Sure, the Boston Red Sox might have high hopes for their season. But there are plenty of other guys who have played for the Red Sox still playing elsewhere who will help their teams win just as much — if not more. Here’s a look at what would likely be the starting nine on that team:
Catcher: Victor Martinez — He’s really a DH now. But man, can V-Mart hit. He had a down year last year, but the guy is a lifetime .302 hitter with 200 home runs in 13 seasons. He was big for the Red Sox in his short time with the team. Money was the biggest issue there.
First Base: Adrian Gonzalez — Gonzo can flat out hit. He did exactly what he was getting paid to do when he made it to Boston. And in Los Angeles, he is still a quality hitter. If the Sox did not sacrifice him though, then they would not have been able to rid themselves of Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford. Talk about some bad contracts.
Second Base: Jed Lowrie — Lowrie can play anywhere in the infield. But this year, it looks like he will be the Oakland A’s second baseman. He’s injury prone. But when he does play, he has some pop and a good eye at the plate. Not to mention he would not be an awful defender at second.
Shortstop: Jose Iglesias — He can hit for average and play above-average defense at shortstop. What’s not to like about the guy? He was an All-Star last year at just 25 years old. He wouldn’t be a bad shortstop — if the Sox didn’t have Xander Bogaerts.
Third Base: Adrian Beltre — Yup, he’s still alive. He’s also still a pretty dangerous hitter. No, he’ll never be that 48 home run guy like he was in 2004 (steroids). But he’s hitting .311 this decade with 27 home runs per year which is pretty valuable.
Left Field: Yoenis Cespedes — He’s overrated. No doubt about that. But it comes down to him, Brandon Moss or Carl Crawford. And he was one of the best power bats in the game last season. Regardless of his poor plate discipline, he is not a bad option.
Center Field: Jacoby Ellsbury — ….No, this isn’t a joke. He’s coming off a down year and he’s always been overrated, but he is not a bad player. He might not be as great as people make him out to be, but he’s good enough to start on most team and he played a pretty clean center field. The Sox don’t miss him. But that does not mean he isn’t a quality player.
Right Field: Josh Reddick — A strong throwing arm and power against right-handed pitching. Yeah, this guy is good.
Designated Hitter: Danny Valencia — He posted a .388 OPS in ten games for the Sox in 2012. But that does not take away from what he did last year. He hit 18 home runs and posted an .864 OPS. This guy isn’t much in the field (he can play third base and left field). But last year’s numbers earn him a spot in the lineup.