Photo Credit: New York Post
It has been reported that the Red Sox have checked in on a laundry list of relievers as the Trade Deadline approaches. There have been breakout stars, to young guns, or even the established veteran arms. The reality is, the Red Sox are exploring every known commodity to ensure that they get the best value at the mid-summer’s fire sale.
During this time, it is equally important to determine which relievers would be best to avoid. As Dave Dombrowski knows, the farm system isn’t well stocked and it will be crucial to hit on any trades that the Red Sox make.
Here’s a list of relievers that the Red Sox should avoid shipping up to Boston.
San Diego Padres Relievers: Brad Hand / Kirby Yates / Craig Stammen
The casual baseball fan may only recognize one of these names, but it is important for the Red Sox to avoid all of the mentioned relievers, despite early season success. Hand (2.91 ERA / 24 saves) is the most talked about Padres’ reliever, as he has possessed the most trade interest; however he’s easily comparable to a left-handed Joe Kelly.
Hand’s save experiences are often a roller coaster. He often loses control of the strike zone, shown by a mere 56% first pitch strike; however he will manage to escape due to his wipeout slider. The former Miami Marlins’ starting pitcher has been solid in two seasons as the closer, but should not warrant a big return in any trade package. The Padres trade talks reportedly demanded Rafael Devers in a package – a certain long shot.
The other two relievers are lesser-known, but have been solid late inning options. Yates (1.51 ERA / 2 saves) has been a breakout star for the Padres, but should have question marks over his poor track record. In his seven big league seasons, he’s had a sub-4 ERA in only three seasons. Stammen (4-1 / 2.86 ERA) is a veteran option that likely would not merit much in a trade alone. He’s a proven reliever, but will likely be involved in a bigger package.
Keep in mind, the Padres GM has already dealt with the Red Sox on multiple occassions, but most recently didn’t disclose medical records in the Drew Pomeranz deal. It’s hard to imagine that Dave Dombrowski would love to do business with A.J. Preller again.
New York Mets: Jeurys Familia
It’s very clear that the Mets are going to be in full sell mode this Trade Deadline and while it isn’t clear whether, or not, they will seek to deal Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard, they may seek to move their closer.
Familia (3.03 ERA / 16 saves) does possess valuable postseason experience, but has labored with injuries since the Mets’ 2016 World Series appearance. He fits the archetype of a Dombrowski reliever with a high 90’s fastball, but is merely a rental for the Red Sox.
With the Mets in trade mode, there likely won’t be a discount headed Boston’s way.
Colorado Rockies: Wade Davis
On the surface, Davis (4.04 ERA / 25 saves) seems like an ideal candidate to slide into the current Red Sox bullpen. The ex-Kansas City Royal was a stalwart in their road to a World Series title and excelled in Chicago upon being traded; however Colorado has proved to be a rude awakening.
The veteran reliever has struggled to the tune of a 4.04 ERA and may not even be considered to be the best reliever in the Rockies bullpen due to the emergence of Adam Ottovino. Yes, the Red Sox could certainly make room for Davis on the roster, but the primary issue is his financial implications and statistical regression.
Before the season, the Rockies inked their closer to $52 million deal which would put the Red Sox over the luxury tax. At this point, the only way Dave Dombrowski should consider acquiring the veteran reliever is if he deems that Davis is the closer of the future and let Craig Kimbrel test free agency after the season.
Certainly, there is no guarantee that the Red Sox are going to pull the trigger on any particular reliever, but given Dave Dombrowski’s track record at the Trade Deadline, it is worth discussing which reliever’s are worth making a move.
It will be interesting to see how Tyler Thornburg and Ryan Brasier continue to perform in the bullpen. If either one falters, it will likely encourage Dombrowski to engage in a discussion for an additional bullpen arm; however the Red Sox have the talent to avoid making a move.
As the deadline nears, it should be an entertaining few weeks for Red Sox fans.