Boston Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy claimed this week the team has been aggressive this offseason and made some recent offers to players. The question is, which free agents did some of those offers go to?
With the 2022 MLB World Series in the rearview and the winter meetings on the horizon, the focus of the baseball world is on MLB free agency. Organizations around the league are making major decisions on what their winter strategy will be regarding players they want to keep, stars they may want to add, and what areas they can improve ahead of 2023.
One team that observers of the sport wonder about are the Boston Red Sox. The team finished with a disappointing 78-84 record last season and has a major free agent of their own up for grabs in homegrown All-Star Xander Bogaerts.
While the team hasn’t spent big in recent seasons, there is a belief that could change in the next few weeks after last season’s results. On Wednesday, Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy said the team has actually been “aggressive” this offseason and “that we’ve made offers to several players, including our own players. And we’re cautiously optimistic that things are going to start moving here. (via NESN.com)”
Possible Boston Red Sox targets in MLB free agency
That has to be good news for Boston Red Sox fans. They clearly have needs, have to make some changes, and fill some spots heading into next season. Third baseman Rafael Devers could likely be one of their “own” that was offered a new deal. But since he is not a free agent until next year, let’s just speculate on MLB free agents this winter.
Re-signing Xander Bogaerts to a new long-term deal is a no-brainer for the Red Sox. He is one of the few homegrown stars they have had over the last decade, and they can’t have another Mookie Betts situation where one of their own goes off to win a World Series elsewhere.
Furthermore, if he left it leaves a massive hole in his position, and it’s better to make a massive deal with the shortstop devil you know than big money-free agents Carlos Correa and Trea Turner that you don’t.
While the Boston Red Sox hope top prospect Tristan Casas can become the answer at first base or designated hitter long-term, that is no guarantee. A good option to fill one of those needs, while also improving the roster now, could be signing veteran Cuban slugger Jose Abreu. After a bit of a down season power-wise, he may come at a bit more of an affordable rate than a few years ago.
Japanese ace Kodai Senga is arguably the best international player on the MLB free agent market. While he isn’t a proven commodity like Jacob deGrom or Carlos Rodon, he is a talent gaining serious interest from teams around MLB.
The 30-year-old will be far less expensive than deGrom, Rodon, and even Justin Verlander, and there is a belief around the league that he can be a top-three pitcher in any rotation at the big league level.
New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo is garnering a lot of attention so far in the free-agent market. The 29-year-old is not quite an All-Star-level talent, but he is pretty close. He had a career year in 2022 and has always been an on-base machine. What was notable about last season was that he took his defensive play to a much higher level, and showed more pop in his bat. Nimmo isn’t a star but he’s an impact player.
Speaking of the Mets, along with deGrom, Chris Bassitt is another one of their starting pitchers up for grabs. Since he was on a starting staff with superstar Max Scherzer and deGrom, the eight-year veteran’s productive season was overshadowed.
Bassitt posted a 15-9 record, a 3.42 ERA, and struck out 167 batters in 181 innings. Like Senga, he is a very competent arm that the Boston Red Sox could land for a fair rate this winter.