Report: Red Sox considering these three players in free agency originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Dare we call the Boston Red Sox‘ chief baseball officer a late bloomer?
Chaim Bloom frustratingly stood pat early in the MLB offseason, watching marquee free agents sign elsewhere despite letting Xander Bogaerts, Nathan Eovaldi and J.D. Martinez hit the open market. Yet Bloom appeared to awaken from his winter slumber this month by adding Adam Duvall, Raimel Tapia and Jorge Alfaro, and he might have more moves left in him.
The Red Sox are “considering” signing shortstop Elvis Andrus, utilityman Josh Harrison and “perhaps” infielder Jurickson Profar in free agency this month, the New York Post’s Jon Heyman reported Thursday.
According to Heyman, the Red Sox would be comfortable with Kiké Hernandez playing shortstop with Trevor Story expected to miss four-to-six months after elbow surgery. But Boston still could use an upgrade over Christian Arroyo at second base as well as a part-time shortstop to gain more lineup flexibility.
Harrison would offer the most versatility, having played at least 45 games at every non-batter position besides center field and first base over 12 MLB seasons. The 34-year-old tallied just seven home runs and 27 RBIs in 2022 but is one season removed from hitting .279 with 60 runs driven in.
Andrus packs the most offensive punch in this trio; he hit 17 home runs with 58 RBIs and stole 18 bases over 146 games with the Oakland Athletics and Chicago White Sox last season. The 33-year-old is primarily a shortstop, so his addition could move Hernandez to either second base or center field.
Profar also comes with decent power (15 home runs and 58 RBIs in 2022) and is younger than Harrison and Andrus at 29. The Curacao native played primarily in left field for the San Diego Padres last season but has experience at both second base and shortstop.
Adding one of these players would make the Red Sox marginally better but wouldn’t necessarily move the needle. At this point in the offseason, a trade is their best avenue to acquire legitimate talent, and their options are even dwindling on that front, as the Miami Marlins reportedly traded pitcher Pablo Lopez (rumored to be a Red Sox target) to the Minnesota Twins on Friday.
Bloom has slow-played the offseason to date, but he may need to pick up the pace in January to give Boston a competent roster.