The Boston Red Sox are expected to be without designated hitter David Ortiz for at least the first few weeks of the regular season. Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe provides several options the team may pursue to replace the veteran slugger, including free agents Jim Thome and Bobby Abreu.
While Thome and Abreu are a possibility, Abraham believes the Red Sox currently have "more palatable in-house options."
What Boston could opt to do is use offseason acquisition Lyle Overbay at first base to start the year. This would allow fellow free agent pickup Mike Napoli to slide into the DH role. Napoli has only started 27 games at DH over the past two seasons, but this could be the strategy Boston chooses if Ortiz isn't sidelined long.
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Abraham says the Red Sox could also use Mauro Gomez as their DH to start the season. He hits from the right side of the plate, something that could make him less appealing to the Red Sox, but he did post strong totals this offseason in the Dominican league. Gomez, 28, hit .310/.371/.589 with 34 doubles and 24 home runs over 426 bats in Triple-A last season.
Boston could keep Ryan Lavarnway on its roster and use him and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia sporadically in the role of DH. They could also shift Jonny Gomes to DH and use Jackie Bradley Jr. in left field. Finally, Abraham says Boston could give Juan Carlos Linares, who's hitting .364/.375/.545 this spring, a shot at the role of DH.