According to a recent report from CBS Chicago’s Bruce Levine, the Red Sox sent top scouts to see potential trade targets Jose Quintana and Todd Frazier. The trade deadline is still a couple months away, but Boston is being proactive about two potential areas of need.
We’ll start with Frazier, because he seems to be the more logical option of the two. The righty plays third base, which has obviously been the biggest hole on the roster all season. Pablo Sandoval has been injured and ineffective, and the multitude of replacements they’ve played at the hot corner have been some combination of those two same qualities.
Frazier would be a rental, and one would have to imagine he wouldn’t cost too much in a trade. On the other hand, he does have more name value than his current talent level justifies. The White Sox third baseman has struggled in 2017, hitting just .195/.289/.350 in his first 142 plate appearances. He is suffering from a low batting average on balls in play, which is partially bad luck, but he’s also been a low BABIP player throughout his career. He’s also seen a dropoff in power than coincides with a dropoff in hard hit rate. There’s probably some positive regression in his future, but I’m not sure it’ll be worth the potential price if other teams also look for third base help.
Quintana is a really interesting case, although I can’t imagine the team’s current interest level is overly high. Don’t get me wrong, the lefty is an incredibly talented pitcher who would make any rotation better. However, he is going to cost a huge price in terms of prospects and there’s a decent chance the Red Sox won’t need that kind of upgrade in the rotation. Honestly, this all likely hinges on how David Price looks when he returns. If he looks like his old self, the Red Sox will have a strong top four in Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, Price and Eduardo Rodriguez.
It’s possible they’ll want another arm to put in the back of the rotation, but if everything goes well they won’t need to pay the high price for someone like Quintana. Instead, they can keep those prospects to deal for other areas of need or to keep for future help on their own major-league roster. On the other hand, if Price suffers a major setback or there’s another big injury in the rotation, the sense of urgency just might be high enough to pull the trigger on another blockbuster with the White Sox.
What do you think? Are either of these Chicago ball players worth the potential price in a trade?