The Red Sox’s biggest splash of the off-season thus far has been signing Mitch Moreland to a 2 year, $13 million-dollar deal. The former Gold Glover hit .246 with an OPS of .769. “Mitchy 2 Bags” became a fan favorite and seems like a great guy to have in the club house. Fans are up in arms because of Dave Dombrowski’s “failure” to add a bat like Giancarlo Stanton or Eric Hosmer in this offseason. However, there is more than meets the eye with the extension of Mitch Moreland.
Eric Hosmer is a name the Red Sox keep hearing this offseason. Many fans would love to see him added to the roster this season. Unfortunately, Hosmer is a Scott Boras client and will likely demand over $100 million-dollars, and could possibly receive $200 million. Do I believe Hosmer deserves that much money? Yes and no. I believe he deserves around $100 million, but $200 is far too much. Hosmer was the dictionary definition of consistent this season. He hit .318 with an OPS of .882 while playing in every single game. Hosmer capped it all off with a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger.
Hosmer is a better player than Mitch Moreland. There is no debate, but is he head and shoulders above Moreland? I don’t think so. While Hosmer is able to drive in more RBI’s and hit for a higher average, they both hit over 20 homers and play Gold Glove worthy defense. They are both grinders who play through injuries. They are both very similar players with very different price tags. Dave Dombrowski is saving $14 million dollars a year by signing Moreland instead of Hosmer.
Both Dave Dombrowski and Red Sox fans are familiar with Scott Boras. Boras makes his clients money, most times more than what they deserve. Multiple Red Sox players have Scott Boras as their agent, including Rick Porcello, Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, and Jackie Bradley Jr. Boras got Porcello $20 Million/ 4 years before Porcello even picked his number for the Red Sox. You can bet your bottom dollar that Boras will be getting above top dollar for Bogaerts and Betts. He might have to settle a little bit with Bradley, but that is a story for another time. Boras is already demanding $200 million for free agent target J.D. Martinez, and he will likely do the same for Hosmer.
Boras is no friend to the Red Sox or Dombrowski. Dombrowski inked Prince Fielder to a 9 year, $214 Million deal. Playing less than 90 games in two of the five years he served and being forced to retire makes that contract hard to swallow. Boras brings Boston into bidding wars that only the Yankees can win. He was able to secure big Red Sox contracts, such as Daisuke Matsuzaka (6 year/ $52 Million), J.D. Drew (5 Year/ $70 Million), and Jason Varitek ($ year/ $40 Million). Boras has led clients such as Johnny Damon, Jacoby Ellsbury, Mark Teixeria, and Alex Rodriguez to the Yankees.
All of those names, besides Johnny Damon, did more harm for the Yankees than good. As well as those contracts, Scott Boras has also manufactured overpriced contracts for Jayson Werth, Barry Zito, and Shin-Soo Choo. While it will be impossible to not deal with Scott Boras, having one less player to deal with is not such a bad thing.
This season, Red Sox fans got a glimpse of Sam Travis in the majors. For anyone who frequents McCoy Stadium or Spring Training, like myself, they know how well Sam Travis can hit the ball. Before tearing his ACL last season, Travis looked like he was the clear-cut future of 1st base for Boston. He certainly came back strong, but the future is a little murky. Just look at him mash this ball.
In the brief 83 plate appearances this season, Travis slashed a line of .263, .325, and .342. Travis’ lack of homeruns was the most notable part of his call up. However, in his minor league career, Travis has only hit 29 long balls. Sam Travis could become a 20 homerun a season type of player if he could play everyday. By passing on Hosmer, the Red Sox are going to look to platoon Moreland and Travis at 1st base together. They are grooming Travis to be the future first basemen. Having a class act like Mitch Moreland as teacher is a great position to be in.
Follow Matt McGurn on Twitter: @MickGurn