The Boston Red Sox will make a trade during the season and my selection is for the bullpen to be augmented. Just who will the Red Sox trade?
The Red Sox will invariably be in a position where the president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski will have to take the plunge and fill an expanding hole that is causing a deterioration, but just where? The general consensus which I most certainly endorse is the bullpen. Once you have determined a weakness just how do you correct it?
This, quite naturally, is making an assumption that the bullpen will be the issue and not some regression elsewhere that needs to be addressed. In the area of position players, the Red Sox apparently have some reasonable depth to confront a sudden injury or an unforeseen regression. So I will go with the bullpen and just how do you get the necessary fortification? Who goes?
The Red Sox have flexibility within their roster so the movement elsewhere of a Brock Holt, Steve Pearce, Eduardo Nunez, or Mitch Moreland can be accomplished without stripping clean manager Alex Cora’s day to day operation of the team. Those mentioned are all free agents at the conclusion of the season and may either go elsewhere or be signed. None is irreplaceable such as Mookie Betts.
A roster is also expanded to the 40-man roster and that opens up other viable options. The Red Sox have two players on the positional player fast track – Michael Chavis and Bobby Dalbec. Both have what is needed and cherished – talent and controllable.
Any trades will be dependent upon who is available and what their talent level is. If a search for bullpen help takes place it most certainly will not be a sideways move that merely replaces one problem with another or just adds to the package of problems. So that means operating on another assumption being that something besides generic baseball fodder is available.
Since I am on the assumption express that would mean that whoever is willing to part with talent is in a position where the playoff chances are as remote as me having dinner on the space station this evening. That swings us back to the talent column that has the headline emblazoned upon it “young and controllable.”
If I was going to gamble on just who and avoid my bi-weekly Powerball loss I would say Chavis and Dalbec are most likely. That also means – no surprise – another assumption in that both have performed well enough to garner some enthusiasm for other GM’s. If both struggle then the Red Sox may have to either take some baseball flotsam or create a package that is irresistible.
Any type of wheeling and dealing is a long way in the baseball future. The bullpen that looked like a Tiki Torch may surprise. Maybe Matt Barnes replicates a young Jonathan Papelbon? Maybe Heath Hembree magically becomes a premier setup option? Maybe the Red Sox plunder the American League with a rapacious style similar to 2018 and nothing is needed? Maybe the opposite and nothing this side of Mariano Rivera would help?
Based on the previous history something will happen during the season. Dombrowski shuffles player hither and yon during the season and certainly pulls the trading trigger with no apprehensions. When that happens I do believe Chavis and Dalbec should have their travel bags at the ready.