As the July 31 trade deadline approaches, let’s take a look how the Red Sox can help out their situation at second base.
This year the Red Sox have had a revolving door at second base. They have seen starts at second from: Michael Chavis (29 games), Eduardo Nunez (23 games), Brock Holt (15 games), Tzu-Wei Lin (eight games), Marco Hernandez (seven games), Dustin Pedroia (six games) and catcher Christian Vazquez even played two games there.
Offensively, the Red Sox have received little production from their second basemen this season. According to baseball-reference.com, they have slashed just .227/.293/.360 with 10 home runs and 40 RBIs this season. Much of that is due to Chavis’ power surge when he was first called up back in late-April.
Chavis will likely move back over to second base when Mitch Moreland comes back from the Injured List, however, any acquired player can take Eduardo Nunez’ playing time as he has done little to warrant it thus far. Nunez has a 38 OPS+ and has been worth a -1.1 bWAR through 44 games this season.
That being said, Boston should look for a rental at this year’s deadline to offer them some flexibility and production if they are to look at making a playoff run this year.
Eric Sogard, Toronto Blue Jays:
Sogard has played the same number of games as Nunez in 2019 and has done *oh so much more* with his opportunities. Through 44 contests he has slashed .294/.361/.485 with six home runs and 17 RBIs.
Not only are his basic stats promising, but so are his splits. He is actually better against left-handed pitching this year, with a .937 OPS against lefties versus an .815 against righties. He is hitting better away from the Rogers Centre as he is hitting .323 in 93 at-bats during away games.
Most importantly, he has hit .421 with runners in scoring position this year. In just 19 at-bats he has 11 RBIs with runners in scoring position. The Red Sox have struggled this season with runners in scoring position as they have hit just .264 while striking out in 21.1 percent of their plate appearances.
Sogard has also mashed division rivals in the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees. The 5-foot-9 Arizona State product has slashed .625/.625/1.250 in eight at-bats against Yankee pitching.
Sogard joined the Blue Jays this off-season on a Minor League contract, so he is making just 555k for the remainder of the year.
Not only has he preformed this season, but he has a great pair of rec-specs and as a glasses-wearing individual I respect him.
Last year at the deadline, Dave Dombrowski, Red Sox president of baseball operations, and the Blue Jays made a deal for current Red Sox first baseman Steve Pearce. That deal just so happened to land the Red Sox their World Series MVP.
Logan Forsythe, Texas Rangers:
Forsythe’s numbers so far jump out a little less as he has hit .270/.381/.423 through 51 games for the Rangers. He has hit just three home runs for Texas, but has added 14 doubles and driven in 28 runs.
He has hit well against the Blue Jays, a division foe, and the Houston Astros this season. This is important if the Red Sox are playing October baseball, they will need as many productive hitters as possible against the ‘Stros.
With runners in scoring position, Forsythe has hit .378 with 24 RBIs in 45 at-bats. While his batting average is lower than Sogard, he has a much larger sample size with runners on which is a huge plus. He has shown an ability to knock runners in when given the opportunity.
He has struggled in June, with just two hits this month. This could lower his price even further should Boston make an offer, but it also may point to a fluke-y first two months of production rather than a full season of production.
For now it seems unlikely that the Rangers would part with Forsythe, however, as they are currently tied with Boston for the second Wild Card spot in the American League. Should they start to falter, he could be a solid option for the Red Sox
He does offer some flexibility positionally as well, sharing his time at every infield position except catcher.
Either of these options could soar or fall flat, there’s no way to tell. However they both provide something Boston is in desperate need of: hitting with runners in scoring position. At a position that has a lot of question marks, these two players could be cost-effective ways for Boston to address a need.