The Boston Red Sox are entering this years winter meetings in a precarious position. After playing at such a high level for the majority of the 2016 season, the Red Sox did not come to play in the post-season, where the Cleveland Indians sent them packing in the first round via a sweep.
After consecutive offseasons spent searching for pitching, the Red Sox now look to replace the biggest staple in their lineup of the last 15 years: David Ortiz. David Ortiz, or Big Papi, has officially announced his retirement, which not only leaves a gaping hole in the middle of the Sox lineup, but an ear to ear smile in the clubhouse as well.
Boston can go many different directions with their franchise from here. They can sign a top name free agent to a five-year $100 million type of deal such as Edwin Encarnacion or Jose Bautista, locking up the position for years to come, but at a hefty price tag.
They could also choose to sign a secondary player, maybe Pedro Alvarez or Mike Napoli, and then look for upcoming prospect Sam Travis to fill in in a year or two.
The last choice, which has Red Sox fans and probably even Red Sox General Manager Dave Dombrowski on edge, is giving Pablo Sandoval a everyday place in the lineup, after only laying a handful of games last season.
Whichever way the Red Sox decide to take their franchise, they’re looking for it to lead to nothing but success. The Red Sox will march into next season with reigning Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello and two-time Cy Young David Price leading the pitching staff, as well as career years from Mookie Betts, Hanley Ramirez, and Sandy Leon to do nothing but improve.
- Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays: Andres Leiva/Tampa Bay Times/TNS | Used With Permission