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With Rizzo a Yankee, which 1Bs are left for Red Sox? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Boston Red Sox have a glaring need at first base with the 2021 MLB trade deadline rapidly approaching.
As of Thursday, Red Sox first basemen rank 28th in MLB in batting average (.218), dead-last in on-base percentage (.262) and 28th in OPS (.651). Fortunately for chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co., there are several first basemen on the trade market who can help to boost those numbers.
Here are a few first basemen the Red Sox could target before Friday's 4 p.m. deadline.
Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
The Cubs and Red Sox reportedly have been in discussions about a potential Rizzo deal, so this is one to monitor. The 2016 World Series champion would step in to immediately provide a significant upgrade at the first base position and a much-needed left-handed bat.
While Rizzo is having a down year offensively by his standards, his track record speaks for itself. The 31-year-old is a three-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glover with valuable postseason experience. He's scheduled to become a free agent after this season.
UPDATE (6:40 p.m. ET): Rizzo reportedly has been traded to the Yankees.
Carlos Santana, Kansas City Royals
Santana probably is the cheaper option compared to Rizzo despite being under team control until 2023. Like Rizzo, the 35-year-old veteran is having a down season at the plate but still would present a solid upgrade for the Red Sox at first base offensively.
In 100 games this year, Santana is hitting .233/.347/.404 with 17 homers and 55 RBI. The switch-hitting slugger continues to boast elite plate discipline with 61 walks to 67 strikeouts.
Jesus Aguilar, Miami Marlins
Rizzo and Santana are the bigger names, but Aguilar has been the best hitter of the three this season. In 98 games, the 31-year-old is hitting .268/.332/..475 with 18 homers and a National League-leading 75 RBI.
Like Santana, Aguilar is under team control until 2023. He may not be the left-handed bat the Red Sox covet, but there's no doubt he'd be a huge upgrade if he can keep up this pace.
C.J. Cron, Colorado Rockies
Cron has bounced back from an injury-shortened 2020 to hit .245/.357/.460 with 14 homers for the Colorado Rockies so far this season. It was only three years ago that Cron slugged 30 homers for the Tampa Bay Rays. He followed that impressive display of power by hitting 25 for the Minnesota Twins in 2019.
Cron likely would be the most affordable option on this list. The 31-year-old is set to be a free agent after this season.
Trey Mancini, Baltimore Orioles
It's unlikely the Orioles will trade their best player within their division, but it's possible. Mancini would upgrade the Red Sox at first base while providing versatility as he's also capable of playing the outfield.
Through 97 games this season, Mancini is hitting .268/.339/.488 with 19 homers and 60 RBI. The 2021 Home Run Derby runner-up continues to be the best story of the 2021 campaign after beating colon cancer.
The 29-year-old is under team control until 2023.