In hopes to replace the heart and soul of the Red Sox lineup, David Ortiz, the Red Sox got a great look at a couple candidates throughout the course of season. These two players are Edwin Encarnacion, 33, and Jose Bautista, 35, both of whom are free agents and currently looking to cash out for likely the final time in their career.
Despite early interest from Encarnacion's camp, the Red Sox don't appear to be serious players in the veteran first baseman who belted 42 homers and drove in 127 RBI en route to leading his team to the ALCS for the second straight year. The interest from Boston seems to be for the 35-year-old Bautista, who has longevity over EE. Bautista had an injury-plagued 2016, but still drilled 22 homers and knocked in 69 RBI in 116 games, albeit he hit a poor .234 for the season.
The one red flag with Joey Bats is his injury history. We've seen what he can do when given a full year, hit 54 homers in 2010, but the problem is he's seemingly always on the DL.
It's apparent his days in the outfield are over, so focusing on hitting for one of the games most feared sluggers is something I'd definitely be willing to take the chance on. As for EE, there is still interest in playing first base from his camp, which would likely cause turmoil between two of the game's biggest egos in Hanley Ramirez and Edwin Encarnacion. With Bautista, going into his age 36 season, one would assume he is all for DHing if it means he can rack in the dough in his last offseason as a premier Free Agent.
If you ask me, I still say EE first, followed by Bautista and Beltran as 2 and 3; but it appears as though the Sox want JB, and that's something Sox fans should totally be okay with.