Winslow Townson/AP
January 03, 2017

There’s no question that the Red Sox will come into 2017 as a favorite to defend their AL East title after their big off-season trade with the White Sox for perennial Cy Young candidate Chris Sale. But while the lanky lefty will be a big boost to the rotation, Boston has yet to find a similar player to fill the Ortiz-sized hole in the lineup. The team was oddly uninterested in Edwin Encarnacion before he signed as a free agent with Cleveland, and the hitter they did sign, 31-year-old Mitch Moreland, is an uninspiring addition to the first base/designated hitter group. So why not reach out to Ortiz and see what it would take to bring him back into the fold? Sure, he’d have to return all the lovely gifts he got last season on his retirement tour, but getting back the hitter who led the AL in RBIs (127) and the majors in OPS (1.021) while bashing 31 homers would make the Sox a real World Series favorite.

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