Every morning I look out my window, see a dark gloomy sky and realize there is no baseball on for the next few months. I watched a rerun of the Red Sox getting spanked in Game 1, against the Astros, in the ALDS. Why? If you clicked on this article, much like myself, you’re missing baseball. Although the offseason is not that good, it’s not that bad since the Hot Stove for trade rumors is constantly on broil. Since this team is not the top World Series team going into the season, there are some pieces that need to be moved to get to that level. Here are some of the Red Sox players I can see packing their bags this offseason:
It’s sad to see Sam Travis on this list for me. Aside from any new acquisitions, he was the most talked about player all spring last year. He hit a hand full of home runs, and became the instant thought of power for the future, well before Devers. It certainly didn’t carry into the regular season. Travis hit .263, in only 76 at-bats. In those at-bats, the one stat that mattered most with Dr.Chill, is 0 HR. I personally believe we are going to have another year of Mitch Moreland being the first baseman due to his season last year. There still is a lot of value with Travis, and I could see him in a deal to get immediate power.
This one may seem strange for people who watched Christian Vazquez in 2017, but this is exactly why I could see him hitting the road. Vazquez hit a clean .290 AVG this year, and although he only hit 5 HR, I think I can remember each one. Two of them were walk-offs, and at home, Vazquez came to ball. At Fenway, the man hit .348 AVG, with an OPS of .905. Do you think Dave Dombrowski really thinks this can happen again? There seems to be a lot of value right now for Vazquez, than this time last year. While the stock for Christian Vazquez is up, I won’t be surprised to see him traded.
For those of you who aren’t aware, Ben Taylor was the guy you saw some time around April, with the sick stache. Although his caterpillar might make it out of November, I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t. One of the top guys on this roster who has a secured job is Craig Kimbrel. If you asked me last year, I’d have said Taylor was safe due to a shaky year for Kimbrel. However, judging by the fact the flamethrower could be the reliever of the year in the AL, I think Taylor’s days are numbered. Taylor is one of the Red Sox top reliever prospects, and could bring a lot of value to a team with a struggling bullpen.
Eduardo had quite the start to the 2017 season. At one point, he was in the All-Star conversations, and the number two to Chris Sale. Injuries have been the killer for E-Rod. After undergoing another surgery, I’m not sure how much longer this club can wait for his potential. E-Rod is only 24, and the signs of injury this early in his career could be alarming for most clubs. There are still teams out there willing to take a chance at what he can bring to a rotation. Even when healthy, finishing with a 4.19 ERA, it was disheartening to end the season. The wear and tear of the MLB season does not seem a good fit for E-Rod in Boston. Yuck.
Thirty-four. No, I am not talking about David Ortiz every one’s favorite home run threat, couldn’t be further from the subject. That is the number of how many games it took the two time Silver Slugger, Xander Bogaerts, to hit a home run this season. Maybe a batting average of .273 isn’t terrible, but for the player Xander should/could be, I really think that number should be higher. He only hit 10 home runs in a season.
Personally, I’m not sure what Xander’s value might be. If Xander does not hit well with a new hitting coach, and a new system of management in 2018, you have to think that’s the last straw. Xander is entering his year 26 season, where most players start to hit their prime. I’m not sure if value is discussed with him on the phone, or in the locker room, but with a tool like Eduardo Nunez on the team now, it’s unclear if that value is in Boston.
*ONLY IF BOSTON GETS STANTON*
LET ME MAKE THIS VERY CLEAR, I don’t think anyone wants this to happen. Benintendi is one of the ROY finalists. Although he will probably not win the award, Benintendi didn’t have a terrible rookie season with the Red Sox. An average of.271, hitting 20 HR, and .776 OPS, is not as well as most thought he’d perform this year. Considering it was his rookie year at the age of 23, I’m not exactly upset with that performance. The bottom line is, Andrew Benintendi has top value out of the entire Red Sox roster. Defensively, he can be a threat, he has speed on the base paths, and is an all-around athlete.
Either Andrew Benintendi is a Sox player for life, or will be sent away for a power hitter from South Beach. It’s the difference between what this team wants in the future, or immediate present. Benintendi has three more years secured on his contract than Hot Stove favorite, Jackie Bradley Jr. If it were me, I’d rather give more around a package with JBJ, than settle for giving away Benintendi. If you’re a fan of Stanton being with the Red Sox, you may have to part ways with Benny Baseball. PRAY with me for JD Martinez.