By Chris Cotillo

MassLive.com

Assuming it gets finalized, the trade sending Mookie Betts and David Price to the Dodgers will give the Red Sox a ton of financial flexibility to upgrade the current roster before spring training. While nobody added at this late stage of the offseason will be able to produce at the levels of Betts or Price, there are still some intriguing players available in free agency who might interest Boston.

Here are 10 potential fits:

1. UTIL Brock Holt

A reunion with Holt looked all but impossible for most of the winter, but the fan favorite is still out there and he might be more valuable to the Red Sox than any other club. A frustrating foray into free agency for the 31-year-old has resulted in little more than lukewarm interest from the Blue Jays and Reds but could, at least theoretically, change quickly now that the Sox have money to spend.

Boston has way too many utility players already, but it’s not hard to see Holt replacing Rule 5 pick Jonathan Arauz on the projected roster. The move would win over fans at a time in which that might be necessary for the front office.

2. OF Yasiel Puig

Puig is the best free agent still available, remaining unsigned even with top options Marcell Ozuna and Nick Castellanos signing last month. Still just 29, Puig would at least bring electrifying potential to the Sox, giving Boston a right-handed hitting option in an outfield that needs one.

Puig has a higher OPS (.845) against righties than lefties (.762) for his career, so he’s not a perfect platoon fit. But he represents a talented option that will likely be available for cheap.

3. OF Kevin Pillar

Pillar, the longtime Jay, was somewhat surprisingly non-tendered by the Giants in December. The 31-year-old does hit lefties well (.823 career OPS) and provides stellar defense. A one-year deal would make some sense as the Sox could look to flip Pillar (and pending free agent Jackie Bradley Jr.) during the season if they’re out of contention.

4. SP Taijuan Walker

Walker, who won’t turn 28 until August, has been limited to just four starts over the last two years due to injury but is on the comeback trail. The former Mariner and Diamondback recently threw for scouts and is likely to sign soon. On a minor-league deal or incentive-laden guaranteed contract, he’s a talented arm to consider on a flier.

5. SP Jason Vargas

Vargas, who just turned 37, threw 149 2/3 innings for the Mets and Phillies last year. The Red Sox are going to need to pick up Price’s innings somewhere, and it’s hard to envision a bunch of rookies and openers doing so. Vargas makes the list over two other veteran starters who seem unlikely to return to Boston in Clay Buchholz and Andrew Cashner.

6. RP Brad Boxberger

Boxberger was an All-Star in 2015 but has regressed since, posting a 5.40 ERA in 29 games for the Royals last year before being released in August. He makes the list because he’s a former Ray (2014-17), and Chaim Bloom knows him from there.

7. RP Fernando Rodney

Rodney will turn 43 next month, but he’s been around forever and would provide a veteran relief arm in camp. The Red Sox added a handful of unproven relief options this winter, but not a proven veteran, even on a minor-league deal. Rodney pitched for the Rays in 2012 and 2013. Tony Sipp, Tommy Hunter, Luke Gregerson and others are still out there, too.

8. OF/DH Hunter Pence

Pence, almost 37, was a surprise All-Star in 2019, celebrating a career resurgence with the Rangers. He has hit lefties during his career (.830 OPS) and would likely be an instant fan favorite off the bench. The Astros and Giants have been linked to him in recent weeks.

9. SP Jeremy Hellickson

Hellickson, the 2011 American League Rookie of the Year and Price’s former rotation mate in Tampa Bay, is just a year removed from posting a 3.45 ERA (and 123 ERA+) in 19 starts for the Nationals. He has the Bloom familiarity factor working for him and would serve as a depth starter.

10. SP/RP Collin McHugh

McHugh might just be the best remaining free-agent pitcher and has a track record of success as a starter and reliever. He dealt with elbow trouble in September, potentially explaining why he’s unsigned. If healthy, he could help.

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