By Terry Cushman – @AVIDBOS_PODCAST
1. Eduardo Nunez (2B)*
2. Andrew Benintendi (LF)
3. Mookie Betts (RF)
4. J.D. Martinez (DH)**
5. Rafael Devers (3B)
6. Hanley Ramirez (1B)
7. Xander Bogaerts (SS)
8. Christian Vazquez (C)
9. Jackie Bradley Jr. (CF)
* The signing of Eduardo Nunez makes a lot of sense provided that he is healthy. Dustin Pedroia will miss the first half of the season due to his recent surgery. If I’m being completely honest I wouldn’t mind seeing Pedroia miss the entire season. Nunez gives the Red Sox tons of flexibility as he can play virtually every infield position, though admittedly his defense isn’t stellar. Brock Holt and/or Devin Marrero could come off the bench in the later innings if need be.
** J.D. Martinez is who I expect will be the “big splash” by Dave Dombrowski this off season. Hanley Ramirez will be ready for spring training following a relatively minor shoulder surgery. The signing of Martinez will also give the Red Sox a huge insurance policy should one of the regular outfielders get injured. Martinez hit .304 w/ 29 home runs & 65 RBI’s after being traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks at the July 31 deadline. Dave Dombrowski has a previous connection to Martinez after signing him off the scrap heap in early 2014. So a reunion in Boston is entirely possible.
Side note: Eric Hosmer is a hot name on the market, but since we are stuck with Hanley, we still have Sam Travis, Blake Swihart, or even possibly Michael Chavis that can fill in at first should Hanley not work out. Not to mention more flexibility once Pedroia returns, or a possible move at the July 31 deadline.
ICYMI: EPISODE 21 OF THE AVIDBOSTON PODCAST!!! THE ALEX CORA/WORLD SERIES EDITION!!!
Also available on itunes!