The Red Sox have 7 players who could become free agents a couple of days after the World Series. This is the way I would handle dealing with these guys:
Adrian Beltre: 31-year old righty swinging 3B Adrian Beltre has a player option worth $10 million bucks. It will be interesting to see if he chooses to come back to the Red Sox because he will easily be the best 3B on the free agent market. Beltre played in 154 games for the Red Sox last season and he was 189 of 589 (.321 avg, .919 OPS) with 84 runs scored, 28 homers and 102 RBIs. He helped carry the offense when the Red Sox suffered big time injuries the whole 2010 season. VERDICT: I would offer him another option year or two to his contract to try to entice him to stay.
David Ortiz: 34-year old lefty swinging DH David Ortiz has a club option worth $12.5 million bucks. He played in 145 games for the Red Sox last season and he was 140 of 518 (.270 avg, .899 OPS) with 86 runs scored, 32 homers and 102 RBIs. Ortiz, like Beltre, helped lift the Red Sox’ offense keeping them in the hunt despite all of the key injuries they suffered. VERDICT: I would pick up his option for 2011.
Victor Martinez: 31-year old switch hitting catcher Victor Martinez is likely going to get a lot of big money offers in free agency. I’m not so sure he’s worth it because he is a awful defensive catcher. Martinez played in 127 games for the Red Sox last season and he was 149 of 493 (.302 avg, .844 OPS) with 64 runs scored, 20 homers and 79 RBIs. VERDICT: I would let him go and sign a cheaper catcher who can play some D.
Bill Hall: 30-year old righty swinging infielder/outfielder Bill Hall has a club option worth $9.25 million bucks but he won’t see that money. He will still get a $500,000 dollar buyout so don’t feel too sorry for him. Hall played in 119 games for the Red Sox last season and he was 85 of 344 (.247 avg, .772 OPS) with 44 runs scored, 18 homers, 46 RBIs and 9 stolen bases. VERDICT: I would make Hall a decent offer to come back as a bench player in 2011 but I wouldn’t overpay for him.
Jason Varitek: 38-year old switch hitting catcher Jason Varitek has been a solid player for a long time for the Boston Red Sox but it’s time for the team to cut the ties. Varitek played in 39 games for the Red Sox last season and he was 26 of 112 (.232 avg, .766 OPS) with 18 runs scored, 7 homers and 16 RBIs. VERDICT: The Red Sox wanted to get rid of him last season but he had a player option. No such issues this year so Varitek should be a goner.
Mike Lowell: 36-year old righty swinging 3B/1B Mike Lowell was a warrior for the Red Sox just like Varitek. But, like Varitek it’s now time for the Red Sox to cut ties with him. Lowell played in 73 games for the Red Sox last season and he was 52 of 218 (.239 avg, .674 OPS) with 23 runs scored, 5 homers and 26 RBIs. VERDICT: Lowell already did the dirty work for the Red Sox announcing his retirement.
Felipe Lopez: 30-year old switch hitting 2B/SS/3B Felipe Lopez played in 4 games for the Red Sox this year and he was 4 for 15 (.267 avg, .779 OPS) with 2 runs scored, 1 homer and 1 RBI. He played in 113 games overall last season with the Red Sox and Cardinals and he was 91 of 391 (.233 avg, .656 OPS) with 52 runs scored, 8 homers, 37 RBIs and 8 stolen bases. VERDICT: He has played his last game at Fenway unless he’s willing to play on a minor league deal in spring training.