Boston Red Sox Interested in
Reported by Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald, the Red Sox have expressed interest in adding the life-long Minnesota Twin in a utility or platoon role. There is an obvious fit between Plouffe and the Sox considering both Mitch Moreland and Pablo Sandoval‘s inability to hit left-handed pitching. However, interest is contingent on the value of the contract Plouffe pursues.
At this point, all that is known is that the Red Sox are open to a one-year deal in the range of $2-3 million, though nothing official will come through until the new year.
Following his seventh major league season, an injury-riddled campaign with the Twins in which Plouffe entered the lineup in just 84 games, he’s now forced to further his career in any capacity possible. Outrighted by the Twins due to injury and his expected $8.2 million price tag through arbitration, signing with the Red Sox may give Plouffe the opportunity to play consistently and rebuild his stock as a major leaguer. A career .247 hitter, his value comes in his ability to hit against left-handed hitters while providing some measure of stability should Pablo Sandoval fail to deliver on his promise to perform in 2017.
Over his career, Plouffe has hit .268/.344/.465 versus left-handed pitching to go with a 122 OPS+ and 1.78 K/BB ratio. While he is significantly more productive against lefties, there is reason for concern given his history of injury and decline in performance. His OPS+ against southpaws has dropped from 122 to 117 to 110 in the past three seasons, while his defensive play has never been something to write home about.
Nevertheless, with such small risk involved Plouffe fills the obvious need on the Red Sox’ depth chart for a utility infielder capable of playing both corner positions. As Drellich mentioned, nothing is expected to move between now and the start of the new year with the baseball industry at a relative standstill at this point in time.
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