7 Players Still Within Red Sox Reach
Today, on this sacred 12/12/12 day of days, we're allowed to reflect.
We can reflect on the fact that in all likelihood, none of us will be around to see the next such phenomenon, as this is the last one of this century. It allows us to reflect on our finite time on this earth and how we should be making the most of it.
More importantly, today allows us to reflect upon how it is Dec. 12th and the Boston Red Sox have yet to make an impact move via free agency or trade.
Mike Napoli? Sure, he's a solid player, but not that key addition that will bring glory to this team again.
Shane Victorino? Remember that time he had an OPS of .680 in the first half last year, then added just three home runs after the break?
Needless to say, the moves Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington has made this off-season have underwhelmed, but luckily there are some options still out there.
Josh Hamilton, OF, Texas Rangers
2012 Salary: $15.25 million
Hamilton has issues. They're well-documented and whichever team signs him, be it the Red Sox or someone else, it'll be at the top of their watch-list.
He can also pound the ball a mile. The 2010 MVP has 162-game averages of 33 home runs, 122 RBIs and a .304 average. That's exactly the type of stability that Boston needs in the middle of its lineup.
The outfielder will certainly be on the downward side of his career from here on out, so any deal that would bring him in would have to make a whole lot of fiscal sense. There are only so many Los Angeles Dodgers of the world that can lick up your wounds.
But it might be a worthwhile risk, as he only has six years of major league experience.
Kyle Lohse, SP, St. Louis Cardinals
2012 Salary:$12.1875 million
Let's be fair here. Kyle Lohse is a journey man. Having played for four major league teams, with this off-season presumably bringing him his fifth, the pitcher has gotten around.
That doesn't mean he can't pitch.
In his five years in St. Louis, Lohse has had two exceptional campaigns, one above average, and two abysmal. The two exceptional ones came over the past two seasons, so it would suggest that he'll continue to be successful with wherever his new contract takes him.
Lohse would be a solid middle of the rotation starter for Boston, but his track record against American League teams is sub-par -- just look at his years in Minnesota.
Anibal Sanchez, SP, Detroit Tigers
2012 Salary: $8 million
Sanchez is an intriguing young arm. He's 28 now, yet he'll turn 29 during spring training, but has clearly shown improvement in his control and longevity as he's aged. We could be looking at a potential breakout ace in Sanchez in 2013, and he'll come at a relatively low-cost.
It should be a no-brainier that Boston should be on the offensive as they try to reel the former Marlin in, especially because he was a former farmhand of the Red Sox.
Nick Swisher, OF, New York Yankees
2012 Salary: $10.25 million
Kevin Youkilis to the New York Yankees and Nick Swisher to the Boston Red Sox. Now wouldn't that be something.
Swisher has shown that he can be a productive addition to a corner infield spot, nearly matching his career-high in RBIs last season and finishing with an OPS of .837 at the age of 31.
When Kevin Millar came to Boston in 2003 at the age of 31, he posted 25 home runs, 96 RBIs, and a .276 average. Swisher is completely capable of producing those kinds of numbers and we know the similar kind of clubhouse camaraderie that Millar once brought that Swisher also exhibits, so this is a no-brainer.
Swisher should be the top priority.
(Figured I'd throw a curve ball in here just to see if you're paying attention.)
Mike Adams, RP, Texas Rangers
2012 Salary: $4.4 million
Adams, at age 34, is nowhere near the shutdown right-hander out of the bullpen that he was in his San Diego Padres days. That being said, for how cheap it'll be to bring him in for a one-year deal and take a flier on a potential 8th inning guy, it's an option the Red Sox have to consider thoroughly.
The bullpen market is slim right now, and for the value that Adams could bring, signing the right-hander is well worth it.
Stephen Drew, SS, Oakland Athletics
2012 Salary: $1.35 million
Let's get this straight. Stephen Drew has been a disappointment. After being drafted 15th overall in 2004, the shortstop has had a handful of successful seasons, but overall has underwhelmed due to injury and lack of consistency.
If Boston signs Drew for even a one-year deal to continue to develop Jose Iglesias (even as a second baseman) and bridge the gap between he and Xander Bogaerts, it will be well worth it.
Roberto Hernandez, SP, Cleveland Indians
2012 Salary: $2.5 million
Why not take a flier on the Artist-Formerly-Known-As-Fausto-Carmona?
At one point, he was as dominant as they come, posting a 19-8 record an a 3.06 ERA in 2007.
Plus, just ask Torii Hunter if he can pitch.
"It's not normal," Torii Hunter said of Carmona's go-to pitch. "He's not even human. It was so scary, I thought I was hung over."
So, yeah. He's another one of those low risk/high reward players. I see no reason not to bring him in.
Especially if they were so willing to give Aaron Cook shot after shot after shot last season.