Red Sox need J.D. Martinez, Eric Hosmer signings to counter Yankees

The Red Sox have been linked to both J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer since the start of free agency. With the rival Yankees landing Giancarlo Stanton, the Red Sox will have to counter and make a big deal themselves if they want to remain on top of the AL East.

With the Orioles fielding offers for Manny Machado, the Blue Jays doing the same for Josh Donaldson and the Rays seemingly never ending rotation of talent being phased out by payroll; the AL East will come down to it’s usual juggernauts.

When John Farrell was fired he pulled no punches in letting everyone know that the Red Sox were a “stacked team” while speaking about the pressure that will be on new manager Alex Cora this year. With the trade of Stanton to the Yankees, the oddsmakers in Vegas have labeled them the favorites in the World Series meaning the Red Sox are going to have to add to a team already full of talent.

Enter J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer.

Martinez had his best season in 2017 splitting time between the Tigers and Diamondbacks bopping 45 combined home runs in just 119 games and reaching the 100 RBI milestone for the second time in his career. While he has been a productive player for four years now, one has to wonder how much he will fall off of those 2017 numbers.

If the Red Sox are serious about not trading Jackie Bradley then an acquisition of Martinez is going to create a rotation of players though the DH spot this season. Martinez would figure to get the bulk of that time due to his poor track record in the field, which would allow the Red Sox to tap into his best skills while avoiding this worst. Add in Mookie Betts and Andrew Benedetti – who had a fine rookie season overshadowed by Aaron Judge – and you have a group that can rival that of Judge, Stanton, Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks.

But the Red Sox may not stop there.

Eric Hosmer would provide needed help at first base now that Mitch Moreland is gone. Right now Hanley Ramirez would figure to start there for the Red Sox and while he still has some hits in his bat there is no mistaking that Hosmer would offer an improvement at the plate and even more in the field.

Signing both Martinez and Hosmer seems like a tall task, especially when you consider the Red Sox are already over the luxury tax with a payroll currently projected to be around $210 million.  With money still owed to the jettisoned Pablo Sandoval, another $30 million to David Price and aforementioned Ramirez checking in at $22.75 million the Red Sox have a lot of money tied up in players they would probably rather not have on the roster. And all that is before we consider that Rusney Castillo is also owed north of $11 million.

If the Red Sox are going to get both Martinez and Hosmer, which they may need to compete in the AL East, they are going to have to get creative in clearing payroll from some of their pricey aging veterans.

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