MLB

Kiké Hernandez and Garrett Richards will assist, however here is a participant Purple Sox want so as to add to make an influence

Tomase: Sox made solid signings, but this FA would make a real impact initially appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Red Sox offseason method to date will be summed up by two phrases: worth and flexibility.

They have not damaged the financial institution, they usually have not added an apparent starter, however they’ve improved the general composition of the roster. Their newest additions — infielder Enrique Hernandez and right-hander Garrett Richards — match this mould exactly, if uninspiringly.

Hernandez is a jack-of-all-trades who has reached 400 at-bats solely twice in seven seasons spent primarily with the Dodgers. He’d should be thought of the beginning second baseman at this level, although his lifetime .222 batting common vs. right-handers suggests he is greatest utilized if there is a lefty on the mound.

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In the meantime, Richards is without doubt one of the hardest-throwing pitchers within the American League, however he is by no means wholesome. His one-year, $10 million deal will likely be a cut price if he can preserve a spot within the rotation whereas pitching to his lifetime 3.62 ERA. It’s going to be one thing lower than that if his struggles in opposition to left-handed hitters in 2020 (.853 OPS) proceed and he is compelled to the bullpen, and even worse, if he is harm once more.

They be part of plenty of comparable signees. Outfielder Hunter Renfroe boasts 30-homer energy, however he is a lifetime .216 hitter vs. right-handed pitching who has typically been considered as a platoon participant. The Purple Sox appear inclined to start out him day by day in a nook outfield spot, relying on what occurs with Andrew Benintendi.

Proper-hander Matt Andriese may begin, however he’ll most likely spend extra time in aid, and both method, he is a depth piece. In an ideal world, we would say the identical about Martin Perez.

Even when we settle for that this winter was by no means going to be all fireworks and Cirque du Soleil spectacle, it is OK to surprise, is that this actually it?

And that brings us to at least one title that might show the Purple Sox stay critical about placing an entertaining product on the sphere in 2021 with out merely counting on everybody who was injured or subpar in 2020 to regain their stage.

That title is Marcell Ozuna.

The free agent slugger has been constantly linked to the workforce all winter, albeit tangentially. The most recent report, out of his native Dominican Republic, lists the Red Sox amongst six golf equipment.

Ozuna will price actual cash to amass after a monster season in Atlanta that noticed him lead within the NL in homers (18) and RBIs (56) whereas profitable his second Silver Slugger Award and ending sixth within the MVP voting.

He will not come low cost, and that is type of the purpose. There is no cause the Purple Sox should not flex their monetary muscle groups on a real difference-maker this winter, and Ozuna is the right goal, with a right-handed swing made for Fenway Park and no draft decide compensation hooked up to his free company, since he wasn’t eligible to obtain a qualifying supply from Atlanta. He is a real free agent who will be signed with nothing however money, and the Purple Sox, regardless of their latest actions, nonetheless have loads of that.

Ozuna reportedly needs a four-year deal. Although he is solely 4 years faraway from profitable a Gold Glove with the Marlins, he is thought of extra of a DH now, which clearly is not taking place in Boston so long as J.D. Martinez stays on the roster. Nonetheless, if there’s one place to cover a below-average defender, it is left discipline in Fenway Park. Ought to the Purple Sox discover a taker for Benintendi, as they seem intent on doing, then Ozuna would give them one of many deepest lineups within the American League.

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Think about a batting order that begins with Alex Verdugo, Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, Martinez, and Ozuna. That’s thunder upon thunder upon thunder. Add Renfroe, Hernandez, Bobby Dalbec and catcher Christian Vazquez, and even when the Purple Sox are closely right-handed, they’d be punishing.

Ozuna has a little bit little bit of a Martinez 2.zero really feel, a hitter who actually unlocks his full potential round age 30. He launched 4 homers in a three-game set at Fenway, together with three in a single sport on Sept. 1.

In brief, he is a difference-maker, and after ending 2020 with baseball’s fourth-worst report, the Purple Sox want as lots of these as they’ll discover. They’ve completed sufficient tinkering across the margins. It is time to land somebody who could make an influence.

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