The Boston Red Sox are interested in Justin Turner, but if we’ve learned anything this offseason, that’s not necessarily a good thing.
Boston has consistently underbid on the top-tier of MLB free agents this Winter. Until they’re willing to raise their offer, it’s unlikely Chaim Bloom and Co. will be successful in their pursuits on the open market.
Those pursuits include entering the chase for Xander Bogaerts, Dansby Swanson and J.D. Martinez. All three were reported by MLB Insider Jon Heyman. And, in all three, Boston fell well short of expectations from a rabid fanbase which as of just a few years ago assumed they would end up with one of the top free-agents available nearly every offseason.
Oh, how times have changed.
Can the Red Sox close the deal on Justin Turner?
Boston can absolutely sign Justin Turner. They have the capital available, and John Henry and Fenway Sports Group has shown a willingness to spend. Unfortunately for the baseball franchise, that ‘willingness to spend’ has included buying other organizations, such as Liverpool F.C. and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Still the Red Sox are a prime revenue driver for an individual like Henry. Adding more talent and ensuring that Fenway Park is packed on a daily basis (and at an increased price and demand) is within his best interest.
Turner is 38 years old and has shown significant signs of decline the past few seasons, at least defensively. By no means should signing the former All-Star be a signal of what’s to come for Rafael Devers, who is the next homegrown star set to receive a contract extension with Boston.
Of course, we all know how that went with now-Padres shortstop Xander Bogaerts. Bloom and the Sox would be wise to ink Devers while they still can, as every free-agent deal from this point on increases his price. Manny Machado, a shortstop/third baseman who is scheduled to be a free agent next season should he opt out, could increase Devers price by at least $50 million, if not more.
Turner is a nice addition, and could play designated hitter at worst. Improving the roster is in Boston’s best interest, but if we’ve learned anything from the Red Sox offseason, it’s that “interest” means nothing nowadays without financial backing.