Sox players buzz about Story: 'That's huge news'

March 20th, 2022

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Though hadn't officially arrived yet, the buzz started to build in the Red Sox's clubhouse on Sunday as word circulated that the club had reached an agreement with the impact right-handed hitter.

The team hasn't announced the move yet, but a source told's Mark Feinsand that Story's pact with Boston will be for six years at $140 million.

"It sparks the team," said Red Sox ace righty Nathan Eovaldi. "It shows us the front office is … We know that they want to win, but then to add another big piece to the organization like that would be huge. Our lineup is already extremely talented and then to add another piece like that is only going to make us better. He would mean a lot. Another big at-bat for us."

Several Red Sox players spent years in the National League and have a great understanding of what the team would be gaining with Story.

"That's huge news. He's a great player," said Red Sox righty Michael Wacha. "From my experience and pitching against him, he's always a tough out. He's always making plays on defense, saving a lot of runs for the pitchers."

Wacha got a unique off-field look at Story also, giving him additional perspective.

"I was able to actually work out with him a couple of offseasons ago in Fort Worth, [Texas], and got to witness firsthand how explosive and how athletic he is in the gym," Wacha said. "He's jumping out of the gym and just making everything look really easy."

With Story expected to join the mix, the depth chart for the Red Sox comes into sharper focus.

Kiké Hernández can settle in as the center fielder and not have to move back and forth from second base like he did a year ago.

"I've always looked forward to playing just one position, settling down at one position, and of course my versatility allows teams to put different guys in the lineup in different spots and I've never been able to play just one spot," Hernández said. " But again, if true, that allows me to settle down in center and hopefully I can do what I did last year -- and hopefully I can do it even better."

Story, a shortstop his entire career, will hold down second base and form a double-play tandem with Xander Bogaerts, the leader of the Red Sox.

Jackie Bradley Jr. will likely get most of his playing time in right field in his second stint in Boston. Christian Arroyo, who had been tabbed to play second base, can turn into a super-utility player, a la Brock Holt.

"Obviously nothing is official, but adding a player of that caliber, it's a boost for our roster," said Arroyo. "Once it goes through, we will welcome him with open arms and we have a superstar-caliber player. Who doesn't want to have that?"

Given Story's athleticism, the players think he will make a seamless adjustment to second base.

"From seeing how athletic he is, I could see him playing pretty much whatever position he wanted," said Wacha. "He could get on the mound, outfield, behind the plate, stick him anywhere. That guy can play, for sure."

"I'd be more than willing to help him transition there since I can play that position pretty well," Hernández said. "There's three numbers up there on the TV: $140 [million]. I think that puts the ego aside and allows you to play wherever they want you to play."

As a member of the Dodgers for four seasons, Red Sox lefty Rich Hill saw Story in action enough with the Rockies to know what he will bring.

"Obviously his ability on the field speaks for itself. It's a big boost for obviously the clubhouse and the guys in here," said Hill. "The more the better. That's what I say. Whether it's in the lineup or in the starting rotation or out of the bullpen, you need as many guys as you can to put together an entire 162-game season, and then the [wins] in the postseason to procure a championship trophy."

A lineup that already includes three elite hitters (Bogaerts, Rafael Devers and J.D. Martinez) is going to get deeper.

"When you look at a spray chart, it's pretty difficult to prepare sometimes when you can have that kind of ability to go from foul pole to foul pole with the bat control that he has," said Hill. "Also, just his glove in the field, what he's been able to do over the last multiple years has been impressive. Yeah, it's exciting."