Welcome to Boston.com’s Sports Q, our daily conversation, initiated by you and moderated by Chad Finn, about a compelling topic in Boston sports. Here’s how it works: You submit questions to Chad through Twitter, Facebook, email, his Friday chat, and any other outlet you prefer. He’ll pick one each weekday to answer, then we’ll take the discussion to the comments. Chad will stop by several times per day to navigate. But you drive the conversation.
With Giancarlo Stanton and Shohei Ohtani apparently out of the picture, who should the Red Sox’ first priority be in free agency or trade? They still need a power hitter. The lack of action is getting frustrating. Shouldn’t we be hearing something on J.D. Martinez now? – Mark D.
Yeah, as I wrote the other day, this is generally the week where the Red Sox have historically made major moves – Chris Sale last year, for instance, but also David Price, Adrian Gonzalez, and even George Scott (in 1977!) were acquired in the first week of December. It’s been a crazy-slow start to the hot stove in part because as Alex Speier wrote the other day, the second-tier of hitters are waiting to see what happens with the bigger names ahead of them, which is why you haven’t even seen someone like Logan Morrison sign somewhere yet.
It seems like the Stanton and Ohtani situations will be resolved soon (and maybe both with the Giants, which would be something else). But really, I don’t think either was ever really in play for the Red Sox, so that leaves you wondering where they stand on players they covet and have a genuine chance of acquiring – such as, presumably, Martinez, Eric Hosmer, or Carlos Santana.
To me, Martinez is the choice, and I’ve flip-flopped on this recently. I used to think it should be Hosmer, a terrific all-around player. But I’m not sure he’s anything more than a 22-25 homer guy. He also costs a comp pick and draft pool money, and Joe Posnanski had a eye-opening piece recently suggesting Hosmer’s defensive reputation exceeds his actual ability.
I’d be fine with the Red Sox signing him – he’s good! – but Martinez seems a better option, despite Scott Boras’s usual massive demands. He can serve as the DH, he hits for more power, and he won’t cost compensation. I think he’s the choice, and he should be. But it would be cool to start getting some momentum on this stuff soon.
What do you guys think? Who should be the Red Sox’ primary target be in free agency or trade? I’ll see you in the comments.