We’re 2 weeks away from the trade deadline and things are starting to heat up. Multiple names have been linked to the Sox and they’re sure to make a move. The Sox still hold a 3 game lead for first over the Rays, and there have been moves within the organization as well.
Let’s check in on everything Red Sox:
Sox Split with Yankees
This was an interesting series to say the least. Game 1 was gift wrapped by Aroldis Chapman after allowed the tying and winning run to score without the Red Sox even getting the ball of the infield. Between a 16 inning loss in game 2, a 3-0 on Sunday afternoon, and the beginning of Sunday night’s 3-0 win, the Sox bats went silent. Prior to a Mookie Betts 2 run homer in the 3rd inning on Sunday night, Yankees pitching had shutout the Red Sox for 24.2 innings. As potent as a lineup the Sox have, they’ve gone through cold streaks offensively throughout the year, and that’s going to have to be fixed come playoff time. The Sox will take the split and look to take advantage of sub .500 teams like Toronto, Seattle, and Anaheim coming up next on the schedule.
The Red Sox pitching has been what has separated them from the rest of the teams in the AL East. Chris Sale continues to solidify his Cy Young case with a 1.98 ERA in the last month. David Price has been spectacular this season, with only one start of more than 3 runs, and his 8 scoreless innings Sunday night vs. the Yankees brought his season ERA down to 3.39. Drew Pomeranz has seemed to turn a corner as well with a 2.76 ERA in the last month. Efficiency has been an issue with him, as he’s only gone 7 inning once this season, but he’s limited the home runs recently, which has been crucial in bringing his season ERA down to 3.75 and being a someone the Red Sox can rely on every 5 days. Rick Porcello has been a mystery this season, but he’s seemed to turn a corner. He has 3 straight quality starts, and 4 in his last 5 starts including 8 innings of giving up just 1 earned run to the Rays last Saturday. With Eduardo Rodriguez coming back of the DL, this rotation could be one of, if not the best in the AL.
Movement Within Organization
Pablo Sandoval has been Designated for Assignment. Thank God. As Jared Carrabis said on the Section 10 Podcast, Pablo Sandoval is like a clogged toilet. He was clogging up the entire organization at 3rd base, and the Red Sox finally cut ties with him, as they did failed experiment Jhonny Peralta. As a result, #9 prospect Michael Chavis was promoted to AA Lowell, and #1 Prospect Rafael Devers was promoted to AAA Pawtucket, and went 4-4 with a double and a homer in his AAA debut. Brock Holt returned to the big club after his 3 month battle with vertigo, and was given a standing ovation from the Fenway faithful when he pinch hit Sunday afternoon, and followed it up with a base hit. To make room for Holt, surprise contributor Tzu-Wei Lin was assigned to Pawtucket, Lin’s contributions to the Sox in the past few weeks assure him a call-up in September and give the Sox a nice depth option at 3rd. Eduardo Rodriguez was activated from the DL and will start tonight.
Trade Deadline Options
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports stated that Todd Frazier to the Red Sox “seems almost inevitable”. Rumors have been flying everywhere about Frazier, who would seemingly fill the hole at 3rd base for the rest of this season until Devers is ready for next season. The right handed power hitter would feast off the Green Monster at Fenway. His average isn’t good at .207, but he has a .328 OBP and .433 SLG%. He’s a perfect fit for Fenway, and would close the revolving door at 3rd base, allowing Brock Holt to return to his utility role that made him an all star in 2015. Frazier would just be a rental as his contract expires after this season and this cost to acquire him would not be much at all.
Relief pitching is another need. Tyler Thornburg and Carson Smith with were expected to bring a dominant 7, 8, 9 with Craig Kimbrel, but those guys have yet to throw a pitch this season and likely won’t. Matt Barnes and Heath Hembree have been solid, but not 100% trustworthy. Joe Kelly had been great, but was just place on the 10-day DL after giving up a 2-run homer and taking his first loss in 2 years. Some think the reason a deal with the White Sox for frazier hasn’t been completed yet is because they want to package him with one of David Robertson or Tommy Kahnle. Both have had excellent years, but are under team control past this season and would raise the price significantly. Another White Sox reliever, Anthony Swarzak is a free agent after this season, and would be a nice upgrade at a low price. Other relievers likely to get dealt who could be options for the Sox are Phillies’ Pat Neshek who’s having a career year, Mets’ Addison Reed, Marlins’ David Phelps, or Padres’ Brad Hand.
The Sox are going for it this year. Anything short of a World Series would be a disappointment. The Sox have the farm to acquire pieces to help them do that. 3rd base and the bullpen are needs, but getting some slumping and inconsistent players at the plate (*cough Hanley and Moreland cough*) going is just as important as acquiring somebody from outside of the organization. The upcoming week-plus against bad teams will give the Sox a chance to widen the gap between them and the Yankees and Rays, and show us what they’re made of.
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