All Boston Red Sox 2018 free agents and the likelihood they’ll return

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 05: Eduardo Nunez
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 05: Eduardo Nunez /

On November 7th nine Boston Red Sox players will be eligible to sign with new teams when free agency begins. Some will likely return to Boston though.

The World Series is over and so is the 2017 MLB season. The Boston Red Sox won the AL East but couldn’t advance past the eventual champions, the Houston Astros. They’ll look to change that in 2018.

Now, the Red Sox officially have nine free agents on their own team to deal with. On November 7th free agency will open, and they’ll be free to sign anywhere they please. Below, I’ve listed each Red Sox free agent along with my predictions and likelihood that they’ll return.

I expect Boston to be fairly active this offseason, and hopefully, a big splash is made. The first step though is to decide what to do with their own free agents.

RP Fernando Abad: 60% chance of return

Fernando Abad didn’t have a great year, so I don’t think the market for him will be that intense. Boston will likely want to hold on to Abad in hopes that he improves for 2018, but that’s not a given. I give this little more than a 50/50 chance for an Abad return to Boston at 60%. A surprise team could jump in the mix, and if the price gets too high the Red Sox will let him go.

RP Blaine Boyer: 40% chance of return

The Red Sox really won’t care if Blaine Boyer is on their team next season or not. He appeared in 32 games for Boston last season and finished with a 4.35 ERA. Boyer will be 36 next season, and it seems like his career is close to over. I wouldn’t be surprised if Boston makes a low-ball offer.

OF Rajai Davis: 10% chance of return

Rajai Davis didn’t really do much of anything in his games with the Boston Red Sox. In 17 games he hit .250 and drove in 2 runs. I don’t think the Red Sox will even make an offer to Davis to return for 2018, but anything can happen.

SP Doug Fister: 0% chance of return

Not a chance in hell. Doug Fister is terrible and he has no place on this Boston Red Sox team.

SP Kyle Kendrick: 0% chance of return

Not a chance in hell. Kyle Kendrick is terrible and he has no place on this Boston Red Sox team.

1B Mitch Moreland: 50% chance of return

Mitchy Two-Bags was quite a surprise at the plate for the Red Sox in 2017. In his first season in Boston Moreland hit just .246 but he had 22 home runs and 79 RBI. That’s solid production for this lineup. The Red Sox may look to bring in an even bigger bat though, like Eric Hosmer. That’s why I say there is just a 50/50 chance we see Moreland in Boston next season. The Red Sox will definitely make him an offer though.

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INF Eduardo Nunez: 75% chance of return

The Boston Red Sox need to re-sign Eduardo Nunez, especially with Dustin Pedroia out. Boston will need Nunez to be the 2018 Opening Day starter at second base. When he joined the Red Sox in August, no one knew what to expect but Nunez hit .321 with 8 home runs and 27 RBI in 38 games. While that production is unlikely to be replicated, Nunez is a career .282 hitter and the Red Sox could expect 10-15 home runs from him at the plate. I think the Pedroia injury gives Boston a really good chance to retain Nunez here.

RP Addison Reed: 20% chance of return

While it would be nice for the Red Sox to hang on to Addison Reed, I think they knew they were only getting a rental. He was okay out of Boston’s bullpen in 2017, but I think some other team will pay him more than Dave Dombrowski is willing to. A new 8th inning pitcher will be a big need this offseason.

Next: Red Sox hire three new coaches

OF Chris Young: 35% chance of return

The Red Sox should look for an upgrade at their utility outfield position. Young will be 34 next season, and there are other options available. Look for offers to be made to players like Travis Snyder, Michael Saunders, or Eric Young Jr. to fill this role. Boston is also in the market for a DH like J.D. Martinez or Jay Bruce, and both could also play some games in the outfield to provide breaks for the Killer B’s.