Red Sox Targets: Willy Adames
The Red Sox have a few areas of need to address this option. The loss of Xander Bogaerts leaves a massive hole in the lineup. I believe the best candidate to replace Bogaerts is Dansby Swanson. However, I think the Red Sox are avoiding Free Agents with Qualifying Offers attached to their names to prevent losing draft picks and international bonus money. I think the Red Sox will make most of their moves in the trade market. Chaim Bloom has stated that the trade market is “something we are very, very actively exploring.” The minor league depth and prospect pool the Red Sox have built up under Bloom’s leadership is more valuable than Internal bonus money and a second-round draft selection. However, it appears the Red Sox may think differently than I do. But they have forty million to spend. They can certainly sign Swanson and Eovaldi while adding impact players via trade. That is the ideal scenario. The Red Sox are involved in the Shortstop market and the market for a Right Handed bat. If they miss out on Swanson, who has several teams interested in his services, I would not be surprised if Chaim Bloom trades for his old friend Willy Adames.
Adames started his career with the Tampa Bay Rays, where he played for four seasons. The 27-year-old Shortstop is one of the most underrated players in his position. In his first full season with the Milwaukee Brewers, Adames set career highs in home runs (31), RBIs (98), and Total Bases (258). He was one of the most productive bats for the Brewers in 2022. The Brewers need Adames to compete in the National League Central in 2023. Unless an offer that blows them away comes along. I like Adames; he is a solid defender and possesses great power with his bat. He has two more years of team control, and by that time, Marcelo Mayer will be knocking on the door to play Shortstop for the Red Sox. He would be an excellent bridge to Mayer and less of a long-term money commitment than Swanson.
My worry about Adames is his high strike-out rate. He swings and misses a lot but makes up for it with his power. I prefer a hitter who makes more contact, strikes out less, and has better plate discipline, given that those were all areas the Red Sox needed to improve upon. However, his power from the right side of the plate and his solid defense would be a great addition to this team. Players who hit 30 home runs are a valuable commodity. It would be challenging to acquire a player of Adames’s caliber, especially given the two additional years of control the Brewers have before he hits Free Agency. It would take too many assets to bring Willy Adames to Boston. But Boston needs to be aggressive. They need to decide to spend their money on one of the few big-name Free Agents left, such as Swanson. Or they need to trade significant assets to acquire another star like Adames. Either way, they need to pay a steep price to improve their roster.
There is also the possibility that the Red Sox front office believes in Trevor Story to be their Shortstop moving forward. Story served as the Shortstop in Colorado for six years. Story is an excellent defender, but his arm strength has declined over the years, and he has undergone elbow surgery. I prefer to keep Story at second base, where he continues to play Gold Glove-caliber defense. Boston has some strong candidates to replace Xander at Short in Swanson, Adames, and Story. There may be several more names on their radar that we have yet to learn about. I know that the Red Sox will be making a big splash. Whether that is at Shortstop or another position is unknown. But I expect them to make their big off-season move before Christmas.