The Sox are fascinated by constructing in direction of sustainable competition — i.e., making a broad expertise base of gamers with a number of years of staff management — however they’re additionally dedicated to attempting to contend in 2021. That being the case, there scope of a sell-off might be restricted to gamers who’re both eligible totally free company after this 12 months or subsequent. Whereas they didn’t rule out the chance utterly, a number of evaluators take into account it unlikely that the Sox transfer gamers who’re below staff management past 2021.
So when the mud settles on Monday, who’s prone to be round?
Pink Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom didn’t wish to again himself right into a nook — in spite of everything, he’s already dealt away Mookie Betts — however realistically, the Sox aren’t dealing gamers who they see as a part of their long-term core. So, there’s little likelihood that Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, or Alex Verdugo will get traded.
Christian Vazquez isn’t fairly as off-limits, however he’s nonetheless unlikely to be dealt. He’s signed to an inexpensive contract by 2021 with an possibility for 2022, represents an above-average possibility behind the plate, and there’s a normal shortage of catching each within the Sox group and all through baseball. Plus, his commerce worth could be capped by his offensive struggles this 12 months.
Maybe below regular circumstances, the Sox would have thought of transferring Andrew Benintendi for a pitcher. However with Benintendi nowhere close to coming back from a rib harm and his manufacturing cratered, that chance is gone.
Nate Eovaldi was unlikely to be dealt below any circumstances because of the two years and $34 million he’s owed, however his placement on the injured record with a calf harm Saturday primarily ensures that he’s going nowhere.
Firstly of the 12 months, J.D. Martinez appeared like probably the most fascinating Pink Sox commerce candidates given the growth of the D.H. into each leagues. On one hand, he’s traditionally one of many premier hitters in baseball. However, his contract — which has two years and $38.7 million remaining, in addition to opt-outs after each the 2020 and 2021 season — has all the time made it puzzling to determine whether or not he may very well be dealt.
Nonetheless, Martinez is amidst one of many worst stretches of his profession. He carried a .205/.297/.366 line into Saturday, his routine upended by the shortage of entry to video and restrictions on entry to the batting cage throughout video games.
The probably targets
Provide and demand means that relievers could have worth, a part of the rationale why the Phillies needed to strike early to accumulate Workman and Hembree for Nick Pivetta and Connor Seabold. Baseball is awash in accidents after its compressed July reboot, and groups want arms.
As such, Matt Barnes — a wholesome reliever with a historical past of success, in addition to a number of swing-and-miss choices and a further 12 months of staff management past 2020 — could also be one of many likeliest Pink Sox gamers to be dealt. The righthander’s commerce worth has taken a success, each due to his inconsistent efficiency (12 innings, 6.00 ERA, 15 strikeouts, 9 walks) and since, as supervisor Ron Roenicke acknowledged, his “stuff is a little bit bit down, however I nonetheless like what he’s doing and I nonetheless just like the fastball.”
Barnes has a median four-seam fastball velocity of 95.1 m.p.h. this 12 months, down from 96.6 in 2019. He’s not getting the identical quantity of swings and misses along with his fastball/curveball mixture that he has previously few years. Even so, there have been sufficient to counsel a pitcher able to making an affect for a staff each this 12 months and subsequent, and he’ll probably by no means once more have extra commerce worth than he does proper now. Maybe, because the Sox did with Workman, they may package deal him with a number of further gamers to extend the return.
Curiosity in complementary rental gamers who’re eligible totally free company after this 12 months is kicking up, suggesting that there ought to be a modest marketplace for Kevin Pillar. The identical may very well be true of Jackie Bradley Jr., however for a staff that borders on unrecognizable, the Sox might not wish to deal one among their long-time anchors on condition that he’d be unlikely to command greater than a marginal prospect.
Mitch Moreland represents an intriguing candidate. He’s been a drive this 12 months, main the large leagues coming into Saturday with a 1.309 OPS towards righthanders, and with a cheap staff possibility on his contract for 2021, he wouldn’t be a pure rental. Even so, as a result of he has a contract possibility, there’s no rush for the Sox to deal him if groups aren’t keen to supply a useful prospect in return.