Some prominent non-tenders around the league
The deadline for teams to tender contracts to their arbitration-eligible players came and went on Friday night. The Red Sox, as we’ll get to a little later today, hung on to all of their players, but the same couldn’t be said for the rest of the league. There were a handful of prominent non-tenders around baseball on Friday. Let’s take a quick look at some of the new free agents now and see if any could be a fit with the Red Sox.
- Billy Hamilton might be the most famous on this list, but the Red Sox are set at outfield. If he has to end up settling for a minor-league deal that would be a different story, but I think someone will give him a major-league deal. Hamilton cannot hit, which is why he was non-tendered, but he’s not only the fastest player in the game but also a superb defensive center fielder. I’d love him on a minor-league deal, if for no other reason than the fact that I love watching fast baseball players.
- Jonathan Schoop is a former Oriole who was dreadful after being traded to the Brewers midway through last year. The second baseman has pop, but he just doesn’t get on base. The Red Sox could use some help at the position, as we discussed yesterday, but I don’t see him not getting a major-league deal and I don’t see the Red Sox adding anymore position players on major-league deals barring a surprising development.
- There are a few interesting relievers who were non-tendered, but none more than Blake Parker. The former Angel has had a couple consecutive impressive years in the back of L.A.’s bullpen, and the Red Sox are looking for help in the late innings. The issue is that, while two years ago he was fantastic, his peripherals don’t match his ERA from 2018. Last year, the righty’s velocity dropped which led to a drop in strikeouts and a spike in home runs. If they are confident they can get that velocity back up somehow, he’d be a great add, but there’s a lot of risk here as well.
- Brad Boxberger is a somewhat familiar name to us as he spent a few years in Tampa Bay before heading to Arizona for the 2018 season. The righty is a former closer, which is always a good thing, but there are question marks with him as well. If you’re looking for strikeouts, Boxberger is the guy. He has over 12 strikeouts per nine innings in each of the last two seasons. On the other hand, he can struggle with command leading to some high walk totals and home run issues. That doesn’t feel it will play well in the American League East.
That’s just a few of the names who are now available on the free market. You can see a fuller list of intriguing non-tenders here.
Yan Gomes traded to the Nationals
The Indians are one of the most interesting teams in the offseason. After a few years as one of the top teams in the American League, they are still expected to boast a core that will get them back to that level in 2019. Despite that, Cleveland is looking to shed some major-league talent to ease their payroll, and that started on Friday. The team dealt catcher Yan Gomes to the Nationals in exchange for minor-league pitcher Jefry Rodriguez, minor-league outfielder Daniel Robertson and a player to be named later. The Red Sox had one of the worst groups of catchers in 2018, so they could have theoretically been a fit. However, as I’ve said a few times I just don’t see them adding a catcher this winter. It seems they would like to limit the resources they use this offseason — both in terms of money and prospects — to pitching, and I’d be surprised if they are used to acquire a catcher.
Alex Colomé traded to the White Sox
The White Sox are another interesting team to watch this winter, though for the opposite reason of the Indians. Chicago has been rebuilding for a few years now, but they appear ready to start coming out of it. They have been rumored as fringe contenders for both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, and now they’ve acquired a late-inning reliever. On Friday, they dealt catcher Omar Navarez to the Mariners in exchange for Alex Colomé. Navarez is a solid player, but Chicago has Welington Castillo and could afford to deal him. Colomé, meanwhile, would have been an interesting Red Sox target. He’s not an overly dominant right-handed reliever, and he wouldn’t have been an electric addition if he was their top acquisition in the bullpen. That being said, he’s had long stretches of success throughout his career and combines an ability to miss bats at a solid rate with a ground ball rate that keeps the ball in the yard.