Boston Red Sox Rumors: Breaking down team’s best fit at first base

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 30: Mitch Moreland
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 30: Mitch Moreland /

The Boston Red Sox have been linked to many players so far this offseason. With Mitch Moreland entering free agency, the Red Sox should target a new first baseman.

Don’t get me wrong. Mitch Moreland did well for the Boston Red Sox. He produced in the middle of the lineup and played solid defense all season.

He also earned the nickname Mitchy 2-Bags due to the insane amount of doubles he hit at the beginning of the season. Moreland, however, is now a free agent.

While he provides a good value at first base, he isn’t the guy we should be focused on signing. Let’s go over the options.

Carlos Santana

The Red Sox have been tied to Indians first baseman Carlos Santana. He seems like a logical target.

In 2017, Santana batted .259 (for the second year in a row) and he added 23 home runs and 37 doubles. He posted an OBP of .363 and a slugging percentage of .455.

Santana also adds versatility to a lineup because he is a switch hitter. He hit slightly better as a lefty in terms of average, and his power numbers were better from the left side of the plate (.473 slugging lefty vs. .426 slugging righty).

He’s a good player, no doubt. But does the idea of Carlos Santana in the Red Sox lineup get your juices flowing? Does it make you feel that warm, tingly feeling? Not for me it doesn’t.

According to Spotrac, Santana’s calculated market value is $18 million per year. Is he 3x more valuable than Mitch Moreland? Absolutely not.

If it came down to signing Carlos Santana, I would rather keep Mitchy Two-Bags around.

Mitch Moreland

BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 09: Mitch Moreland
BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 09: Mitch Moreland /

The Red Sox first baseman from the 2017 season would be welcomed back by Red Sox nation with open arms.

In 2017, Moreland batted .246 with 22 home runs and 79 RBIs. He posted a slugging percentage of .443.

Carlos Santana has a few minor advantages over Moreland. Like I mentioned, Santana would provide the Red Sox with both a righty and lefty bat. Secondly, his OBP is 37 points higher than Moreland’s.

Other than those minor things, the two are fairly even. The Red Sox, who need power, would not be gaining much power by replacing Moreland with Santana.

Moreland provides a great value at first base. In 2017, his salary was $5.5 million. It would cost roughly the same on a yearly basis to resign the 2016 Gold Glove award winner. That’s a significantly better value than Santana for a marginally worse player.

Moreland’s value makes him a solid signing, if it comes down to him. Like Santana, however, Moreland just doesn’t excite me. We know what we’re getting with him, and while it’s not bad, he’s not the answer to our problems.

Eric Hosmer

Now we turn to our most expensive option. Forget the fact that he looks like a satyr from ancient Greek mythology. Forget about the devil horns that may or may not be growing underneath his hat.

Eric Hosmer is not the first baseman the Red Sox deserve. He’s the first baseman the Red Sox need.

In 2017 for the Royals, Hosmer batted .318 with 25 home runs and a slugging percentage of .498. Ooooh baby!

Dave Dombrowski has already expressed his intentions of not staying under the luxury tax threshold. That means, in layman terms, that money is not an obstacle for Dealin’ Davey. If he finds the right guy, he will pounce.

Hosmer’s projected market value is over $20 million a year, but he backs it up. A .318 batting average is lightyears ahead of Moreland and Santana. His slugging percentage is better than both of them, and he was just 6 RBIs shy of the century mark.

Related Story: Eric Hosmer the logical target for BoSox

Hosmer is also 4 years younger than the other two options, meaning he has the most long term potential of the three. He’s been praised for his clubhouse presence, and he would be a perfect fit for a team that needs more leadership.

All In All

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I’ve had a taste of the Giancarlo Stanton talks. I don’t want to settle for Carlos Santana. If the Red Sox are going to spend money on a good player, spend money on a good player. Don’t overspend for a middle of the road guy when you could resign a similar caliber player for far cheaper.

Eric Hosmer is a perfect fit for the 2018 Red Sox. His hitting abilities will help drive in some of those runs that the Red Sox left on base in 2017.

He will give the Red Sox a sense of leadership that they lacked after David Ortiz’ departure. He also adds a decent amount of power, having hit 25 home runs in 2017. That would have led the Red Sox in 2017.

Many say that Santana is the answer, but if it was between him and Moreland, resign Moreland. If you’re looking for some excitement, some real entertainment, let’s go out and get Eric Hosmer. Giancarlo might be unrealistic, but Hosmer certainly isn’t.

Next: The 5 Greatest Boston Red Sox Shortstops of All-Time

Dave Dombrowski doesn’t settle for mediocre. I wouldn’t expect him to start now.

It’s been an interesting offseason of trade rumors and free agency. I can’t wait to hear what moves the Red Sox ultimately end up making.