Since the start of the 2018 season, the Red Sox have not had an established 2nd baseman. Throughout that time the duties have been held up by players like Eduardo Núñez, Jose Peraza, and Michael Chavis. Three guys who, while serviceable, were never able to shore up the 2nd base position. So, let’s go through some potential targets the Red Sox could go after this offseason. We’ll start with Marcus Semien.
1. Marcus Semien
Marcus Semien is an SS/2B free agent who most recently played for the Oakland Athletics from 2015-2020. Out of all those years, his most successful season came in 2019, where he slashed a .285 batting average, an OBP of .369, slugged .522, and had an OPS of.892. Marcus also had some significant pop, as he belted 33 home runs that season and had a 137 wRC+.
Defensively, Semien is a bit of a liability, he saw a solid defensive season in 2019, where he saw a fielding percentage of .981, a mark that was better than the league average of .970, and had a 12 DRS.
Semien did actually play second base with the White Sox in 2014-2015, so he has some Major League experience with the position.
Overall, Semien would be an all around decent pickup for the Red Sox, he’d be able to give you solid offensive numbers along with a nice amount of pop in the bat, and he would be a nice partner to SS Xander Bogaerts. Defensively, he’d more or less be an average player, however, with making the switch to 2nd base, there’s a chance he could improve on his defense. Either way, this would be a nice option for Red Sox GM to keep in mind.
2. César Hernández
César Hernández is another option Chaim Bloom could go after this offseason. Most recently, César played for the Cleveland Indians in 2020, where he had a very productive year, both offensively and defensively. Offensively, César slashed a .283 batting average, an OBP of .355, slugged .408, and had an OPS of .763. With Hernández being more of a contact hitter, he only belted 3 home runs, but led the league in doubles with 20 and had an above average wRC+ at 108.
Unlike Semien, Hernández is a much better fielder, in fact, this past season, Hernández won a Gold Glove award, for his outstanding performance at 2nd base. At second base, he posted a .981 fielding percentage and committed only four errors, as well as a 6 DRS.
Hernández would be another nice pickup for the Red Sox, he’d be productive at the plate and would be able to shore up that second base position with his great defense.
3. Kolton Wong
To the surprise of many, 2nd baseman Kolton Wong was cut by the St. Louis Cardinals this past November, opening up the door for teams to go after him. Offensively, Wong isn’t anything special, this past season he slashed a .265 batting average, an OBP of .350, slugged .326, and had an OPS of .675. Along with that line, he only hit 1 home run and possessed a 92 wRC+.
While Wong is not a very good hitter, his value comes in his amazing defense. Wong is arguably the best defensive 2nd baseman in the league. In 2019, he had a .987 fielding percentage and had a league best 19 Defensive Runs Saved. Wong also won back to back Gold Gloves in 2019 and 2020.
Kolton Wong would be an amazing pickup for the Red Sox, while his offense is suspect, his defense would add a huge help to the infield and he would be able to solidify the 2nd base position for the next few seasons. With DJ LeMahieu off the board, Wong is certainly the best 2nd baseman available and Chaim Bloom should make the move and sign Kolton.
4. Kike Hernandez
The Red Sox are strongly pursuing Hernandez. He may not be the best option, but he’s on here really only because the Red Sox are reportedly interested.
Hernandez can play second base, and anywhere in the outfield. He’s average at best hitting wise, and average at best in the field as well. He slashed .230/.270/.410 in 2020, and had an 83 wRC+.
Defensively, he had an 8 DRS in 2020, but in terms of UZR/150, he’s quite awful at a -26.9 UZR/150 in 2020. Now that’s at second base, but in the outfield in 2020 he had a 1 DRS, and a 6 UZR/150. Pretty decent in the field in the outfield, but average at best at second.
There are other options such as Tommy La Stella, but these are the top four options.