We’re now deep into the MLB off-season… And it’s been a quiet one for the Red Sox. The Red Sox are fresh off of winning the AL East in two straight seasons, yet getting embarrassed in the playoffs back-to-back years. It was fully expected that the Sox would have a huge off-season. Although the Red Sox have made changes with their coaching staff, it was also hoped that they would sign a middle of the order pure power bat, along with another capable hitter to help the Sox offense that struggled to hit the ball over the fence last year.
But wait, the Sox have already made a difference-making signing — Mitch Moreland. With all the big names on the market leading into the off-season, re-signing Moreland is the only noise the Sox have made so far. This was even a surprise signing for the Sox, as many thought Eric Hosmer would be pursued to man first base.
The most upsetting part thus far was the Giancarlo Stanton situation. Letting him go to the Yankees? So disappointing. I’m not sure what the more disappointing aspect of that was — the fact that the Red Sox weren’t even in talks with the Marlins, or the fact that the Yankees barely gave up anything for the NL MVP, having Jeter just handing them a gift as his first move with Miami.
Dave Dombrowski appears to be in a staring contest with agent, Scott Boras over JD Martinez. Martinez has been the name tied to the Red Sox all off-season, as it seems like his bat is just what the Sox need to bolster their lineup. Boras is known for getting what he wants for his clients. Massive dollar amounts over a high number of years. Boras and Martinez were originally hoping for a contract around 7-years, worth upwards of $200 million.
Come on now.
Martinez enjoyed the best year of his career last season, hitting .303 with 45 HRs and 104 RBI, while slugging .690 and possessing an OPS of 1.066. In a contract year, I see the red flags too.
Here’s where the staring contest between Dombrowski and Boras come in. The Sox do not want to offer Martinez a seven-year deal and they sure as hell don’t want to pay him $200 million, and they will not begin to out-bid themselves on this one. The Sox reportedly put an offer on the table for Martinez with a five-year contract, but Boras is most likely holding out because he wants a seven-year deal for Martinez.
The Red Sox may not be fully into the idea of JD. There are bigger names approaching free agency next season, such as Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Clayton Kershaw and Josh Donaldson. Sox fans can dream, right? But in the slight possibility that one of them might sign with the Sox, it could be worth standing pat and waiting on one of those organization-changing type players next off-season.
Another name on the market who could have been a nice addition to this Sox team was Jay Bruce, but he just signed a 3-year, $39 million deal to go back to the Mets.
Nonetheless, the Red Sox have been silent so far in an 0ff-season where it was expected there would be some big changes in the lineup. And to be honest, I’m not liking it. The Dodgers reached out to the Sox to ask about a Yasiel Puig for Jackie Bradley Jr. trade, but the Sox did not even entertain the offer. If we’re being honest, I would not have done the deal either, but the Sox should still be listening to offers.
Dombrowski has already unloaded the entire Red Sox farm system since taking over the Baseball Operations job with the Sox. And although he has dumped the farm, he has brought in big names, while keeping the young nucleus of Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers. So Red Sox Nation should still be optimistic about what’s to come before the beginning of the 2018 season, because there are a lot of possibilities that may present themselves.
The Red Sox must also feel the pressure as other American League teams are making improvements, while they are currently sitting still. And in the City of Champions, the mentality of not bettering the team does not fly.
Not to mention that Dombrowski was one of the first GMs vacating the Winter Meetings in Orlando. In an off-season where it was thought the Red Sox would be very active, Dombrowski leaving the Winter Meetings as early as he did is not a good look.
The Red Sox and JD Martinez end up agreeing to a deal and Martinez serves as the team’s DH.
Follow Drew Tanguay on Twitter: @dtang10