By Terry Cushman – @cushmanMLB
1 – Eric Hosmer: He is projected to sign a contract somewhere in the vicinity of $125M. I feel Hosmer is vastly overrated. He hit exactly 25HR’s the last two seasons (career high) in a row, and is only an overall .282 hitter in seven previous seasons . Signing Hosmer to a huge contract reeks of bad value. Hanley Ramirez in 2016 put up far better numbers than Hosmer ever has in his career, yet it’s still a contract the Red Sox would love to move on from. Jay Bruce is more of a bonafide power hitter compared to Hosmer, and could be had for a much cheaper contract. He hit 36 home runs with a 101 RBI’s last season. Ian Kinsler is a viable option with only a year remaining on his current contract with the Detroit Tigers. This would allow for Michael Chavis and/or Sam Travis to finish developing. Either of whom could easily be the next Kevin Youklis with an affordable contract for the next six to seven years. Jose Abreu might also be attainable despite the White Sox indicating otherwise late last week. Either way, first base historically is an easy position to fill with a power bat, so I can’t see the justification in wasting a ton of money on Hosmer.
2 – Kyle Schwarber: It’s somewhat puzzling to me that Theo Epstein is suddenly willing to trade Schwarber, who was considered to be untouchable the last couple of years. The Yankees desperately wanted him in the Chapman deal two July’s ago, and Theo wouldn’t budge. So why now? It’s easy to wonder if perhaps something physical is going on with him? He did suffer a torn ACL in 2016. Chicago is a big market, so it could be a personality thing. And finally one might wonder if it’s performance related? Schwarber did manage 30 home runs last season, but only hit .211/.315/.467. At one point he was struggling so mightily at the plate, he had to be optioned to the minor leagues. Perhaps Theo is simply trying to trade him while his stock his high. Following the retirement of David Ortiz, the Red Sox had some of the lowest power numbers in the league. Not to mention they were dead last in home runs. They desperately need a “sure thing” to serve as their big bat in the middle of the order. Schwarber is a giant “maybe,” and presents a lot of risk. Not to mention the asking price in the form of prospects would be very high. The Red Sox farm system is very depleted. The last thing this organization needs is to give Theo Epstein another reason to laugh at them.
3 – Logan Morrison: He is not really on the top of the list for many teams who are looking to load up on power. Morrison does appear to be an affordable alternative to some of the bigger names on the market. However, his break through in 2017 with the Tampa Bay Rays in which he hit 38 home runs could prove to be an anomaly. It was the only time since 2011 he exceeded 20 homers, and is only a career .245 hitter regardless (.246 in 2017). Morrison is not much of an upgrade over Mitch Moreland. It should also be noted that Tampa Bay has always been a haven for players to thrive, but flounder everywhere else. The Red Sox learned this the hard way with Carl Crawford, and thus far David Price as well. Morrison obviously won’t command those type of contracts, but there are enough red flags with him. I hope the Red Sox stay away.
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