Complacency is not in the DNA of Red Sox boss Dave Dombrowski, so we cannot rule out a big move this winter. A big free agent signing along the lines of Bryce Harper or Manny Machado is not happening, but the Sox will weigh their options in the trade market and the middle-level free agent market.
There was considerable Madison Bumgarner trade buzz last week and the Red Sox weren’t among the initial list of teams that were mentioned as destination. But given that Bumgarner is entering the final year of his current contract ($12 million) – the Red Sox might just kick the tires. If Nathan Eovaldi walks in free agency, Dombrowski will need to look around for another starter.
Bumgarner is still just 29-years-old and is two seasons removed from a season in which he went 15-9 with a 2.74 ERA.
There are, however, several things working against Bumgarner being traded to Boston.
First, and most important, is that both Jon Heyman and Buster Olney both reported in recent days that the Giants aren’t serious about trading Bumgarner at this time. Then again, we are smack dab in the middle of bluffing season.
Second is that Bumgarner is a lefty and the Sox are already set there with Chris Sale and David Price. That’s no deal-breaker, but will be considered for sure.
In free agency, second baseman DJ LeMahieu has already talked with the Dodgers, Nationals and Twins. The Dodgers have been spending like crazy for years, but at some point they will have to reel it in. The Nationals obviously want to re-up with Harper, and it’s unclear if the Twins will be ready to spend big.
The market doesn’t seem like it will be too hot when it comes to LeMahieu, which would surely benefit the Red Sox if they’re looking for value at second base. LeMahieu is a two-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner. He hit over .300 three years in a row before a drop-off last season in which he batted .276.
LaMahieu was mentioned as a trade possibility for the Sox this past summer ahead of the deadline as MLB.com’s Jon Morosi tweeted, “DJ LeMahieu to the Red Sox is a possible trade match if Dustin Pedroia’s knee issues persist, as I mentioned on MLB Network today. LaMahieu, a free agent after this year, is a potent bat vs. LHP.”
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