Predict where the Red Sox free agents will sign this offseason

The most challenging challenge of the Boston Red Sox tenure to Chaim Bloom is underway.

After finishing last in the American League East, the Red Sox have many holes to fill all over the roster. The most obvious voids is a short stint as Xander Bogaerts became a free agent and began rotating with right-handers Nathan Eovaldi and Michael Wacha on the open market.

Boston should also look to overhaul its database, especially with Jarrett Whitlock and TannerHawks expected to start 2023 as starts. Matt Strahm and Rich Hill are both free agents, though both left-handers could return on affordable short-term deals.

JD Martinez and Tommy Pham complete the list of free agents for the Red Sox. Bloom will likely need to find a new designated hitter to replace the 2018 World Series champ, but Pham is tipped to return just months later with the 2022 club.

So, what uniform will the Red Sox free agents wear next year? Here’s an educated guess for each.

Xander Bogaerts, SS – Philadelphia Phillies

Unlike the Red Sox, the Phillies appear to be serious about being the highest bidder for Bogaerts’ services. A lot of that has to do with former Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski at the helm at Philly.

After closing in on a World Series title, Dombrowski and the Phillies will have to be aggressive this offseason to make sure they get back on the big stage in 2023. Signing Bogaerts would be a statement that the Philly isn’t going anywhere, and would be a great way for a big-spending Dombrowski for sabotaging an organization he felt mistreated by at the end of his term.

Possibility of returning to the Red Sox: 6/10

Nathan Ivaldi, RHP – Boston Red Sox

My original prediction for Ivaldi was that he would go home to play for the Texas Rangers, who need all the promotional help they can get. Recent reports that the Red Sox have already offered Eovaldi a multi-year contract have changed my stance. It seems like both sides want something to work, and it makes sense for Boston to keep Ivaldi or Watcha. My sense is that the Eovaldi deal is done sooner rather than later.

Possibility of returning to the Red Sox: 8/10

JD Martinez, DH – Cleveland Guardians

All signs point to Martinez moving in free agency after five stellar seasons in Boston. The 35-year-old isn’t quite as strong as he once was, but he can still provide some pop in the middle of a line-up that needs it. The bouncer, in desperate need of a big hitter or two, would be an excellent fit for a seasoned hitting manager who might also be considered a second hitting coach.

Possibility of returning to the Red Sox: 3/10

Michael Wacha, RHP – Detroit Tigers

If Eovaldi were to sign elsewhere, Wacha’s return to the Red Sox would make perfect sense. The veteran right-hander was the surprise star of the Boston tournament in 2022.

Tomase: The Red Sox’ rotation is shaping up, but it desperately needs leading-back stability

Unfortunately for Bloom and Co. This means that the price of Wacha has gone up this season. I see him go down with a team willing to overpay for a mid-rotation start. The Tigers need a punt and they were already willing to overpay one of Boston’s free agents last year: Eduardo Rodriguez.

Possibility of returning to the Red Sox: 7/10

Tommy Pham, OF – Chicago White Sox

The Red Sox rejected Pham’s $12 million option for 2023, but there’s still a strong chance the offensive player will return next season. For this drill, I think the White Sox make the most sense as Pham’s next destination. Chicago needs to add some outside depth and Pham is one of the best low risk, high potential reward options.

Possibility of returning to the Red Sox: 7/10

Rich Hill, LHP – Boston Red Sox

Hill, who turns 43 in March, was worth every penny of his $5 million salary in 2022. The Southpaw veteran would be a solid starting point who can help next season. Hill has already said he hopes to return to the Red Sox in 2023, so the ball is in the front office’s court.

Possibility of returning to the Red Sox: 8/10

Matt Stram, LHP – Philadelphia Phillies

Strahm expressed his desire to become a regular starter next season. There is almost no chance of that happening in Boston, so don’t expect him to come back unless he changes his tune. If he sticks to relief — the most likely scenario — another season with the Red Sox is on the table. Dombrowski and the Phillies can use a solid left stick to pinch-hit as well.

Possibility of returning to the Red Sox: 6/10


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