Star Second Baseman Reportedly Placed On Trade Block; Red Sox Could Be Suitors

Star Second Baseman Reportedly Placed On Trade Block; Red Sox Could Be Suitors

The Boston Red Sox need to focus almost all of their attention on improving the pitching staff this winter.

With that said, the most complicated matter facing the Red Sox is their lack of right-handed hitting. Added a right-handed slugger at second base would make a lot of sense given the current lackluster internal options on the roster.

Free agency isn’t an ideal path either, as former Toronto Blue Jays’ Whit Merrifield is the top middle infielder on the market. That leaves the trade market as the best place for Red Sox chief baseball officer Craig Breslow.

Fortunately, there are some intriguing candidates reportedly becoming available.

“Jonathan India: With too many infielders to fill the four spots already — Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain, Spencer Steer, Noelvi Marte, Christian Encarnacion-Strand — Cincinnati is suggesting to other teams India is the odd man out,” ESPN’s Jeff Passan wrote Tuesday. “Other teams believe it’s more a matter of when, not if, India will move.”

India hit .244 with 40 extra-base hits including 17 home runs, 61 RBIs and a .746 OPS (100 OPS+) in 119 games last season. The 26-year-old has a career .255 batting average and 105 OPS+ across three seasons.

Defensively, India leaves plenty to be desired, with -7 defensive runs saved last season and -6 outs above average in 2023. Unless he were to fill in as the designated hitter, the Red Sox probably would be wise to look elsewhere.

India is intriguing on paper but his defensive limitations would crater a defense that struggled mightily a year ago. Unless he were basically free in terms of prospect capital, it would make sense to find another solution at second base.

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