Red Sox Must Make A Play for BOTH Eric Hosmer and J.D. Martinez

The Boston Red Sox find themselves in an interesting position this time of year. Fresh off back-to-back American League East division titles, Boston is losing their support from their fans and are in danger of being clobbered by the New York Yankees. Both the Yankees and Red Sox will have first-time managers in Aaron Boone and Alex Cora respectively, and both teams are fresh off playoff defeats by the eventual World Series champion Houston Astros. The difference between the teams is the Yankees added to their star-studded lineup luring the big fish Giancarlo Stanton fresh off a 59 home run season in Miami in a blockbuster trade, and now it leaves the Red Sox searching for an answer.

Maybe Stanton wouldn’t have accepted a deal to Boston, and we could’ve all lived with that, but from the outset the Red Sox never even showed any real interest in acquiring the slugger that would’ve smashed 60-70 homers playing in that ballpark all year. Now they have to answer for their transgressions and make a few moves if they want to capitalize on the championship window they have carved out for themselves.

The first decision for Dave Dombrowski to make is easy, sign Eric Hosmer. He checks all the boxes for what the Red Sox are looking for. Not only is the free agent first baseman a former gold glover at the position, which we all know they love and covet so much, but he’s just 28-years-old and brings a championship pedigree that no one in that clubhouse outside of Dustin Pedroia possesses. Hosmer has hit 25 homers in back-to-back seasons inside pitcher-friendly Kauffman Stadium and with his inside-out swing at Fenway who’s to say the player just entering his prime can’t get those power numbers up to 30-40 homers? The career .284 hitter slashed a career-best .318/.385/.498 a season ago and will find the gaps at Fenway as an exta-base machine.

Perhaps the biggest intangible Hosmer would bring to the Red Sox is his leadership. This is a team that felt the loss of David Ortiz big time in 2017 and adding Hosmer who has won a title with the Royals to lead by example would certainly shift the culture of the Boston Red Sox. Hosmer’s a guy who can tell David Price just to shut up and pitch and keep the team engaged through the long grind of the major league season. The culture change started when the Red Sox fired John Farrell and brought in Cora, and adding Hosmer to the mix would certainly shift the culture in the room for the better. Oh yeah, Hosmer is also dating Kacie McDonnell who works for NESN and pair that along with his friendship with many Red Sox players like Deven Marrero, Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts and all the writing is on the wall for Hosmer to play in Boston next season and beyond.

Eric Hosmer makes perfect sense for the Red Sox to fill their vacant role at first base which allows Hanley Ramirez to slide back into a full-time DH role in the final year of his contract with Boston. The former Royals first baseman will command six-plus years on the market for $20M plus per-year. Best guess? Red Sox can land the Scott Boras client on the open market on a 6-year, $144M deal.

Next up is free agent slugger J.D. Martinez. The man Dave Dombrowski once acquired in a minor-league player swap during his tenure with Detroit is now on the open market fresh off a 45 home run season with over 100 runs batted in. Former Red Sox General Manager Mike Hazen made the move to acquire Martinez from Detroit in July signaling to his team that Arizona was going for it. All J.D. Martinez did with the DBacks was be the catalyst for their lineup during the entire second half clobbering 29 homers in 62 games including an impressive four-homer game. After washing out in the Astros system, Martinez blossomed in Detroit hitting 99 homers in a full-time role starting in 2014, combine that with the second-half in Arizona and Martinez has 128 homers, 305 RBI’s, 124 doubles and 185 walks since the start of 2014. What’s more impressive is Martinez has put up these numbers in limited action missing time in both ’16 and ’17 battling injuries to his elbow and ankle.

Martinez’s right-handed power makes him the most coveted bat on the market, one that the Red Sox so desperately need to compete with the Yankees and contend for a championship. When he’s locked in, he’s just as dangerous as Stanton and at just 30, he has many years ahead of him as a key contributor in the middle of any lineup. Martinez hitting at Fenway with his power may well crush 50-60 homers as a member of the Red Sox. His defense has been called into question at times, but I’m confident in his ability to play a solid left field at Fenway and the Red Sox should be confident as well. Best guess on a Martinez deal? Boras has asked for 7-years and $210M for the free agent slugger, but I believe the actual terms of the deal will be much more equivalent to 6-years worth $165M.

You’ll notice above I have Eric Hosmer at 1B, Hanley at DH and Martinez in LF. That means I have one of the “killer B’s” off the team. Easy decision here is to move Jackie Bradley Jr. to one of the many potential suitors on the market and acquire a solid late-inning reliever. Addison Reed is a free agent and the money some of these middle relivers are getting is crazy, best way to get a solid one is via trade. I’ll admit my faith in Dombrowski trading for a setup man is weary based on his last two both going under the knife almost immediately upon arrival (see Tyler Thronburg and Carson Smith), but Bradley has already been floated on the market and Andrew Benintendi can transition to center field with ease.

It’s not about waiting until next winter to sign Manny Machado or Bryce Harper, it’s about the now. The Red Sox have a championship window carved out by the contract of their ace’s Chris Sale and David Price as well as Rick Porcello in his prime. Go get Hosmer and Martinez and you can still make a play at the big splash again next winter with Hanley coming off the books and Martinez can slide into a full-time DH role. For Dave Dombrowski and John Henry, it’s time to open up your check book and get two guys who can provide real value to your franchise and help win a championship. Otherwise have fun being the fourth team in town and getting slammed by the Yankees nineteen times this season.

