This offseason's Free Agency market has been one of the wildest in baseball history. It's not a particularly deep Free Agent class beyond the Shortstop position, so teams have been paying a steep price for the available high-end talent, especially in terms of contract length. It is also noteworthy that baseball's best player agent, Scott Boras is not afraid to continue negotiating contracts for his clients well into the new year. Free Agency is a long and slow process. With big names still on the Free Agent board, the trade market has been dead. However, one name at the center of trade rumors is Pittsburgh Pirates Center Fielder Bryan Reynolds.
Reynolds recently requested a trade, and he would fill many needs that Boston has. The Red Sox will add another bat this offseason, as they have too many left-handed hitters in their lineup. Fenway Park is a hitter-friendly ballpark but not for left-handed hitters. Fortunately, he is a switch hitter and would be a valuable addition to the lineup. Reynolds is an emerging star in this league. Since 2021, he has hit .282 with 51 home runs and 152 RBIs with a .842 OPS. In that time frame, Reynolds has been more productive than Red Sox stars Xander Bogaerts, JD Martinez, and Alex Verdugo. Bryan Reynolds is a stud.
The Red Sox appear set in the Outfield with Masataka Yoshida in Left, Kiké Hernadez in Center, and Alex Verdugo in Right Field. Or are they? I mentioned earlier that Boston's lineup features too many left-handed hitters, and Alex Verdugo is perhaps the most expendable of those left-handed hitters. Verdugo has the potential to be a great hitter, but I believe he took a step back in 2022. He is too inconsistent at the plate, and his advanced metrics last season were less than ideal. Could we see him as part of a potential package along with prospects that would send Bryan Reynolds to Boston? Kiké Hernadez is also one of the more versatile players in the game. His outstanding baseball instincts and IQ allow him to play any position on the field. Maybe he replaces Verdugo in Right Field, where a great defender is needed at a place like Fenway. Adding Reynolds would align with Boston's philosophy of winning now and in the future. The move would also create a more balanced lineup and upgrade the outfield.
The Red Sox Front Office is exploring every possibility to improve this roster, leaving no stone unturned. The price for adding a player like Reynolds is likely sky-high due to the weak Free Agent market for outfielders, along with three years of team control. He is currently on a team run by former Red Sox GM Ben Cherrington, so they will be familiar with who they are negotiating with. They may view the asking price for Reynolds as too high. That said, Free Agents are being signed daily, and trades are likely the best course of action to improve Boston's roster. If they are not taking the necessary risks in Free Agency, they may have to pay the price in trades. I expect the Red Sox to make a big move sooner rather than later. Whether it is a Free Agent signing or a big trade is anyone's guess.