The Boston Red Sox missed out on their reported "No. 1 outside target" in free agency when the Houston Astros signed Jose Abreu last week. As interested as they may have been in the veteran slugger, they apparently didn't come close to offering a competitive deal.
Abreu inked a three-year, $59.5 million contract with the 2022 World Series champions. The Red Sox offered the ex-Chicago White Sox first baseman a three-year deal for about $15 million to $20 million less, per The Boston Globe's Alex Speier.
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With designated hitter J.D. Martinez unlikely to return to Boston in 2023, Abreu was a potential fit for Boston as a first baseman/DH who can provide a boost in the middle of the lineup. The soon-to-be 36-year-old hit a career-low 15 homers in 2022 but still was productive at the plate, slashing .304/.378/.446 with 40 doubles. He has three All-Star nods on his résumé and was the American League MVP in 2020.
As Speier mentions, the Red Sox are expected to continue to look for corner/DH bats. They reportedly have expressed interest in former Seattle Mariners All-Star Mitch Haniger. If they opt for the trade market instead of free agency, Bryan Reynolds is an option after the All-Star outfielder formally requested a trade out of Pittsburgh.
While looking for outside options to improve the roster, Boston still has decisions to make with its own free agents. Homegrown shortstop Xander Bogaerts remains a top priority, plus right-handers Nathan Eovaldi and Michael Wacha still have yet to find a home for 2023.