The Red Sox signed free agent Trevor Story to a 6-year, $140 million contract that includes an opt-out after the fourth season. Story has spent his career at shortstop for the Colorado Rockies, but will begin his tenure in Boston at second base. He could end up playing shortstop in the future depending on what happens with Xander Bogaerts. The move gives the Red Sox a high impact player at a cost that does not tie down their payroll.
Story is a two-time All-Star and career .272 hitter who has also hit 158 home runs and driven in 450 runs in six seasons, including a pandemic-shortened 2020. He has stolen at least 20 bases in three of his six seasons and led the majors with 15 stolen bases in 2020. Although his numbers drop off outside of Coors Field in Colorado, his Spray Chart suggests that at Fenway Park he would have a lot of success. Story is also a strong defensive player, ranking 15th in fielding percentage among shortstops in ninth in Defensive Wins Above Replacement.
Adding Story to an infield that already includes Bogaerts and Rafael Devers gives the Red Sox one of the best infields, especially offensively, in the entire MLB. If Tristan Casas becomes the player many expect at first base, the Red Sox will boast an elite infield for years to come. Story’s contract is also reasonable for a player of his caliber and will not prevent the Red Sox from spending in the future. This is key as Boston will need to extend Devers, possibly (hopefully) Bogaerts and add another impact starting pitcher. If Bogaerts and Devers stay long-term, Devers can become the DH while Bogaerts moves to third base, Story to shortstop and Marcelo Mayer to second base once he is ready for the majors.
After a relatively quiet post-lockout free agency period, the Red Sox made a significant, and smart, move to address both a short-term need at second base and a long-term offensive and defensive need. Boston was two wins away from the World Series last year and Story is the type of player that can help get them over the top. They’ll still need to add one front end starting pitcher to be able to beat the Dodgers in a hypothetical World Series matchup, but adding Story is a big step closer to the Red Sox winning their fifth championship this century.