The Boston Red Sox came up short this season as they failed to make it past the ALDS while also losing designated hitter David Ortiz to retirement. The latest MLB rumors have suggested five possible Ortiz replacements the Red Sox can sign or trade for this offseason.
Edwin Encarnacion (Free Agency)
The Toronto Blue Jays have a big decision to make this offseason as they will have Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista to worry about. MLB rumors in Toronto imply that only one of the two sluggers will be retained.
According to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball, the Red Sox prefer signing Encarnacion over Bautista because he is younger and more durable. He is only 33 years old and he is more durable than his Blue Jays teammate.
Encarnacion had a monstrous season for Toronto this year. He had a batting average of .263 but he hit a career-high 42 home runs and 127 RBIs. He also missed just two games and played in 160 this season compared to the injury-riddled Bautista.
Mark Trumbo (Free Agency)
Another power hitter the Red Sox could sign is Mark Trumbo, who hit an MLB-leading 47 home runs this season with 108 RBIs for the Baltimore Orioles. He is much younger at 30 years old but he has been inconsistent throughout his career.
Rich Dubroff of CSN Mid-Atlantic believes Trumbo is looking for a long term contract and a home since he has been moving teams in the past three seasons. MLB rumors in Baltimore suggest that he could re-sign with the Orioles but do not be surprised if the Red Sox goes after him if Encarnacion and Bautista are off the market.
Jose Bautista (Free Agency)
The heavy favorite to replace David Ortiz in Boston is Jose Bautista. He has been part of many MLB rumors since the start of the season especially when he revealed that he loves playing at Fenway Park. The Boston Globe also reported that Bautista’s preferred destination this winter is Boston.
However, the Red Sox might not be interested in him as much as he likes them to be. Boston wants someone who can play a full season but Bautista was plagued by injuries this season and him being 36 years old does not help his case.
Mike Napoli (Free Agency)
If the Red Sox cannot sign the first three names mentioned above, the can turn their attention to a familiar face. Mike Napoli, who was part of the 2013 World Series team, is set to become a free agent and a reunion in Boston might be set.
However, the Cleveland Indians are very interested in locking up Napoli, per ESPN. The 35-year-old only batted .239 but he hit a career-high 34 home runs this season while also driving in a career-best 101 runs.
Miguel Cabrera (Trade)
Finally, the Red Sox can turn to the trade market if Encarnacion, Trumbo, Bautista and Napoli sign with other teams. They can acquire Miguel Cabrera, who has been the best hitter on the planet for the past five years.
The Tigers are rumored to be in rebuilding mode and they are open to trading all of their players including the Cabrera. The downside for the Red Sox is they have to let go several young players from the farm system but it will all be worth it.
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