The highly anticipated Trade Deadline is right around the corner. Here’s what to expect out of the Red Sox.

The 2018 season is nearing the midway point and the Red Sox have met, and in many cases, exceeded expectations. They’ve led the AL East on multiple occasions, had the best record in baseball, and proven that they are a legitimate World Series contender.

It’s clear that this team is a cohesive unit under the leadership of Alex Cora. Offensively, this team has been powered by the outstanding bat of J.D. Martinez, MVP-caliber play of Mookie Betts, and the young Andrew Benintendi. On the mound, the Red Sox have consistently performed and should be considered one of the best units in all of baseball.

Despite the high level of play, speculation around the Trade Deadline is normal – especially for a contender. The Yankees are rumored to be interested in the likes Jacob deGrom or Madison Bumgarner to co-ace the top of their rotation with young star Luis Severino.

In Boston, the Sox have checked on multiple relievers including Brad Hand and Kyle Barraclough. The major difference between the Red Sox & Yankees and their Trade Deadline involvement is the major difference in farm system depth. The Bombers have one of the most heralded farm systems in all of baseball, while the Sox have largely depleted their depth to add stars such as Craig Kimbrel and Chris Sale.

The pursuit of the Orioles’ Manny Machado is an interesting discussion, but will be a moot point for Sox fans. The cost / benefit analysis on that move would leave Boston with an All Star rental while decimating whatever is left of a depleted farm system, and likely sending Rafael Devers as well. The talented shortstop will likely be traded, but don’t expect him to end up in the AL East.

What can Red Sox fans expect at the Trade Deadline?

In short, not much. As previously mentioned, the Sox lack blue chip trade chips that teams require in a larger-scale trade. A look around the farm system saw top prospect Jay Groome lose his season to Tommy John surgery, and an 80 game PED suspension to top offensive prospect, Michael Chavis. Additionally, there’s little-to-no merit that the Red Sox could acquire an impact player with Blake Swihart, or Brian Johnson. It’s likely they could acquire a small chip, or cash considerations, but that’s likely all unless included in a larger deal.

The recent trade acquisition of Steve Pearce is likely to preview any moves the Red Sox make. They may be able to grab a reliever, or entice a team like the Reds to send an offensive minded infielder, Scooter Gennett, to Boston. However, there’s no chance the Sox will be involved with players that require a massive return.

The trade deadline shouldn’t be about matching the moves made by the Yankees as the front office has done a masterful job of using the assets in the farm system to acquire key players over the past few seasons. This team is built for a run at the World Series and that can be expected in Boston.