Ask the Red Sox decision-makers about pitching, and they will not shy away from the reality that it is an offseason priority. Outfield? They got one, and probably will get another.
But when it comes to locking in on second base the approach doesn't seem nearly as cut-and-dried.
This is what we do know: Dustin Pedroia isn't in the mix. His knee simply won't allow it. After that ... it's a fluid situation.
There have been free agent candidates surfaced (although it doesn't appear the be-all, end-all option D.J. LeMahieu isn't currently in the Red Sox' price range). But what only adds to the uncertainty is how wide the net is being cast.
Ha-seong Kim: The signing deadline for the 25-year-old South Korean infielder is fast approaching (Jan. 1), perhaps impacting the Red Sox' timeline. They have been linked to Kim, who has been projected by MLB Trade Rumors to secure a deal of five years, $40 million. The 25-year-old has primarily played shortstop, last playing second base in 2014. Kim is coming off his best season, hitting .306 with a .921 OPS and 30 home runs for Kiwoom of the KBO.
Marcus Semien: Peter Gammons was first to surface the idea of Semien becoming an answer to the Red Sox' second base problem. He won't likely cost what LeMahieu, but the 30-year-old is going to likely necessitate a serious commitment. A former roommate of amateur scouting director Paul Toboni, Semien hasn't played second base since 2014. But the idea of having the guy who finished third in the American League MVP race in 2019 in the lineup is intriguing. He can also hit leadoff, which doesn't hurt his cause. MLB Trade Rumors projects Semien getting a one-year deal worth $14 million.
Kike Hernandez: It was reported by MassLive.com Saturday that the Red Sox were expressing interest in the 29-year-old, who has some history with Alex Cora from his days of playing for Puerto Rico in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Hernandez started 22 games at second base in 2020 and eight more in the outfield. Perhaps the interest is as a right-handed-hitting utility guy. But the selling point would seem to be an opportunity for energetic Hernandez to grab the starting second base spot. Considering his offensive output in the previous two seasons, such a commitment might seem somewhat of a gamble for the Sox (although it appears Hernandez is looking for just a one-year contract).
Kolten Wong: The Red Sox actually are the projected landing spot for Wong by MLB Trade Rumors, predicting a two-year, $16 million deal. This is where we once against walk into the conundrum regarding exactly how much the Sox want to spend on the position. The 30-year-old a pure second baseman, having won the National League Gold Glove last season. Offensively? Eh. The lefty hitter isn't going to kill you, but he also won't likely represent a top-of-the-order solution.
Christian Arroyo: As we sit here, this would seem to be your starting second baseman for the Red Sox. Arroyo got a chance in September with the Red Sox and made the most of it. This comment on the Bradfo Sho podcast was interesting:
“I had conversations with Chaim when I was in Tampa and I had a conversation when I was in Boston,” Arroyo said. “One of the things he had always said, ‘From the time we traded for you in Tampa we always knew you had the potential and had that everyday player ability.’ It was just kind of the end of the season. It was just kind of like, ‘We saw some things this year where we you were starting to realize your potential and that’s really exciting.’ I felt that way.”
The point is that the Red Sox seemingly really like what they saw in the 25-year-old.
Michael Chavis: It sure seems the Red Sox are viewing Chavis as the fail-safe at multiple positions (first base, second base, third base, outfield) instead of committing to one spot.
Jeter Downs: The organizational perception is that he needs to experience the ups and downs of a semi-normal Triple-A season at this new position.