Anthony Rizzo
The Red Sox need to bring Anthony Rizzo back home. Rizzo could be the missing piece to another Red Sox championship season. (Aaron Doster/Associated Press)

The Red Sox Need To Bring Anthony Rizzo Back Home

The Red Sox are good… really good. With one day prior to the 2021 MLB All-Star break, Boston sits in first place in the AL East with a record of 55-35. It’s no longer time to just look at the Red Sox as just overachievers. This is a team that is maybe a piece or two away from winning the World Series. Could the one that got away help propel the Sox to another championship?

Theo Epstein is credited for being one of the best general managers in the history of the sport. The truth of the matter is, he made a lot of DUMB decisions with the Red Sox. I know nobody wants to hear it but it’s just the truth. Anthony Rizzo was drafted by the Red Sox in the sixth round of the 2007 MLB Draft. Epstein traded Rizzo to the Padres for Adrián González who was nothing but a borderline disaster in Boston.

The rest is history. Rizzo struggled in San Diego. Jed Hoyer was fired by the Padres but joined Epstein in the front office in Chicago when Theo left his post in Boston. Theo then somehow gets credit for reacquiring Rizzo with the Cubs sending Andrew Cashner to San Diego despite the fact that he botched the trade for the Red Sox. Rizzo becomes a star and a World Series champion in Chicago.

It’s time to right the wrongs of the past and bring Rizzo back home where he should have never left in the first place. It’s also hard to deny how perfect Rizzo would be for this current iteration of the Red Sox. Boston is a very good offense but is contemporaneously deprived of a real impact bat at first base.

Bobby Dalbec has shown serious flashes of power in the past but has failed to take that proverbial leap in 2021. The former two-way player at the University of Arizona is sporting a batting line of .221/.267/.417. Dalbec does have some power slugging ten homers but strikes out way too much to be a consistent force in the lineup. Dalbec is striking out 36.3% of the time and is a -1.0 WAR player this year.

Boston ranks third in runs scored per game (5.15) but it feels like a very top heavy lineup. Most of the production has come from the two through five spots (Alex Verdugo, JD Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, and Rafael Devers). Enrique Hernandez and Hunter Renfroe have been pleasant surprises. Adding a bat like Rizzo is a total game changer for an already scaring run scoring machine.

Rizzo fits the Sox in more ways than one. Rizzo is a big upgrade defensively as a four time Gold Glove winner. Of course, Dalbec is a natural third baseman coming up through the Sox system. Rizzo brings leadership and winning pedigree. Rizzo just oozes clubhouse guy in October.

Best of all, the Cubs’ first baseman probably won’t cost an arm and a leg. Rizzo, 31, is set to become a free agent at the conclusion of the 2021 MLB season. You probably won’t have to give up significant prospect capital to acquire the 6-foot-3 slugger. Rizzo fits the Red Sox timeline. They only need a short-term fix as the club waits for big time prospect Triston Casas to take the reigns in 2022 or 23.

Chaim Bloom is still in the midst of rebuilding the farm. However, in short order the farm is already is already more than respectable. The fact of the matter is, once you start rebuilding the prospect base, you never have enough 40 man roster spots to protect all those players anyway. Otherwise you risk becoming fools like the Yankees; translation for leaving Garrett Whitlock unprotected and losing him to a rival for nothing (which I totally called would happen).

Bryan Bello, Jeter Downs, Gilberto Jimenez, Josh Winckowski, Durbin Feltman, Jarren Duran, Frank German, Thad Ward, and Andrew Politi are all potential names that need to be added to the 40 man roster in the offseason. You don’t have enough spots to keep all of them. Players who are already on the 40 man such as Jeisson Rosario and Hudson Potts should be the first to go as trade bait if possible.

Bringing Anthony Rizzo back to Boston makes too much sense not to happen. Rizzo could be the piece that delivers Boston another championship. So… what are we waiting for?

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