Photo Credit: Sam Greene / Cincinnati Enquirer
With the Red Sox now a few games past the half-way mark of the season, their weaknesses and needs are becoming clearer.
Let’s take a look at potential deadline targets.
After acquiring Steve Pearce, Dombrowski said they don’t plan on acquiring another position player. However Dealin’ Dave has built a reputation on doing the unexpected – and the Red Sox do have a need at second base. Here are my top options for the infield:
As I’ve been saying for awhile, Scooter is my number 1 option for 2B. The Reds second baseman is a 28 year old lefty batting .331 (3rd in MLB, 1st in NL) with 14 HRs, 57 RBIs, and a .898 OPS. Just last season he batted .295 with 27 HRs and 97 RBIs. Plus he has a .340 AVG against LHPs, who the Red Sox have had some trouble with this season and could slide right into either the 3 spot in front of JD, or 4 hole behind him. In the field, he’s not Dustin Pedroia, but should make up for any shortcomings with his bat. He’d be a perfect fit and make the most sense for the Red Sox at a reasonable price.
Not necessarily on every fan’s radar, but the veteran infielder is having a solid season on a tanking Mets team. He has a .284 AVG with 15 HRs and 48 RBIs this season. Cabrera is also a switch hitter who can play all over the infield, providing even more flexibility to the Sox. If the Red Sox can get a good deal on him, I think he’d be a decent upgrade a 2B especially offensively.
Many have been talking about Beltre returning to the Sox, and I’d absolutely love it. Although I no longer think it will happen, he’d be perfect for the Sox. The veteran 3rd baseman and future hall of famer could take young Rafael Devers under his wing and mentor him. He could help Devers with his fielding and give him endless hitting tips. He could split time with Raffy at 3B and spend some time at DH now that Hanley is gone. Beltre is batting .309 this season and .358 vs LHPs, plus his experience and veteran leadership could greatly benefit this young Red Sox team.
It seems every year the Sox are looking to add to their bullpen, and here we are again. With Carson Smith out for the season, the Red Sox will look to Tyler Thornburg to provide valuable late inning help. If Thornburg shows rust in his return to the bullpen, they could seek some outside insurance.
My #1 option for the bullpen by far. Blake is having a career year with a 0.84 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, and .178 BAA this season. He’d definitely be a reliable option setting up Craig Kimbrel. Plus he is under arbitration for 2 more years, so if the Sox can’t resign Kimbrel, Treinen would be a solid option to close out games.
I put these two together because both are the highest caliber relievers on the market, but I don’t think the Sox will get either. There will be many potential suitors; however the price will likely be too high for the Red Sox liking.
Connected to the Red Sox in trade rumors the past few years, maybe it’s time he finally comes to the Sox. Raisel is 28 years old and under contract until 2021, so he would be a great acquisition for a Sox bullpen with an uncertain future. This season, he has a 2.63 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and .194 BAA.
Rumors in the past week have mentioned the Red Sox interest in him. He won’t have a high asking price, and has been having a great season so far. The RHP has a 1.17 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, and .110 BAA. Plus he’s 28 years old and under arbitration for 3 more years.
As always, there are plenty of potential trades for a team that will contend for a World Series title. However, a depleted farm system will likely deter any blockbusters.
Blake Swihart has been reportedly being shopped around due to the lack of a true position. Brian Johnson, or Hector Velazquez, are also on the table to be dealt due to their ability to start games. Johnson is more likely to be dealt due to his lack of minor league options; however there is no guarantee he will be moved. Finally, #11 prospect 1B Josh Ockimey could be sent away at the deadline. He’s been having a solid season in AA, and could draw interest from teams looking to rebuild.
Regardless of who the Red Sox decide to go after, Dave Dombrowski, and the front office, will certainly be busy.