The Red Sox have been focused on pitching help first and foremost this offseason, yet that isn’t the team’s only target area. Chief baseball officer Craig Breslow told reporters (including MLB.com’s Ian Browne) that the Sox are looking at second basemen on both the trade and free agent markets, though a new infielder is likeliest to come via trade. Breslow implied that the Red Sox would first like to address their pitching needs, so it may be some time yet before a second-base answer comes into focus.
A whopping 11 players saw at least a little time at second base for the 2023 Red Sox, but this revolving door combined for 0.0 bWAR, as only three teams got less production from their second basemen. Enmanuel Valdez, Pablo Reyes, Bobby Dalbec, or (when he isn’t in center field) Ceddanne Rafaela all look like the top internal candidates for the keystone heading into the offseason, but Boston would clearly like to better solidify the position. With a somewhat thin free agent class of midfielders available, it isn’t surprising that Breslow would prefer to bring in a higher-caliber upgrade in trade talks.
More from around the AL East…
- Former first overall pick Jackson Holliday has been nothing but impressive over his two pro seasons, to the point that Orioles GM Mike Elias said it is “a very strong possibility” that Holliday could be on Baltimore’s Opening Day roster. “I don’t want to put the cart before the horse, but he had an historic first full season in the minors….He’s going to be treated in this major league camp not like a prospect where we’re kind of having fun and having him in camp for the experience of it, but like a guy trying to make the team,” Elias told Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com and other reporters. Holliday has played mostly shortstop with some second-base time in the minors, and Elias said the 20-year-old will continue at those two positions in Spring Training. Often seen as the Orioles’ shortstop of the future, Holliday’s exact position isn’t yet known due to the sheer glut of talent Baltimore has in the pipeline and on the MLB roster, particularly in the infield. To this end, Elias isn’t concerned about finding playing time for everyone or keeping Holliday at a set position, since defensive versatility is “part of baseball now and it provides a lot of value. There’s very, very, very, few players that just stand in the same spot and nowhere else.”
- Yankees manager Aaron Boone gave reporters (including The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner and Brendan Kuty) updates on the offseason progress of some players plagued by injuries in 2023. Nestor Cortes was limited to 63 1/3 innings due to two rotator cuff strains, but Boone said the southpaw has now started a throwing program. Anthony Rizzo is expected to have a normal offseason program after being cleared of post-concussion syndrome, hopefully concluding a bizarre sequence of events that saw Rizzo keep playing for more than two months after suffering an apparent concussion in late May. Rizzo was placed on the IL in early August and then shut down for the season at the start of September, though Boone said that the first baseman was “probably game-ready and ready to go” by the end of the season. Jose Trevino’s season was ended by wrist surgery in July but the catcher is expected to be set for the start of Spring Training.