With less than 48 hours to go until the current CBA expires, the Boston Red Sox still have plenty of big-time free agents to potentially sign on the open market.
The team’s spending hasn’t reflected an organization willing to sink big money into a player before Major League Baseball enters a lockout, which is in severe danger of happening at 12 a.m. Thursday. But it remains possible that they’re simply being patient, and planned to start small before striking with a bigger contract at the eleventh hour.
So far, the Red Sox’ “biggest” free-agent signings have been a pair of veteran pitchers on short money: righty Michael Wacha and lefty James Paxton. Wacha has posted a 5.11 ERA since 2019. Paxton won’t be available until sometime in the second half of 2022 after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Meanwhile, any connection they’ve had to more impactful players hasn’t gone beyond the vaunted “interest.” They were briefly linked to shortstop Javier Baez, who ultimately signed with the Tigers for six years and $140 million, and have been rumored to show #interest in a loaded shortstop market.
Some of those bigger fish have already landed elsewhere. The Red Sox have yet to show a willingness to bust out the real money. But if they still intend to go shopping at the highest end of the market, they still have options.
Things can still change quickly, with the lockout looming and big-name players likely to bite at a high bidder in the next couple of days. But here are the biggest names remaining in 2021 free agency, as of the publishing of this article.
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Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at email@example.com.