The MLB offseason is less than one month old, but the Boston Red Sox already look like a much-improved team. On paper, anyways.
The Red Sox didn’t wait long to make a big splash, officially adding top-tier free agents Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez on long-term deals Tuesday. Their work doesn’t appear to be over, either, as the Sox reportedly are in the hunt for a number of pitchers, including Jon Lester. So how will Boston’s future play out? That’s anyone’s guess.
In Sandoval — whose five-year contract reportedly is worth $95 million — the Red Sox acquire a slugging third baseman with a winning pedigree and a proven track record of clutch hitting. The San Francisco Giants won three World Series titles during the Kung Fu Panda’s tenure in the Bay Area, thanks in large part to Sandoval’s postseason prowess. A lifetime .344 hitter in the playoffs, the 28-year-old was named the World Series MVP in 2012 and set the record for most hits in a postseason in 2014.
Ramirez, meanwhile, should provide a valuable middle-of-the-order bat in his second stint with the Red Sox after making his MLB debut with Boston in 2005. After receiving a four-year contract reportedly worth $88 million, the 30-year-old expressed his willingness to play left field, which could allow Xander Bogaerts to remain at shortstop. Ramirez has a career .300 batting average and has won the Silver Slugger Award two times, in 2008 and 2009.
Thumbnail photos via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images and Stephan Savoia/Associated Press