The Red Sox reportedly are a legitimate contender to land one of the best bats available in Major League Baseball free agency.
Boston is going to be “high on the list” of potential landing spots for José Abreu, as reported by Bruce Levine on a recent episode of the “Inside the Clubhouse” podcast (h/t MassLive). Other realistic options for the longtime Chicago White Sox first baseman reportedly are the Chicago Cubs, Miami Marlins and World Series champion Houston Astros.
“When you talk about the Boston Red Sox, when you talk about the Houston Astros, when you talk about Miami, those are real fits for Abreu,” Levine said, as transcribed by MassLive’s Christopher Smith.
The Red Sox soon could be in need of a middle-of-the-lineup bat, as both Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez are free agents. Martinez did not receive a qualifying offer from Boston. While Abreu still is a capable first baseman — he started 128 games at the position for Chicago last season — the 35-year-old ideally would serve as the Red Sox’s designated hitter if signed. Boston’s hope surely is for Triston Casas to establish himself as a stalwart at first base and take hold of the position for years to come.
Abreu only is two seasons removed from winning the American League MVP Award, albeit in a season that was shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. His offensive numbers saw a noticeable drop this past season when he only hit 15 home runs with 75 RBIs despite playing in all but five games for the White Sox. However, Abreu clubbed 30 homers and knocked in 117 runs the year prior.
Another plus to acquiring Abreu is the Red Sox — or any other team — can sign him without any strings attached. As Smith pointed out in a column published Sunday, teams don’t have to give up draft-pick compensation to ink Abreu since he received a qualifying offer from the White Sox in 2019.