The Boston Red Sox have some work to do on their roster this offseason, and luckily, there’s a handful of stars on the free-agent market.
Of course, the Red Sox won’t be able to ship all of them up to Boston, so which free agent should they pursue most aggressively?
Pitching seems to be Boston’s biggest need, and three big names come to mind: Jon Lester, Max Scherzer and James Shields.
Lester spent eight full seasons with the Red Sox before being sent to the Oakland Athletics with Jonny Gomes in exchange for Yoenis Cespedes halfway through the 2014 season, so there’s no doubt he’d fit right back in. That, along with the stellar postseason numbers he’s put up for Boston through the years, would justify bringing him back.
Scherzer and Shields would be viable options, as well. Shields enjoyed two solid seasons with the Kansas City Royals, but the 5.46 ERA and 3-6 record he’s put up in four postseasons leave much to be desired. Scherzer, the 2013 American League Cy Young Award winner, is an all-around phenomenal pitcher, but he reportedly turned down a six-year, $144 million contract extension from the Detroit Tigers this past season. He’d be worth the money, but pursuing him could likely turn into a bidding war with no guarantees.
The Red Sox also need to do something about the left side of their infield, and Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez are available to take the third-base job. Sandoval is a switch-hitter with very serviceable defense, who could also bring a lot of character to the team. But Sandoval is asking for at least six years, and that’s a lot to take on from someone whose weight issues and slight decline in production over the years could rear its ugly head at the tail end of that deal. Ramirez, on the other hand, has huge offensive upside but has struggled to play a full season since injuring his shoulder in 2011.
So which free agent should the Red Sox sign to fix their 2014 woes? Cast your vote in the poll below.
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