By: Dylan Porcaro
The Boston Red Sox are now coming off of their second straight disappointing postseason. After two 93-win, division winning seasons, the Red Sox have failed to live up to expectations and it has resulted in someone losing his job. John Farrell, also known as “Manager John” (nickname from David Price), and “Loverboy” (nickname from affair with now girlfriend, Jessica Moran), has finally been fired after much speculation over the last few years. Although this was an inevitable move and was long overdue, there are still many moves to expect to come.
Just about everyone can agree that there are three voids that need to be filled; one is bringing in a new coach, two is finding a leader in the clubhouse, and three is acquiring a big bat. The nice thing is that you can find two of those things in one, but it’s going to be tough to find the right guys. As far as coaches go, there are already many potential candidates.
Right now the names being thrown around are Alex Cora, Brad Ausmus, Jason Varitek, and Gabe Kapler. Of course there are many other guys out there, but these have been the names most frequently mentioned. Based on Dombrowski’s press conference it’s safe to say the next coach won’t be Varitek, as he stated he would prefer someone with managerial experience. Ausmus is someone who Dombrowski is clearly very close with as they worked together in Detroit, and he grew up in the New England area as a Red Sox fan.
Personally, I want The Red Sox to hire either Alex Cora or Gabe Kapler. Both had a long career, both played for a while with the Red Sox, and since both were journeymen, they’ve had a lot of different coaches. Cora is the current bench coach for the Astros and would fit in perfectly here. He fits Dombrowski’s criteria, and also won a World Series with the Sox in 2007.
The best part is that he hasn’t left the game, he only retired 6 years ago so he isn’t out of touch. The young guys on the team who desperately need some leadership can relate to him. Same goes for Gabe Kapler, who won the 2004 World Series with the Sox and is currently working in the Dodgers’ front office. Look for a decision to come within the next couple of weeks, Dombrowski said he doesn’t want to rush the process but at the same time he expects it to be sooner rather than later.
Maybe the most important thing that this team needs is a big bat in the middle of the lineup. Red Sox fans were used to having both David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez in the heart of the lineup for six seasons and two World Series Championships. Without Ortiz, the Red Sox hit 168 home runs this year (27th in MLB) in a season where the MLB crushed the baseball and set the record for most home runs hit across the league (6,105).
Two free agents that will be on the radar are Eric Hosmer and J.D. Martinez. Both are power hitting first basemen, but Hosmer is definitely a more proven player. He’s won a World Series with Kansas City, and many view him as a good leader. Although he’d be a good fit here and is a potential leader, we need to understand the difference between Boston Media and Kansas City Media. It would definitely be a lot more to handle here, just ask the highest paid player on the team, David Price.
Outside of signing a big name free agent, the Red Sox also may look to make a deal for a stud. They have been linked to Giancarlo Stanton a lot the last few months, a pure power hitter. To me, this is a deal that you have to make if it presents itself, and just about everyone should be on the table. Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., all should be brought up in discussions. If Derek Jeter and Miami ask for either Benintendi or Devers, it would be wise to just increase the offer with other players, maybe even all three of the guys I first mentioned along with some prospects. Rafael Devers and Andrew Benintendi should be the only untouchable guys on the roster, they appear to be two promising players for years to come.
Devers could be a 30+ home run player, while Benintendi shouldn’t be too far behind that. Back to Stanton, although it’s a no brainer to bring him in, there are still some red flags that need to be addressed. Stanton plays in Miami, a place where baseball comes after both the Heat and the Dolphins. He doesn’t have to deal with the media, besides when a big event like the All-Star game comes around. Last Saturday on the Gasper and Murray show on 98.5 The Sports Hub, Christopher Gasper discussed how Stanton was cold to the media that week and did not want to speak to anyone. Also, he’s never played any postseason ball, so I’m not sure that he knows what it takes to win. Sure, it’s not his fault that his team has been bad, but he still might not be the leader the Sox need.
This will be a very interesting offseason for the Boston Red Sox and hopefully many of our questions will be answered. Dave Dombrowski decided not to answer any questions in his press conference following the firing of Farrell, so hopefully he can make decisions as soon as possible to clear things up. The quote that had the most substance from the presser was, “I didn't supply the players that would give us enough runs. I think we do need that. That’s part of our offseason goal.” At least we know two things, Dombrowski definitely will find a power hitter and a new coach, let’s just hope one of them will be a leader.