Red Sox Deals Deadline Preview: Will Boston Be a Seller by August 2nd?

Will the Boston Red Sox end up selling this trade deadline? It’s a question that was silly a month ago. After June 20-6, the Red Sox looked like one of the strongest teams in baseball, and even though they’ve been staring at a wild card round the whole time, a three-game streak is much better for good teams than a single bet. And I did crabshot. Having been on the cusp of the World Series last season, baseball chief Haim Blum is sure to be more aggressive this time around, right?

Even before their last slide, the answer was: Not so fast. Back on July 9, Boston Globe It stated that Red Sox was planning to be “wary buyers,” but also indicated that it could sell off due to the upcoming difficult schedule.

The Red Sox went from 5th to 14th in July. They haven’t hit anyone except the Yankees since July 4th and they have been embarrassed Three consecutive games as recently as anyone since the nineteenth century. They’ve fallen in three games from third place to the far cards in a very crowded AL field. If they drop in a few games again in the next week or so, we could even see them go on sale by the August 2 deadline.

Let’s look at both scenarios. We will first discuss whether they are hot and buying, but the highest intrigue lies below in the sellers area.

If they buy…

The first rule is still a problem. It’s a platoon of Franchi Cordero and Bobby Dalbeck now. Last year, they ended up moving professional defensive player Kyle Schwarber (who appeared as a striker), there. According to above-average Baseball-Reference earnings by position, the Tigers have only been worse at first base this season among all 30 teams.

They could definitely use a rotation upgrade, too, if they wanted to make a deep break. Now this has the potential for patching. Chris Sall just broke his finger, and while he’s likely to be back late in the season, it’s also possible he hasn’t. Nathan Evaldi is back, but he’s long been an injury concern. Along the same lines, can they trust 42-year-old Michael Washa or Rich Hill? Nick Pevita was terrible in July and his track record suggests he can be hard to trust.

Each team can stand to add depth to the bulls as well.

Possible goals

While it looks like the Red Sox should be good enough – and a big enough hitter in terms of market, money and potential currency – to swing the fence here, “cautious” buying and last year’s move pointing to a just win just aren’t. With that in mind, here are some names that could be on Boston’s radar:

  • Josh Bell is a switch hitter and is actually the first baseman by trade. He’s hitting over 0.300 with power on the Nationals going nowhere, and Bale is a post-season free agent. He’d be really fit offensively and defensively while they wouldn’t have to bother the factions. I really like this fit if they are looking for a temporary boost.
  • Dominic Smith of the Mets has been linked to the Red Sox in trade rumors, and while they could have dumped him at first, it appears to be less of a short-term upgrade and more of a quick 2023 spring training project.
  • Cubs player Ian Hap would hit free agency after 2023 and become an everyday left-hander, but he’s played first base and has been quite adaptable on the field in his career. Given the additional year of control, if the Cubs Hub makes it available, this seems appropriate. Remember, Hap is also a switch hitter.
  • With the rotation, it looks like they should be in the types of Luis Castillo and Frankie Montas, but the hunch here is that they will be easily outbid.
  • Castillo’s teammate at the Reds, however, may end up being Tyler Mahley to be a palatable option. He’s been inconsistent and has dealt with injury this season, bringing his asking price down. There is also the upside which has seen Mahle rise to 3.72 ERA (127 ERA +) with 270 strikes in 227 2/3 runs in 2020-21 combined. He’s under team control until 2023, so this may be a good fit for Bloom’s long-term plan.
  • Noah Sendergaard will be rent and have a good year with the angels. Although it appears that the big name, which is not as good as previous reputation suggests, is not really a Bloom type of target.
  • On the other hand, Jose Quintana hasn’t been really good since 2017. The pirate caught him on a $2 million deal this season and he’s been a producer on the rotation. He could also work in relief and probably wouldn’t cost that much in trade.

For thinners, basically look at any veteran on a non-competing team—especially since we don’t expect the Red Sox to be shopping for high prices.

Of course, this is all moot if the Red Sox team isn’t back on the right track soon.

If they sell…

The most exciting story will be Red Sox as sellers. It will be a market changer, depending on how hard you pursue it. Look at these pieces.

  • Xander Bogaerts has a clause to opt out of the All-Star Shortstop at the end of the season and extension talks have gone nowhere.
  • All-Star DH JD Martinez is a free agent after the season.
  • Third base All-Star Raphael Devers hits free agency after next season, although they certainly won’t deal with him at 25 and his injury further complicates matters.
  • Eovaldi is a free agent after the season.
  • Kiki Hernandez, Jackie Bradley Jr., Christian Vasquez, Michael Washa, Rich Hill and Matt Straham are also free agents after the year.

All this makes the Red Sox one of the most interesting teams on the field in the next 10 days.

Even if Bloom just wanted to move on from the free agents, the farm system could make a real killing in the commercial market.

If things continue on their current course, expect a Red Sox sale. And if they do, they might liken last season’s Cubs to break into the roster. Anyone mentioned above can disappear except for Devers. It’s definitely a situation worth watching, as only Bogaerts and Martinez are changing the market landscape and the others have the potential to be important cogs for new teams.

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