again? His name came up a couple of times during the trade deadline, and Cueto told Rob Bradford that he thought it might happen at one point. Then he was traded to Kansas City, which was a good move for them since they’re trying to win this year, but I don’t think they’ll try to re-sign him in the off-season.  It would take a lot of cash to get him back, so that could mean he comes into play for a team like Boston with the resources to sign him.

And make no mistake—it will take a big contract to get Johnny Cueto to come here. I’m sure the team will try to get Hanley Ramirez to help convince him to make the move to Boston. That is, if Dave Dombrowski doesn’t off load Hanley first, since Hanley is essentially a DH, and the Red Sox have that position covered, at least for the time being, with David Ortiz.

The Red Sox should definitely give Johnny Cueto a long, hard look in free agency. He’ll be one of the top pitchers available, along with David Price, and it sounds like he’d be open to hearing what the team has to say. So, if anyone from the Red Sox front office happens to read this, please at least talk to the guy. Pretty please with a cherry on top?

Offseason Review: Did the Red Sox Do Enough?

red sox offseason

In signing two of the top free agent position players and revamping a depleted starting rotation, the Red Sox undoubtedly made progress this offseason. Yet, deep down, questions still remain as to whether they improved enough, and whether management could’ve done even more to upgrade a messy roster and steer Boston back to the postseason.

In analyzing the winter work of Ben Cherington, it’s important to remember the thorough incompetence of the baseline roster he sought to improve. As you are probably all too aware, the 2014 Red Sox were awful, ranking 18th in runs, 24th in slugging, 23rd in ERA and 22nd in WHIP. At 71-91, they finished dead last in the AL East, 25 games behind the runaway Orioles. Only three teams American League teams compiled a worse record.

Offseason Review

Accordingly, in seeking a swift rebuild, Cherington was at an immediate disadvantage, with the Red Sox basically trying to win a race after giving a head start to all their closest opponents. They would have to work incredibly hard just to get back in the conversation.

Thus, no time was wasted, as Boston committed a combined $192.5 million to Pablo Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez and Justin Masterson, before acquiring Rick Porcello and Wade Miley via trade, dealing from surplus to add quality.

The success of this approach, and, by extension, the degree to which the Sox will improve in 2015, rests largely on the ability of those five new arrivals to significantly outperform their predecessors. The probability of that happening is relatively high, with the collective 2014 WAR of the incoming players sitting at 11.5, compared to the awful 3 WAR accumulated by the forebears in the same position, namely Yoenis Cespedes, Will Middlebrooks, Brock Holt, Anthony Ranaudo, Rubby de La Rosa and Allen Webster.

Theoretically, the net increase of 8.5 WAR should help the Sox back above the .500 threshold, but, at this point, it’s difficult to foresee a quantum leap back into the 90-win range required to secure a wildcard, let alone the 95-win plateau typically needed to clinch the AL East.

Of course, we’ve seen this team march from worse starting points to loftier destinations, most recently in 2013, but, this time round, there seems to be far more uncertainty and far less magic surrounding the team. As Opening Day approaches, there are still so many landscape-altering factors to be determined, all with potentially major affects on the baseline win-loss record. Will the new superstars meet their expectations? At what point do the Sox abandon their no-ace strategy and pursue elite, frontline starting pitching? What impact will the new hitting coach have? Is the clubhouse culture compatible with another worst-to-first turnaround?

At this point, we just don’t know. This Sox team is harder to define and quantify than most in recent memory. In all likelihood, it’ll be better than the 2014 incarnation, but to what extent? Ultimately, that will only be discovered once this perplexing blend of players jogs onto the diamond in competitive action. Nobody knows what to expect, which, after all, is why 162 actual games are required to capture a definitive answer.