Chaim Bloom and the front office members of the Boston Red Sox find themselves pinned up squarely against the Green Monster this month.
You see, as the trade deadline approaches, I’m sure they want to make some deals. Not to improve the team but to unload some big contract players in the name of acquiring more top prospects.
On one hand they can justify this because just past the midway point of the season they’re a daunting 15.5 games behind the Yankees in the American League East. The division is pretty much wrapped up for the bad guys.
There’s still pride in making the playoffs, and the Sox are currently a Wild Card team. It’s a tight race and the Sox do have a brutal schedule this month. Almost every game is against a team with a winning record. So far that has not gone very well.
Last year the Red Sox won the one game playoff against the Yankees and obviously advanced through the next round all the way to coming within two wins of the World Series. That certainly made Red Sox ownership and management happy.
But for a franchise now hell-bent on rebuilding the minor-league system and bringing along young affordable players for a number of years, they find themselves in the proverbial pickle.
Do they keep pushing to put together a good second half of the season and a postseason run, which means adding some players, or should they be happy with whatever they get this year while trading away some big-name players and fan favorites in the name of the future?
It should be clear to about everyone at this point that they are not going to pay Xander Bogaerts. The Sox seem to think they had to choose between he and Devers and going into the off-season last year they obviously made their pick. They signed Trevor Story for one year of second base action, and he will move to shortstop next year.
Rafael Devers has done nothing to make the decision look bad. He’s the starting All-Star third baseman and obviously is having another fantastic year.
He’ll get paid by the Sox. So all of this means most likely Bogaerts could be gone at the trade deadline. For a handful of prospects.
JD Martinez is in the last year of his contract. A true contender will send back a prospect or two to get JD’s experience and bat down the stretch drive into the playoffs.
It is unlikely they could execute this but trust me if they could trade Chris Sale away they would be thrilled. Even if they eat some of the salary as he has time left on his horrible contract. That’s probably unrealistic given his lack of any kind of durability and his meltdown in Worcester last week
If he comes back healthy, they might even ship away Nathan Eovaldi. He’s also in the last year of his deal and unlikely to return.
While Sox fans might be happy when two or three of these prospects are stars three or four years down the road, deciding to ship away three or four big names at the deadline would give Boston sports radio something to yell about for a few weeks. Media and fans will revolt, rightfully so.
Maybe I’m wrong and they will keep their current players and maybe even acquire a closer at the deadline. Or some other bullpen help. But I kind of feel like if they were going to try to fix the bullpen they might’ve at least tried by now.
If the Sox stay hot this month, they will have to try to improve. Play .500 ball in July and let the fire sale begin.