BOSTON (CBS) — Baseball’s winter meetings are still three weeks away, but the hot stove is scorching with rumors this offseason.
After a disappointing early exit in the playoffs, there are changes in store for the Boston Red Sox. They already have a new manager in Alex Cora, and based on their lack of pop in the lineup last season, they’ll be in the market for a big bat this winter.
The Boston Herald’s Steve Buckley joined Levan Reid on WBZ-TV’s Sports Final on Sunday night to discuss the winter ahead for the Red Sox and is cautious about the proverbial “big splash” that some fans are hoping for, with the bad memories of Carl Crawford and Pablo Sandoval still lingering.
The Red Sox have expressed interest in Marlins superstar Giancarlo Stanton, who is on the block despite his MVP season last year because Miami is looking to shed payroll. His $295 million owed over the next 10 years is a lofty price to pay, but Buckley says Stanton would be the home run hitter the Boston lineup needs and the “big splash” fans are hoping for.
“You know how you used to say, ‘Name a player who, if he were here at Fenway, he’d hit 60 home runs.’… I think Stanton would be a monster at Fenway, on par with David Ortiz,” said Buckley. “The question is, do you want to inherit that money and do you have to give up prospects? I don’t think you’d have to give up [Rafael] Devers or [Andrew] Benintendi, as has been talked about. It would be more about absorbing that salary because [Derek] Jeter and his crowd in Miami need a reboot. [Shedding Stanton’s contract] is a reboot.”
If the price for Stanton becomes too outrageous, Buckley said Royals free agent Eric Hosmer would be a great addition to the Red Sox because of his bat and his baseball IQ.
“I like Hosmer because he hits some home runs and he’s a good defensive player,” said Buckley. “If you go back to Game 5 of the of the World Series in 2015, he was the runner on third base when there was a grounder to David Wright. Wright took the ball and paused for a split second, threw the ball over to Lucas Duda, who was coming off of first like a statue. Hosmer had the perfect read.
“There is being aggressive and being stupid. This season, when the Red Sox tried to sell you on being aggressive, no they weren’t — they were stupid,” he said. “They made a base running mistake every single night. What Hosmer did that night, he read the situation, he broke for the plate and scored a key run to help them win the World Series. I like guys like that, who are smart baseball players.”
Buckley also praised Boston’s hiring of Alex Cora as their new manager, and discussed the future of second baseman Dustin Pedroia.