Boston Red Sox Rumors: Is Trevor Story the missing piece to the infield?

Trevor Story #27 of the Colorado Rockies (Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Trevor Story #27 of the Colorado Rockies (Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

The Boston Red Sox have maintained a surprisingly low profile since the MLB lockout ended. While they have watched their division rivals make some huge moves (Josh Donaldson to the New York Yankees, Matt Chapman to the Toronto Blue Jays), the Sox have only brought in a pair of relievers in Matt Strahm and Jake Diekman so far.

Much of the action regarding Boston’s recent free agent rumors revolved around Freddie Freeman. The Sox emerged from out of nowhere to be one of the final teams in contention for the smooth-swinging first baseman. Unfortunately, Freeman opted to join the Los Angeles Dodgers last night, which put the Sox back to square one in their free agent search.

The Red Sox have some clear cut needs that have been left unaddressed for the most part. Their pitching staff still looks weak, and took a very big hit yesterday afternoon when it was announced Chris Sale would miss an extended period of time with a rib injury. Plus, they haven’t done anything to their lineup other than trade Hunter Renfroe and let Kyle Schwarber leave in free agency. Not encouraging stuff here, folks.

However, there are still some big names left on the free agent market, and one of those names is former Colarado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story. With Freeman heading to LA, it appears Boston has turned their attention to Story for the time being. While Story is not as good a player as Freeman, you can make a case that we would be an even better fit with the Red Sox, and he may be the team’s last hope at salvaging something this offseason.

Trevor Story could fill the gaping hole in the Boston Red Sox infield

The main issue with Boston’s pursuit of Freeman was his fit in the field. Boston already has Bobby Dalbec at first, although he will spend some time playing second base and in the outfield during Spring Training according to manager Alex Cora. They also have another first baseman in Triston Casas who appears set to make his major league debut at some point this season.

Freeman’s bat outweighed those concerns, but that isn’t an issue the Sox have to worry about anymore. Pursuing Story though would make a bit more sense. While Story’s favored position is shortstop, he would have to slide over to second base if he were to join Boston. Story has never been anything special in the field, so a move from short to second shouldn’t be a huge deal for him.

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The real reason the Boston Red Sox are looking into bringing Story onboard is because of his bat. Story is one of the best power-hitting middle infielders in the league currently, and the potential upside of adding his bat to this lineup is huge. With Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, and J.D. Martinez already on board, Boston is going to score runs. Add Story to the equation, and it’s going to be tough to keep this lineup quiet on a nightly basis.

Story is actually coming off a down year for himself in 2021. He hit .251 with 24 homers and 75 runs batted in, which are still good numbers. But the prior three seasons, Story hadn’t finished lower than 12th in MVP voting. His numbers during that run were usually a .290 average with 30+ home runs and 90 RBI’s (of course, they weren’t actually that high in the shortened 2020 season, but if a full 162 game season was played, Story probably would have reached those totals).

Still, Story is one of the best hitters in the league currently. He offers a unique blend of contact and power that not many players offer when he is playing at his best. With half of his games being played with a short left field at Fenway Park, it would seem like Story would be a shoe-in for at least 30 home runs every season he played in Boston.

Considering Story is one of the best remaining players on the market, his value may increase just a bit. He still is probably looking at a $20 million per year deal for five to six years, which is pretty good value all things considered. He could earn even more money if he were to wait for fellow shortstop Carlos Correa to make his decision, but given how Spring Training is already underway, a waiting game may not be the best idea.

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The Boston Red Sox desperately need another big bat in their lineup to replace the production lost from the departures of Renfroe and Schwarber. Story offers that and a solid positional fit in the same package. Second base isn’t his ideal fit, but if he comes in and smacks 30 home runs this season, it won’t really matter. Story fills two areas of need at once, and with Freeman off the board, it makes sense for the Sox to make a big push for Story.