With deadline looming: time for a fire sale?
Updated: Aug 22, 2020
The Red Sox currently sit in last place in the AL East and third to last in the American League with an 8-18 record as we are 26 games deep into a 60-game schedule. As the Red Sox approach the mid-way point in the season, and the end of August, with the MLB Trade Deadline just 10 days away, will we see the Red Sox makes some moves?
Obviously there were low expectations heading into this extremely shortened season anyways given everything that transpired during the off-season and what was going on down in Fort Myers prior to the league shutting down spring training due to the pandemic.
No one would have thought that the Red Sox would be this bad in this shortened season. Boston's pitching is extremely subpar, the offense isn't getting any timely hitting from stars like J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Andrew Benintendi. Benintendi is currently on the Injured List with a strained rib cage and will be out for a while.
The lack of a starting rotation for the Red Sox has played into a major factor as Nathan Eovaldi is the only reliable starter the Sox have at this point in time. Martin Perez has been shaky, along with all the other pitchers the Red Sox have called up from the alternate training site down in Pawtucket. Fair to say that the Red Sox are not in contention for a postseason berth despite the expanded playoffs for this season only.
The Red Sox should look at offers to try to not only restock the farm system that desperately needs an overhaul, but also follow through with their plan on trying to shed some extra money. There are many options to that the Red Sox can go to, but the biggest asset the Red Sox have to give right now is J.D. Martinez.
Martinez is currently in the third year of a five-year contract that he signed back in the spring of 2018 with the Red Sox to become the everyday DH to replace David Ortiz. Martinez has an opt out option after this season, which he will most likely use if he is not traded by the August 31st deadline, and at the very least to a contender. There is no buyout option on Martinez, if he chooses to opt out of his contract at the end of season.
Jackie Bradley Jr. is another candidate that could potentially be on the move as Bradley is in the final year of his arbitration deal and is expected to hit the open market. While the chances of JBJ actually getting traded are probably 50/50. However; the chances of him actually getting a long-term deal done with the Red Sox is extremely unlikely.
Key bullpen pieces in both Matt Barnes and Brandon Workman have also been reportedly floated around that the Red Sox could potentially be moved and get young pieces back in return to rebuild the farm system.
It was reported early today by Jon Morosi of MLB Network that momentum is building towards a trade between the Red Sox and Phillies, with multiple players being involved. The key names in the discussions are Workman and Heath Hembree being in the mix. No deal imminent as of right now, but it is a story that we stay on top of.
There are National League teams that should be looking at help when it comes to their lineup and Martinez will fit the bill. Martinez will be a great asset to a contender in the NL, in the DH spot and potentially in the outfield when the National League rules will go back in affect.
Some teams should be looking at Bradley given his outstanding defensive capabilities along with his speed to track down balls and move himself around the bases. He hasn't shown much promise with his hitting, but maybe a change of scenery could be the right thing for him.
The Red Sox should float the idea around of making Benintendi available along with some other injured stars, but the chances of guys like Eduardo Rodriquez, Chis Sale, Dustin Pedroia and others, is highly unlikely. Especially Pedroia whose contract is set to expire after next season, but his career has virtually been over since 2018.
Don't rule anyone out as Chiam Bloom and Sam Kennedy have both said that no one is untouchable when it comes to the Red Sox this season.
It's all about building for the future, and that may mean that the Red Sox might not be a good team that is contending for the division year in and year out against he Yankees and Rays. It will even be difficult for the Red Sox to compete for a Wild Card spot.
As the days go on, some Red Sox players could potentially be playing their final games in Boston. A lot can happen between now and the trade deadline.
UPDATE (8/21/2020 at 11:11 PM): Red Sox trade Closer Brandon Workman and reliever Heath Hembree and cash considerations and a player to be named later to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for right hander Nick Pivetta and minor league right hander Connor Seabold.