Boston Red Sox Should Target Free Agent Justin Morneau


Justin Morneau would be a low-risk, high-reward option for Boston Red Sox.

With the MLB Winter Meetings coming up this weekend, the Boston Red Sox have a few areas they need to focus on in order to get back to competing for the playoffs and World Series in 2016. One of those areas is first base, and it can be filled with one low risk, fairly cheap option. The Boston Red Sox should target free agent Justin Morneau.

Morneau fills a need for the Red Sox giving them flexibility and depth while complimenting the players that are already in their organization.

Hanley Ramirez is set to be the starter at first base on opening day after ZERO career starts at the position. If that wasn’t enough to make an organization and fan base nervous, they also have the not too distant memory of a failed experiment of teaching Hanley how to play LF last season. He began his career at SS and since has moved on to 3B, LF, and now 1B, for the sole purpose of keeping his bat in the lineup.

Ramirez has never won a gold glove in his career, so it is only fair to say: best case scenario, Ramirez is serviceable playing first base.

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At the beginning of the off-season, David Ortiz, the Red Sox long tenured designated hitter announced his retirement after the 2016 season. As we all knew this was inevitably coming, the silver lining is the Red Sox now have a year to plan for him departing.

What this means is, if Ramirez stays in managements good graces and remains part of the future plan (a big if) he will move to DH after the 2016 season, filling Ortiz’s role and leaving 1B once again open.

Justin Morneau is the perfect fit for the Red Sox at this point in his career and the current position the Red Sox are in. With Ramirez learning the new position, it would be a huge boost to the organization having a veteran backing him up. Morneau will be able to work with Ramirez day in and day out to learn the skills needed at 1B, as well as come in as a defensive replacement late in close ballgames.

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This will also give the Red Sox a great option for an experienced left-handed bat off the bench, or even for John Farrell to pick his matchups depending on the starting pitcher for the day with a quality right-handed option in Ramirez and left-handed option in Morneau.

In addition to adding great depth at 1B, he can also get a handful of starts at DH when Ortiz needs some rest giving the Red Sox unbelievable flexibility with these three key players.

If Boston can sign Morneau to a short-term deal, both sides would greatly benefit. Morneau is a few years removed from his MVP days in 2006; however, he still has some pop in his bat and has battled injuries in the latter part of his career. At age 34, it is not a stretch to think that if Morneau can put up some good numbers this season.

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This is something that is very probable for a left-handed hitter of his caliber at Fenway Park. Morneau could find himself one more decent sized contract before his career is up, and with Ramirez most likely moving to DH in 2017, there’s even a possibility that next contract could be in Boston.