With DH David Ortiz retiring this season, the Red Sox are looking for his replacement, and Pedro Alvarez has popped up on their radar, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
Alvarez signed a one-year, $5.75 million deal with the Baltimore Orioles last offseason, and hit .249/.322/.504 with 22 home runs and 49 RBI in 376 plate appearances, so he is familiar with the AL East.
The 29-year-old is a former second overall pick, and he has shown he has exceptional power. While in the NL with the Pittsburgh Pirates, he hit 30 home runs twice, including a league leading 36 in 2013. He was a career .236/.309/.441 hitter with 131 home runs and 401 RBI in Pittsburgh.
While there haven’t been any reports about his asking price, it’s likely that Alvarez will be a relatively cheap option. He hasn’t been a very good batting average or on base player in his career, so any team that signs him is paying for cheap power.
If the Red Sox do in fact sign him, Alvarez can also play first base, so it would give the Red Sox the opportunity to split time between him and Hanley Ramirez at first base and DH, as well as playing Alvarez at first on Hanley’s off days.
Boston has also shown interest in Edwin Encarnacion and Matt Holliday. If the Red Sox don’t want to dish out $100+ million for Encarnacion, Alvarez might be the next best option. Holliday is getting older and is clearly on the decline. Alvarez is the youngest of the bunch and has a better upside than Holliday at this point.