Red Sox reportedly interested in All-Star utility man
With what appears to be a clear willingness to spend this offseason, the Boston Red Sox might be looking to repeat the Kiké Hernandez move. Almost to a tee, in fact, as Chaim Bloom has reportedly shown an interest in Dodgers utility man Chris Taylor.
Boston’s reported interest is nothing new. Even if you’ve been following this team even half-heartedly. They’ve been the ‘Interest Kings’ really since Bloom took over, and have certainly earned that moniker this offseason, with the Red Sox linked to almost every possible free agent of note. (For the record, ‘The Most Interested Team in the World’ is a way better nickname, though it is a bit wordy, so maybe I’m wrong.)
Taylor would certainly fit a need for the Red Sox, too, as another do-it-all positional player, and with significant career experience as a middle infielder (though he spent the majority of last year in center field for Los Angeles). The 31-year-old Taylor also possesses a bat that pops, with a 2021 campaign that included 20 homers and a career-high 73 RBIs, along with the first All-Star nomination of Taylor’s career.
The 6-foot-1 righty did not relent in the Dodgers’ postseason run either, with four homers, 12 runs batted in, and hits in 13 of his 37 at-bats for a .351 average in 11 games played. Taylor also had his share of big hits throughout their run, including the walk-off homer in the team’s wild card victory over the Cardinals, and a three-homer performance in LA’s must-win Game 5 win over the Braves in the NLCS.
(It really feels like the Red Sox are just trying to find Kiké 2.0 here.)
But price is where Hernandez and Taylor likely split, as the expectation is that Taylor will command a multi-year deal worth north of $60 million. His robust market — the Cardinals, Rangers, Giants, Marlins and ‘others’ join the Red Sox as those interested in Taylor — may only drive that price up between now and Taylor signing on the dotted line.
It’s also worth noting that Taylor did decline his qualifying offer from the Dodgers on his way to the open market, meaning that the team that signs him will owe a compensatory pick to the Dodgers. The good news for the Red Sox on that front is that they recently gained a pick with lefty Eduardo Rodriguez joining the Tigers.
A fifth-round pick of the Mariners back in 2012, Taylor has compiled a .261 average, .779 OPS, 79 homers, and 309 RBIs in 743 career games between the Mariners and Dodgers since 2014.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.