The Boston Red Sox may have cleared a ton of payroll by trading Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto to the Los Angeles Dodgers—a deal first reported by Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston and confirmed by Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (though it's yet to become official)—but they’ve also created a major void at first base.
While Adrian Gonzalez was under contract through 2018 with the Red Sox. Boston didn’t have to worry about a future first baseman — Gonzalez was their future first baseman. In fact, they were so confident in having Gonzalez that they never really prepared themselves for something like this to happen.
They don’t have a great first-base prospect in the minors, one who could hit in the middle of the lineup like Gonzalez had been doing for the last year and a half. The free-agent market isn’t very strong in the position, which will lead to many questions surrounding the future there.
Predicting that James Loney will finish the year as the everyday first baseman is a safe bet, but who will take over once he becomes a free agent after this season ends?
Here are some names to throw around when thinking about who Boston’s future first baseman will be.