THE BIG BOYS – “AKA” No chance for Red Sox
Max Scherzer, RHP, Detroit
The Red Sox are priced out of the Max Scherzer sweepstakes. The money that he turned in the spring is crazy money for a guy that has had health issues prior to 2013. There is zero chance of him coming to Boston.
This fan’s choice: Hope he re-signs for huge dollars in Detroit which forces the Tigers to make David Price available. I would not trade prospects for Cole Hamels, but I would trade a few to see David Price in the Red Sox Rotation.
Jon Lester, LHP, Oakland
Let’s start the off by stating that I believe there is about 5% that Jon Lester returns to the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox and Ben Cherington will tell you that they have interest in Lester. What they don’t tell you is that it is at their salary number, which has not changed enough to entice Lester. Larry Lucchino knows that Lester will command enough on the open market from the Dodgers, Nationals, Cubs and my dark horse the Orioles that he will be able to tell the fans. “Hey we tried”.
This fan’s choice: Absolutely. Big game guy that loves and can handle pitching in Boston, and injuries have never been an issue.
James Shields, RHP, Kansas City
“Big Games” James is 2 years older than Lester. He will get 3 or maybe 4 years and will be over-paid by whoever loses of on Lester and Scherzer. Anybody who watched the playoffs would agree that the Red Sox should steer clear of Shields. He pitched in a pitcher friendly park with a top tier defense team in the Royals, and he still pooped the bed in the postseason. The Red Sox can offer him neither.
This fan’s choice: PASS
Pablo Sandoval, 3B, Giants
I like the Kung Fu Panda’s game more the most, but I cannot imagine what kind of shape he will in by the 3rd or 4th year of any deal. Ask yourself this. Is Pablo Sandoval a $20 million a year player? The answer is no. .280 15 hrs and 80 RBI is not worth $20 million per year. I believe that he is using the Red Sox as leverage to bleed every dime he can get out of the Giants and stay put.
This fan’s choice: PASS. Explore Chase Headley or even Hanley Ramirez if the price is right.
MIDDLE AND LOWER TIER GUYS – “AKA” Red Sox Bread and Butter.
The Red Sox need to add at least one starting pitcher, couple bullpen arms, and a third baseman to make the 2015 squad competitive.
So here are this fan’s predictions on what you will see the Red Sox really go after in free agency.
Ervin Santana, RHP, Kansas City – Not flashy but consistent, and will be in the Red Sox range for years and dollars.
Brandon McCarthy, RHP, New York – He pitched so well when he became a Yankee that he almost certainly will be retained, but if he is not, the Red Sox will have some interest.
Justin Masterson, RHP, Cardinals – A low risk, medium reward guy that could pitch out of the bullpen if needed. A favorite of John Farrell’s. He is almost a lock to a Red Sox in 2015.
Chase Headley, 3B, New York – Another battle with the Yankees over a player. Headley played well when he got to New York. The only hope for the Red Sox is the Bronx Bombers are stuck with A-Rod and his inflated contract, and the Sox can swoop in on Headley.
This fan’s thought: Don’t rule out a trade or an internal candidate such as Garin Cecchini in 2015. Wil Middlebrooks is unfortunately an afterthought.
The best part of the bullpen is there are a number of intriguing possibilities that include Andrew Miller returning. He has developed into a top tier reliever. Will someone pay him to close? Maybe. This fan’s top choices are Miller, Luke Gregerson, RHP Oakland, Luke Hochevar, RHP Kansas City and Sergio Romo from the Giants.
Final Fan Thoughts on Free Agency
When dealing with free agency and the Boston Red Sox, ignore the noise. The local beat writers will tell you that they are in “big time” on Sandoval. They would love a reunion with Jon Lester, and would be interested in discussing Cole Hamels with the Phillies. Do not buy a word of what Larry Lucchino spews until the ink is dry on the contract.
Follow Shaun on twitter @spc73