After a major overhaul this off-season for the Boston Red Sox, they added one more piece to the puzzle this afternoon. The Red Sox and Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada, reportedly will agree to terms on a contract, terms that at this time are undisclosed. Bringing in Moncada will give the Red Sox more flexibility in their infield for potentially years to come. What does this mean for the current Red Sox infielders and personnel?
With the impending deal of Moncada heading to Boston, many questions will arise of where he will best fit on the diamond. When trying him out, the Red Sox tried him at the second base, third base and shortstop positions as most other teams did.
Moncada will most likely start his career in the minor leagues as he is only 19-years-old, and will need to be acclimated to the game in the States, but with the potential Moncada brings, he may be knocking on the door sooner rather than later.
The middle of the infield at this point in time is log-jammed and moves would have to be made if they anticipate Moncada being an everyday infielder on the Major League roster.
Starting at second base, Dustin Pedroia is projected to be the starter of that position for years to come. Pedroia is in the midst of a seven-year contract that he signed in the summer of 2013 and is considered part of the heart and soul of the Boston Red Sox. Pedroia hasn’t been 100 percent for the past two seasons, but after three separate surgeries, he is looking to be back at playing at a high level once again in 2015.
Xander Bogaerts is the projected shortstop for the Red Sox, coming onto the team full time last season. Bogaerts was projected by many to be the American League Rookie of the Year at the beginning of the season, but after a disappointing rookie campaign, Bogaerts will look to bounce back in his sophomore season.
At third, the Red Sox bring in Pablo Sandoval. Sandoval signed a five-year deal with Boston this past off-season after spending seven seasons with the San Francisco Giants. Sandoval will be expected to be at third but this could not last going into the third or fourth year of his deal. This is where the Red Sox could enter in Moncada into the equation.
All three names listed are unlikely to go anywhere in the near future unless things really don’t work out with Sandoval, Bogaerts doesn’t become the player he was expected to be or Pedroia can’t come back from prior injuries, all plausible scenarios albeit unlikely.
The more realistic solution could be moving Sandoval to first base in 2016 if the Red Sox don’t have plans of re-signing Mike Napoli. Napoli came out this past week and admitted he would like to retire a Red Sox. Another option could be moving Sandoval to the designated hitter position once David Ortiz, 39, retires. Doing either of these options would allow Moncada to slide into the third base position and into the lineup.
All of these are good problems to have if you are the Red Sox. Bringing in Moncada, who will most likely be a top ten prospect in the Major League Baseball, just adds more depth and potential to the roster. More importantly, it will add a level of consistency to a team that desperately needs it, after the inconsistency of the past few seasons.