As you may know, the Red Sox announced the re-signing of a familiar face yesterday. Mitch Moreland, aka Mitchy Two -Bags, signed a two-year deal worth roughly $13 million. So what does this mean for the Red Sox?
The rumors that Scott Boras’ clients, JD Martinez and Eric Hosmer, were being pushed to sign with Boston as a package deal, instead of one or the other, are obviously untrue. I fell victim to believing that it would be a possibility myself. But the Sox may have made a much wiser move by resigning Moreland for a number of different reasons.
Here’s my best guess as to why Dombrowski chose to bring back Moreland as opposed to going after one of the best lefty-bat free agents remaining. In each of the last three seasons, Moreland has slugged 23, 22, and 22 HR’s, and 27, 21, and 34 doubles respectively. They don’t call him Mitchy Two Bags for nothin’. An average of 22.33 homers and an average of 27.33 doubles per season over the last three years. In 2016, Moreland won the AL Gold Glove Award for 1st base.
What’s interesting is that Eric Hosmer, the first basemen many expected the Red Sox to sign, has oddly similar numbers. In the last three seasons, Hosmer has hit 18, 25, and 25 HR’s and 33, 24, 31 doubles respectively. An average of 22.67 homers and an average of 29.33 doubles per season over the last three years. In 2017, Hosmer won the AL Gold Glove Award for 1st base.
With two players with almost identical stats in recent years, it seems as though the Red Sox decided to stick with the option they know has had proven success in Boston as opposed to rolling the dice on Hosmer and assuming he’d be able to post the same numbers in Boston as he has in KC for such a long time. The only difference between the two 1st basemen? Moreland signed a two-year deal worth $13 million, whereas Boras client, Hosmer, will more than likely be asking for a multi-year deal worth more than $100 million. Seems as though the Sox are saving up some money for something big.
It seems the Sox are all in on signing slugger JD Martine, and at this point, it almost feels like it’s a necessity to do so. The hot stove rumors are ALREADY speculating that the Yankees only signed Stanton as a 1-year rental until they can flip him to another team to free up money to sign next year’s big free agent, Bryce Harper. Martinez slugged 45 homers and had 104 RBI while posting a .303 batting average, this would be a MAJOR upgrade to a Boston lineup that clearly lacks power. Boston won’t soon forget finishing dead last in the AL for home runs in 2017. their first season without David Ortiz.
The Red Sox and Dave Dombrowski have already reported that Jackie Bradley Jr. is NOT being shopped around for trades, so this would mean that signing JD Martinez would make him primarily our DH while rotating in as the 4th outfielder. But we already have a DH, and just re-signed our 1st basemen Mitchy, so what do the Red Sox do with Hanley Ramirez?
The answer to that question is difficult, because his name alone might be enough to trick a few owners into trading for the once-great slugger. But the $22 million he’s owed next year, and the potential $22 million in the 2019 season depending on his number of at-bats in 2018, make it extremely difficult for the Red Sox to find a suitor for Hanley. His 2017 season was lackluster at best, filled with injuries and embarrassingly low numbers.
Dombrowski has came out and said, whether he brings in another player or not, he is comfortable with Boston’s lineup. Clearly, he must not be watching his team hit, the Sox finished 27th out of the 30 teams in total home runs, with only 168 on the season. The team leader in homers was Mookie Betts, who is by no means a power hitter, and only had 24 dingers. It’s safe to say that Dombrowski can’t ACTUALLY be completely confident in his lineup going into this season. We’ve already seen a decline in health and production from Hanley Ramirez, Xander Boegarts had a season filled with ups and downs, Pedroia is no longer the player he used to be and can’t seem to stay healthy for a full season anymore, JBJ was outstanding in centerfield but only hit .245 on the year, and until Devers was called up to play third, the team had the absolute worst combined batting average of third basemen in the league.
If the rumors of the Yankees signing Stanton as a rental to hold them over until Bryce Harper becomes a free agent are true, then that means the Red Sox will have missed out on signing not one, but two, former NL MVPs. And with the way baseball is played today, if the Red Sox don’t add some HR’s and RBI to their lineup, they will not be able to compete with teams like the Yankees, Astros, Indians, Dodgers, etc.
We’re now 6 days away from Christmas, and I am tired of waiting for the Sox to make a move. I’ll give it to DD, Moreland was a smart signing. But he better use the money he saved from signing Mitchy Two Bags instead of Hosmer to get JD to Boston real soon before someone else swoops in and takes him away from us too. Come on Davey, give me an early Christmas gift, I promise I’ve been a good boy this year, please I’m begging.
Until next time, Go Sox!!
– Mikey T