Here are the latest odds for the Red Sox to land top MLB free agents this offseason

Red Sox

The Red Sox have already been linked to some of the top free agents this offseason.

Shohei Ohtani is the top free agent on the market this offseason. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

The Red Sox seem poised to spend some money this offseason. Oddsmakers agree appear to agree.

DraftKings Sportsbook listed the Red Sox among the favorites to land several of the top free agents this offseason. As Boston has roughly $38 million to spend before hitting the luxury tax threshold (per Red Sox Payroll on X/Twitter), here are the latest odds for the Red Sox to sign each of the top free agents.

Shohei Ohtani +1000 (seventh-best odds)

Ohtani is obviously the top prize in free agency, and the Red Sox appear to be in the mix to sign him.

The first signals connecting Ohtani to the Red Sox came in Sept., when longtime MLB reporter Peter Gammons reported that an executive with a National League team believes Ohtani has interest in Boston. The executive reportedly cited the two-way star’s friendship with New Balance CEO Jim Davis as a possible reason for him to sign with the Red Sox.

There have been other rumors and reports since then that indicate the Red Sox are in play for Ohtani. One executive from a team in the Ohtani sweepstakes told The New York Post’s Jon Heyman that the Red Sox are a “legitimate threat” to land Ohtani back in October. ESPN also listed the Red Sox as one of the 10 teams where Ohtani will likely end up, with Alden Gonzalez writing, “Ohtani, people around him say, has long been intrigued by Boston.”

There has been some pushback though on just how serious of a contender the Red Sox are to land Ohtani. The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier wrote that the Red Sox are an “unlikely landing spot” for Ohtani on Thursday. Other insiders, like The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, have reported that the Dodgers are the favorite for Ohtani at the onset of free agency.

The Red Sox could use a little star power after two last-place finishes the last two seasons. Ohtani would obviously be the biggest way to fix that, even if they don’t necessarily have a need for a power-hitting left-handed bat. They could use Ohtani’s pitching ability, though he won’t be able to pitch in 2024 after tearing the UCL in his pitching elbow.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto +400 (second-best odds)

After Ohtani, Yamamoto might be the second-most sought-after free agent this offseason.

The 25-year-old Japanese pitcher is reportedly expected to be posted by the Orix Buffaloes, his team in the NPB, within the next week. Boston has reportedly been scouting him since at least the summer as it’s been rumored for several months that Yamamoto would be posted this offseason.

The good news for the Red Sox is that Yamamoto wants to pitch in a major market, The Athletic’s Will Sammon reported in October. What could also help is that he was teammates with Red Sox outfielder Masataka Yoshida on the Buffaloes and with Japan in the World Baseball Classic this past spring.

Multiple insiders have linked the Red Sox to Yamamoto already, though it looks like they’ll have some stiff competition for him. The Mets and Yankees are reportedly “strong contenders” to land Yamamoto, with the Mets being the current betting favorites to land him.

Other starting pitchers

Aaron Nola +500 (third-best odds)
Blake Snell +800 (sixth-best odds)
Jordan Montgomery +550 (second-best odds)
Sonny Gray +900 (tied for eighth-best odds)

The Red Sox have a need for starting pitching. This offseason’s free agency class gives them an opportunity to address it.

In addition to Ohtani and Yamamoto, there are several other pitchers on the free-agent market that have top-of-the-rotation upside. Red Sox chief baseball officer Craig Breslow recently told MLB Network’s Jon Morosi that the team has a need for a “bonafide” starting pitcher or two.

Add all of those things together and it’s no surprise that they’re among the betting favorites to sign a handful of starting pitchers.

Of that group, the Red Sox have been most linked with Montgomery. The Rangers southpaw’s agent spoke with Red Sox officials during the GM meetings, Morosi reported earlier in the week. The 30-year-old had a dominant run in the postseason for the Rangers, going 3-1 in six postseason outings with a 2.90 ERA en route to a World Series win. The Rangers are currently the betting favorite to land Montgomery.

As the Red Sox have the third-best odds to land Nola, the righty and the Phillies aren’t “close” to getting a deal done for him to remain in Philadelphia, Morosi reported. Nola would certainly help the Red Sox’ problem of getting lone starts from their starting pitchers. He’s pitched at least 180 innings in the last five 162-game seasons.

Relievers

Aroldis Chapman +800 (sixth-best odds)
Josh Hader +1000 (tied for sixth-best odds)

The Red Sox don’t have much of a need for a reliever this offseason. They spent big on a pair of bullpen arms to help close out games last season, spending a combined $45.5 million to sign Kenley Jansen and Chris Martin.

Both righties delivered in their roles last season, which is probably why the Red Sox haven’t been linked to any notable bullpen arms so far this offseason. But a reliever like Hader could serve some use for them. The five-time All-Star has shown the ability to pitch for multiple innings per appearance in the past, though he’s cut down on doing that recently.

Other hitters

Rhys Hoskins +750 (tied for seventh-best odds)

The group of free-agent hitters this offseason is relatively lackluster. Cody Bellinger is widely regarded as the second-best free-agent hitter, but the Red Sox aren’t listed among on the oddsboard to land him.

Hoskins could have the highest upside of the free-agent hitters after Ohtani and Bellinger. The 30-year-old has been a solid hitter for pretty much his entire career, averaging 36 homers and 98 RBIs per 162 games with a .242/.353/.492 career slash line.

However, the first baseman missed the entire 2023 season with the Phillies due to an ACL tear he suffered during spring training. Hoskins appears on track to be ready to go for next season and couple be an option for the Red Sox at designated hitter if they opt not to re-sign Justin Turner.


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