BOSTON (CBS) – Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe spoke with Toucher & Rich Tuesday morning about the Red Sox offseason, including trade rumors and other possible moves.
The biggest decisions facing the Red Sox are right in front of them on their own team. The time is now to prioritize which of their free agents they would like to have back for the 2014 season.
Jacoby Ellsbury, Stephen Drew and Mike Napoli all rejected the one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer they received from the Red Sox last week and are now unrestricted free agents.
However, since the Red Sox extended a qualifying offer to each of them, the team will receive a compensatory draft pick should the free agents sign elsewhere this off-season.
On Drew, Abraham says agent Scott Boras expects him to get a three-year deal. Abraham agrees because the shortstop market is so thin.
“Given the amount of money in the game right now, and the amount of teams that need a shortstop he’s going to do pretty well for himself.”
Xander Bogaerts played well enough in the postseason that he would replace Drew should he leave town, but with Jacoby Ellsbury all but gone who will take his place in the outfield?
The Red Sox have rumored interest in Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran, with one source calling it an “aggressive push.”
Is Beltran an option for the Red Sox outfield?
“Beltran to me doesn’t make any sense for the Red Sox at all because he’s not a good outfielder anymore,” said Abraham of the aging star.” Their interest in Beltran I think is more of a strategic thing to try to maybe create some leverage for Mike Napoli and maybe drive the price up for another team, specifically the Yankees.”
The only way Abraham sees Beltran as a fit for Boston is if Mike Napoli signs with another team. In that case, Beltran could play left field and Daniel Nava would move to first base.
Then the catching situation was addressed. Jarrod Saltalamacchia was not given a qualifying offer from the Red Sox, so he’s a free agent that could be out the door as well.
Abraham thinks if the Red Sox do sign a catcher it won’t be for long-term money because they have two guys in the minors – Christian Vasquez and Blake Swihart – that project as major leaguers and they wouldn’t want them to be roadblocked by veterans.
On Braves catcher Brian McCann, Abraham feels like he could get over $100 million on the free agent market – which is a lot of money for a player that turns 30 in spring training.
For Abraham’s opinion on other possible targets, as well as teams who may be in the market for Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, listen below: