Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox

  • A busy Friday for the Red Sox did not come without a surprising move from the office of Chaim Bloom.

    In a day that saw the Sox add reliever Wyatt Mills in a one-for-one trade with the Royals (and send the recently designated-for-assignment Hoy Park to the Braves), the Red Sox announced that Mills’ addition to the 40-man roster would come at the expense of veteran first baseman Eric Hosmer, who was designated for assignment.

  • Acquired from the Padres at the 2022 MLB trade deadline, the addition of the 33-year-old Hosmer finally saw the Red Sox acknowledge that first base was a real position that needed a real positional player at it, and allowed ’em to do it on the cheap, as the Padres ate almost every single penny that was remaining on Hosmer’s deal.

    Hosmer was decent enough during his injury-interrupted run to close out the 2022 season, too, with a .244 average (11-for-45) with three doubles and four RBIs in 14 games with the Red Sox. Hosmer also provided strong defense at first (a rarity over the last two seasons), with just one error in 105 innings at first base.

    But that wasn’t enough to warrant a longer look in Boston, apparently, as Mills pushed Hosmer off Boston’s 40-man roster. And if you’re having a hard time seeing the logic in this one, I must admit that you’re not alone.

  • Aug 7, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Boston Red Sox first baseman Eric Hosmer (35) bats against the Kansas City Royals during the second inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports

    Aug 7, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Boston Red Sox first baseman Eric Hosmer (35) bats against the Kansas City Royals during the second inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

  • Speaking after the transaction-heavy Friday, Bloom was asked outright by MassLive’s Chris Cotillo why the team decided to make this call on the veteran (and largely dependable) Hosmer.

    “Our roster isn’t complete yet, but as we build our club, we feel it’s important to give Triston [Casas] a clear lane, and that carrying two left-handed hitting first basemen would leave us short in other areas,” Bloom told Cotillo. “Given that, it’s important to do right by Eric and give him time to find his next opportunity. We knew when we first got him that this day would come at some point, and wanted to make sure we treated him right.”

    It’s a noble enough reason on the part of Bloom and the Red Sox front office, sure, but it does bring the ‘asset management’ questions back into the frame.

    If the Red Sox knew this day would come (and this soon), it’s worth wondering if they just had to give up first-round pick Jay Groome (flaws and all) in a trade the Padres were obviously desperate to make? And while it makes sense to clear a path for Casas, a player the Red Sox clearly view a future franchise cornerstone piece, to do it at the expense of depth is always a risky proposition. Especially with Casas’ inexperience at this level.

    Given a 27-game run with Boston to close out 2022, the 22-year-old Casas hit .197 with five homers and 12 RBIs, and fanned 23 times over a 76-at bat sample. Casas has also battled injury issues throughout his pro career, and was dealing with a knee injury that led Bloom and the Sox pulling him out of the Dominican Winter League, last we knew.

    Based on what we know and don’t know, it’s entirely possible that Casas is either not ready to take that next step or not healthy enough to take that next step. You would, in theory, like a backup plan until you’re certain about either.

  • Sep 9, 2022; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Boston Red Sox first baseman Triston Casas (36) returns to the dugout during the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports

    Sep 9, 2022; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Boston Red Sox first baseman Triston Casas (36) returns to the dugout during the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. (Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports)

  • It’s just another reason why the timeline on the ‘tough call’ on Hosmer is confusing.

    It’s also tough to see how the Red Sox landed here on Hosmer ahead of some other players still on the 40-man roster. In an offseason that’s been full of bullpen additions and almost nothing else, relievers Ryan Brasier and Kaleb Ort remain on Boston’s 40-man roster.

    The 35-year-old Brasier is coming off a 2022 season that included career-worst marks in ERA (5.78),  batting average against (.280), hits (68), earned runs (40), and home runs (nine) in 68 appearances, while Ort posted a 6.35 ERA and .302 batting average against over 28.1 innings.

    And hey, call me crazy, but I’d take two lefty first basemen over two human meltdowns on the roster coming out of your bullpen every single day of the week.

  • Aug 5, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Boston Red Sox first baseman Eric Hosmer (35) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a run against the Kansas City Royals during the sixth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports

    Aug 5, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Boston Red Sox first baseman Eric Hosmer (35) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a run against the Kansas City Royals during the sixth inning at Kauffman Stadium. (Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports)

  • With Hosmer seemingly bound for a fresh start elsewhere in 2023, Bobby Dalbec is looking like the likeliest backup option behind Casas as of right now.

    Dalbec, who was reportedly on the trade block last time we heard his name, is not a natural first baseman, and is coming off a 2022 that included a .212 average and 12 home runs in 117 games.

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