The Boston Red Sox have been operating at a dull roar since making a ton of noise at the Major League Baseball winter meetings earlier this month, but that doesn’t mean they’re done tweaking their roster for the 2017 season.
Baseball sources told the Boston Herald’s Evan Drellich that the Red Sox still have interest in a few free agents, including Trevor Plouffe for a utility or platoon role.
ESPN.com’s Scott Lauber also heard the Red Sox are among the teams showing interest in Plouffe, adding that Boston has more flexibility under the competitive balance tax after trading Clay Buchholz to the Philadelphia Phillies last week.
Plouffe, a first-round pick (20th overall) in 2004, spent his entire seven-year major league career with the Minnesota Twins before being outrighted off the team’s roster following a disappointing 2016 season in which he hit .260 with 12 home runs, 47 RBIs and a .723 OPS in 344 plate appearances over 84 games.
Plouffe, a right-handed hitter, has spent the bulk of his playing time at third base, so he’d represent an insurance option to Pablo Sandoval, who figures to start for Boston at the hot corner in 2017. Plouffe also could be a viable platoon option against left-handers, as the switch-hitting Sandoval has struggled against southpaws in his career, especially during his first season with the Red Sox in 2015.
Plouffe has been productive in the past. He launched a career-high 24 home runs in 119 games in 2012, and he totaled 22 home runs and 86 RBIs in a career-high 152 games in 2015. Perhaps his most important trait as it pertains to the Red Sox, however, is his versatility, as Plouffe also has garnered playing time at first base, second base, shortstop and in the outfield over the course of his career.
It should be noted that Drellich also mentioned in his report that the Red Sox’s interest in Plouffe appears contingent on him falling into the right price range for Boston, which would be $2 million to $3 million on a one-year contract.
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