Boston Red Sox

Ranking the top five free-agent first basemen

Rhys Hoskins leads the list after spending the 2023 season on the IL.

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The Boston Red Sox have their franchise first baseman in American League Rookie of the Year finalist Triston Casas. But with Justin Turner potentially departing in free agency, they could look to replace him with another first baseman/DH who can add pop to the lineup.

A handful of intriguing free agents fit that description and they shouldn't break the bank. Here are the top five free-agent first basemen on the market this winter.

1. Rhys Hoskins

Age: 31

Rhys Hoskins
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Hoskins spent his entire 2023 season on the injured list due to a torn ACL suffered in spring training. There was chatter about a potential return in the postseason, but the Philadelphia Phillies ultimately decided to keep him off the roster. Still, that encouraging development indicates he'll be ready for spring training, and that should make him the most coveted free-agent first baseman on the market this winter.

In 2022, Hoskins slashed .246/.332/.462 with 30 home runs and 79 RBIs in 156 games played. He's a pretty safe bet for 25+ homers and an OPS above .800. Philadelphia will likely look to retain him, but it will have some competition as plenty of teams should vie for his services.

2. Justin Turner

Age: 39

Justin Turner
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Turner helped Red Sox fans forget about J.D. Martinez in 2023 with a spectacular season as Boston's primary DH. The two-time All-Star hit .276 with 23 homers, a career-high 96 RBIs, and a .800 OPS in 146 games. As great as his bat was for the lineup, he was even more valuable to the clubhouse as a veteran leader. The Red Sox re-signing Turner wouldn't be a surprise.

3. Carlos Santana

Age: 38

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At this stage of his career, Santana is a journeyman first baseman who can get on base and provide adequate power consistently. Similarly to Turner, his veteran leadership makes him an even more valuable asset. Santana hit .240/.318/.429 with 23 homers and 86 RBIs. He can still get the job done.

4. Brandon Belt

Age: 36

Brandon Belt

Injuries have been an issue for Belt in recent years, but when healthy, he was outstanding in his debut season with Toronto. The longtime San Francisco Giant posted a slash line of .254/.369/.490 with 19 homers and 43 RBIs in 103 games. He probably isn't going to be a full-time player from this point forward, but he still provides a ton of value at the first base position.

5. C.J. Cron

Age: 34

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Cron is coming off a down season after earning his first All-Star selection in 2022. A back injury limited him to only 71 games played last season between the Colorado Rockies and the Los Angeles Angels, whom he was traded to before the deadline. He struggled mightily at the plate during his brief second stint in Anaheim, but he should still be considered a solid power-hitting first-base option in free agency.

Honorable mentions: Garrett Cooper, Ji-Man Choi, Eric Hosmer, Joey Votto, Yuli Gurriel, Jesus Aguilar, Luke Voit, Jake Lamb, Trey Mancini, Jared Walsh.

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