Boston Red Sox

  • After a hugely disappointing season for Red Sox first basemen in 2022, the arrow is pointing up for 2023.

    The latest news at the position essentially solidifies the depth chart in Boston. Eric Hosmer is opting in to the final three years of his contract, according to Jon Heyman.

    While that doesn’t necessarily lock Hosmer in with the Red Sox through 2025, he will have most of his $13 million per season paid by the San Diego Padres. The Red Sox are only on the hook for $720,000 of Hosmer’s salary in 2023, per Spotrac.

    Hosmer batted just .244 with no home runs and a .631 OPS in 14 games with the Red Sox in the 2022 season. He last hit over 20 homers in 2019 with San Diego. His fielding isn’t what it used to be in his Gold Glove days, but Hosmer was still a defensive upgrade at first base over Bobby Dalbec and Franchy Cordero.

    This is our way of saying that Hosmer isn’t even the projected starter for 2023 and beyond.

  • ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 06: Triston Casas #36 of the Boston Red Sox hits a two run home run in the second inning during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on September 06, 2022 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

    ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – SEPTEMBER 06: Triston Casas #36 of the Boston Red Sox hits a two run home run in the second inning during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on September 06, 2022 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

  • That would be high-end prospect Triston Casas, who ranked No. 2 in the organization at MLB Pipeline heading into his major league debut last season. Casas played the first 27 games of his major-league career with the Red Sox in 2022, and quickly showed off his excellent raw power. He launched five homers with Boston – a 162-game pace of exactly 30.

    Casas will need to cut down on the strikeouts (23 in 27 games), but he’s generally described as a smart hitter on top of his pure ability. He won’t “sell out for power” and will be happy to work counts and drive the ball hard without hitting it out of the park. He also walked 19 times last season, a 114-walk pace, which would’ve ranked him second in the majors.

    It remains to be seen what Casas’ true ceiling will be at the highest level. But he will almost certainly turn out to be a more productive major-leaguer than Dalbec or Cordero will ever be.

    BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 4: Triston Casas #36 of the Boston Red Sox follows through on his first major league hit, a single against the Texas Rangers during the sixth inning at Fenway Park on September 4, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MA – SEPTEMBER 4: Triston Casas #36 of the Boston Red Sox follows through on his first major league hit, a single against the Texas Rangers during the sixth inning at Fenway Park on September 4, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

  • The Red Sox’ most pressing issue on offense will be in the middle of the infield, where Chaim Bloom has said retaining Xander Bogaerts long-term is still the team’s preferred plan. Bogaerts is officially a free agent after opting out of his deal with Boston. There’s also the case of third baseman Rafael Devers, who has just one more year of arbitration eligibility.

    Boston could also stand to make upgrades in the outfield, where Alex Verdugo, Jarren Duran, and Kiké Hernandez project as starters. But they can at least rest easy at first base, where they have a rising power hitter and a solid veteran backup in the fold.

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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 @realmattdolloff. Check out all of Matt’s content here.