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Inbox: Which impact bat could Red Sox add?

Beat reporter Ian Browne answers fans' questions
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

Name the big bat you think is going to be here.
-- @stephentroio

Fine. Put me on the spot. I don't mind. I'll say J.D. Martinez. The Red Sox can get him with a clean financial transaction as a free agent. No compensation is necessary because Martinez was traded in the middle of the season, so the D-backs weren't eligible to make him a qualifying offer.

Name the big bat you think is going to be here.
-- @stephentroio

Fine. Put me on the spot. I don't mind. I'll say J.D. Martinez. The Red Sox can get him with a clean financial transaction as a free agent. No compensation is necessary because Martinez was traded in the middle of the season, so the D-backs weren't eligible to make him a qualifying offer.

Hot Stove Tracker

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has history with Martinez after signing him when he was released by the Astros in March 2014. Martinez first started to thrive in the Majors for Dombrowski's Tigers. A comfort factor could work in Boston's favor. Martinez is also just the type of right-handed power threat the Red Sox are looking for.

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Who is the ideal and realistic offseason target for the Red Sox? Are they waiting for next year's free-agent class with Bryce Harper and Manny Machado?
-- @J_SAB34

Look for Boston to be very involved in free-agent negotiations for both Martinez and Eric Hosmer. Dombrowski isn't usually one to "wait for next year" when it comes to his offseason planning. He really tries to build a championship team each year. If the Red Sox are unsuccessful in landing a marquee and pricey player this offseason, their chances of being big players for Harper or Machado in a year would increase.

What is a realistic trade the Red Sox and Marlins could make for Stanton?
-- @dom31205

I've been under the belief all along that the most realistic trade for Stanton would have been something like Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech and another couple of prospects. My point is that Boston used its top prospects to get Chris Sale a year ago. I'm not sure the sides can match up, given that Miami is rebuilding and likely wants stud prospects. If the Red Sox got Stanton, I think they'd have to part with either Andrew Benintendi or Rafael Devers and perhaps some other key pieces -- along with the near $300 million Stanton is guaranteed over the rest of his contract.

Is John Henry mandating a free-agent solution to the power outage instead of a Giancarlo Stanton trade?
-- @FenwayNation

I don't believe so. Henry has worked with Dombrowski for a long time and with multiple organizations, and he generally trusts him to do his job. It just might make more sense at this point to sign a free agent rather than deplete Boston's farm system further with a trade for Stanton.

Do you think the Sox will sign Carlos Santana as a bridge player, looking toward a big free-agent class in 2018-19?
-- @mlbnewseason

It's possible. If the Red Sox don't get one of Martinez or Hosmer, then Santana could be a nice fit. He is a solid hitter who has played in a winning environment in Cleveland.

What's the plan moving forward with Blake Swihart?
-- @Ed_White7

Given that Swihart is out of options, he will get every chance to make the team as a utility player. Look for him to be used in the outfield, at first base and perhaps a little behind the plate to see if he can carve out a role in that way. Swihart also has to stay healthy, which he hasn't been able to do the past two years.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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