LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — If you find yourself frustrated at the utter lack of progress in the Red Sox’ search for a bigger, better bat, you’re not alone.
The Red Sox are right there with you.
So is Scott Boras.
The Sox sound pretty sure who their Plan A is — J.D. Martinez — and who Plan B is — Eric Hosmer or Carlos Santana.
But do they know when it’s time to give up on Martinez and turn to Hosmer or Santana?
Do they even know that if they give up on Martinez and he signs elsewhere that Hosmer or Santana will still be available?
No, they do not.
For that matter, does Boras, who represents Martinez and Hosmer and has a reputation for outwaiting teams, want to prolong this any longer?
Not if he doesn’t have to.
There are no guarantees the wait will be either worth it or worthless for the Red Sox.
How long is too long is tough to figure out.
“I don’t know the answer, frankly, because it’s something that we talk about all the time and I think it’s based upon feel and pulse and where you think the market is and when you need to make a decision rather than when you might have to make a decision,” Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said yesterday in the third of three consecutive announcement-less media gatherings at the Dolphin resort. “I can’t answer that. And when I say I can’t answer, it’s because it is something that we do talk about all the time. We talk about it internally. When are you actually confronted with having to make that final decision compared to speculating you might have to? And being ready to do it. We have spent a large majority of our time in this room talking about that very question when we’ve been here. Because there’s a risk/reward attached to that. I don’t know if there’s a right answer to it.”
The wait could even upend the conventional wisdom that the Sox are going to find a home run hitter. Instead of Martinez, they could go after a better hitter like Santana or Hosmer.
“I don’t mean to snicker at three-run homers and home runs, I love them,” Dombrowski said. “But you have to make that decision if that’s the wisest thing for you to do to wait, or decide on something else.”
In his annual winter meetings press conference, this one taking place just outside the media workroom with Boras standing on top of a box, the agent known for being in no hurry to sign his clients disputed any desire to prolong the most important part of his job.
“I hear that…