Follow Frank Pimentel on Twitter: @FrankBostonTank

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  1. How is Hanley coming off the books with a vesting option triggered by fewer than 500 PA in 2018? He will cost $22 M in 2019


  2. i think they should trade Hanley Ramirez and Benintendi to the Braves for Julio Teheran. Keep Bradley Jr. in center. Martinez in left. Hosmer 1st. Extra pitcher in Teheran. Gain $14 million next year in salaries for Martinez and Hosmer. Braves get their left fielder and 3rd baseman?


    • Good heavens, Jim, No on two counts. Benintendi must stay–that’s as close to a future as the Sox have. Teheran isn’t needed here–he’s just not good. The reality is adding JDM and Hosmer does not make the Sox competitive with the Yankees . There is probably nothing the Sox can do this off-season that makes it a horse race. Meanwhile, the Dodgers and Yankees both have brought their obscenely bloated payrolls under the 2018 lux tax cap by sheer trade magic. What have the Sox done? They blew it in 2017 by going over the tax cap–this hasn’t been reported in the Boston media yet, but it was reported by Bob Nightengale in USA Today on Nov. 13, 2017. Look for official word by year’s end. And they are already over the 2018 tax cap. This team needs to add Nobody and to chop off Hanley, Rusney, Porcello, and, if it were only possible, Price.


    • Thank God Domnrowski isn’t in the business of trading 23 year old, cost controlled, 5 tool players, for a pitcher that had 1 good year in the NL, like you are! What an idiotic trade proposal!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Why would the Braves want Hanley? They wouldn’t.


    • Why would Atlanta want Hanley? They wouldn’t.


  3. The Sox are already 10 mil over the cap, and your going to add 40 to 50 mil to the payroll over the next 6 to 7 years? Even if Hanley Ramirez does fall off the books next year, they are going to have to pony up a massive contract to keep Sale. These two moves are going to kill their cap and hamstring this club for years to come. Also whoever signs Hosmer is going to regret it. He isn’t worth that massive contract he is going to get. he is a career 111 ops+ and plays only first base. First Base is the easiest position to fill. Unless they move huge payroll, they really only have a shot at one and realistically and even one is a long shot.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Forget Hosmer, make a 3 way trade with Marlins for JBJ and another team for the prospects to getYelich and bring up Chevis to play third and move Devers to first


  5. This is a terrible, terrible plan, on multiple levels.
    1) Boston should NOT go this “all-in” on the present. They have the sort of young core that competes for a championship with the right veteran talent around it, and Boston largely has that (a smaller move or two would be good). That young talent then becomes the core veteran talent for the next phase of the team’s roster-building, allowing it to win now AND later. If the team made the moves you advocate, its long-term financials would be shot, causing some of the current young talent to be let go as aging veterans become payroll albatrosses.

    2) Hosmer is the OPPOSITE of a perfect fit for the team. He is going to get paid extra for his “gold glove” defense that doesn’t actually exist, and I suggest you learn that Fenway Park SUPPRESSES home runs, not adds to them. Hosmer’s inside out swing would be awful for Fenway in terms of power, because anything he lines deep to left would turn into singles and doubles, and his pull power would likely get partially swallowed up by Fenway’s deep RF. Hosmer already isn’t a true power hitter (which is what the team needs), and Fenway probably would hurt him in that department. The team is LOADED with quality “hitters”, and doesn’t need another one, much less one who will command a massive price.

    3) Any game plan for Boston that involves dumped Bradley Jr for a piece that can be described as “solid” anything is an awful one. Bradley has major value all-around, and if the market would only yield a solid piece then he isn’t worth trading.

    4) Most importantly, any gameplan that is predicated on the idea that Boston “must do something major to avoided getting crushed by the Yankees” is hopelessly misguided. Boston has lots and lots of talent, and won the division last year when very little on the team went up to expectations. It was something of a lost season even as it was a division-winning one, which tells you how much upside is on the roster. Yes, Boston shouldn’t ignore opportunities to better round out the roster and also rely less on the team rebounding as much as possible, but it is a misread of the team to think it needs huge additions.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Eric Homer? Have him. He was never the leader of any royals team. Just because he got drafted 3rd overall, doesn’t mean anything now. Casey kotchman with just a little more bat. By the way, he’s a douche. More worried about his hair, the “hoz ” cut. Eric hosmer=Jason heyward


  7. The Red Sox #1 target is JD Martinez, their #2 target WAS Carlos Santana but not at that price. Before I could type this they re-signed Mitch Moreland. So now their Only target is JD BUT once again they want him at their price (obviously if possible).


  8. I wanted to add more. The idea that the Red Sox can spend money Willy Nilly is ridiculous, they can’t. Do the MATH before suggesting they add 2 expensive bats, they do NOT have the payroll flexibility to do something like that and that is exactly why they re-signed Moreland. As for Hosmer himself, sorry but he’s overrated in so many ways, most of all Defensively. He may have Gold Gloves BUT he didn’t earn them all, especially last season when he had a Negative DRS.
    Lastly, STOP believing the garbage Rumors that were out there, Jackie Bradley Jr was NEVER available, ever. In fact, the Only way they would have traded him is if they were able to acquire Stanton or Ozuna, period.
    The Red Sox are Big believers in DRS, if anyone was going to be traded it would be Bogaerts, who had a Negative DRS last season.


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