MLB Rumors: Where Red Sox stand on George Springer, other star free agents

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Darren Hartwell
·2 min read
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Would Red Sox consider signing Springer, Bauer, other top FAs? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Red Sox face a crossroads as they go about their rebuild.

There's a crop of talented free agents who are on the open market after rejecting a one-year, $18.9 million qualifying offer from their clubs: outfielder George Springer, pitcher Trevor Bauer, second baseman D.J. LeMahieu and catcher J.T. Realmuto.

The Red Sox have money to spend after trading Mookie Betts and David Price last winter, and every player on that list save for Realmuto would fill a need for Boston.

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But chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom apparently is leaning toward a more patient approach.

While the Red Sox "haven't ruled out completely" the thought of signing a player from that group, team officials "privately concede that such a move is unlikely," The Boston Globe's Alex Speier reported Tuesday.

As Speier notes, Boston would have to part with its second-round pick -- No. 39 overall in the 2021 MLB Draft -- if it signs Springer, Bauer or LeMahieu to a deal of at least $50 million.

Under different circumstances, that trade-off might be worth the cost. Bauer is the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner, LeMahieu is the reigning American League batting champion and Springer is a three-time All-Star. All three players could elevate a playoff hopeful into a World Series contender.

The Red Sox are far from a playoff hopeful, however. They finished with the fourth-worst record in baseball last season and are several pieces away from competing with the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays in a stacked AL East.

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That reality could lead Bloom to build through the draft and pursue more team-friendly contracts in free agency rather than spend big on aging players who may be past their prime by the time Boston is a legitimate contender.

Then again, it sounds like the Red Sox are leaving the door ever-so-slightly open on the high-priced free agent route.